on December 1st of 2017 I journaled about the future. i wrote: “abundant” may just be my word of 2018.”
I feel this tug on my heart every time I read verses mentioning the word. verses like Luke 6:38, Ephesians 3:20, etc.
and I couldn’t get this word out of my head. I used to be skeptical about things like this; can you really have a word of the year, one that describes 365 days accurately?
and today, 102 days in, I can say with the little knowledge that I’ve gained that yes, it’s absolutely possible to find one word that, either alone or coupled with other, will do a pretty good job of describing your emotions, your surroundings, the present, the past, and the future in a mere arrangement of letters.
so I took a step of faith. not as big as getting the word tattooed on my body (honestly i’m too chicken for that), but i didn’t just write it down once. I got it engraved on a necklace that i’ve worn every day since the new year. the pictures are proof. I wear this necklace when I play frisbee, when I’m in class, literally any time except for when I’m sleeping.
i made a conscious effort to take the first 21 days of 2018 to dig into what the word “abundance” means. I didn’t want to succumb to another fleeting intention while everyone else was doing year-in-reviews and goal-setting, because the only person who stood to miss out on what God was trying to show me was me.
and can i tell you about the fruit i’ve seen in my life since january 1st? i’ve buckled down in my faith like never before. I’ve spent nights on my knees and on the floor calling out to God like never before, and I’ve felt Him so close. I’ve felt an abundance of love on the most ordinary of days. I’ve received the wildest of opportunities without asking. I’ve bought flowers and spent money on others joyfully and I’ve never seen my bank account run dry (ok that’s also bc I’m a stickler for budgeting, but God totally doesn’t hold out on us when we don’t hold out on others). I’ve gone on countless adventures with others and made an abundance of memories and I learn to be present: stargazing, road trips, sunsets, sunrises, latte runs, city hopping, dance parties, and my favorite: exploring the hidden side of Google Earth, namely Oceania and the rest of the world, dreaming of all the places I have yet to go and desire more than anything to see at least once before I die.
I’m not writing this post to exalt myself or paint the past 120 days as perfect.
I’ve been broken more in these past 102 days than I can count. I’ve cried so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath, for no apparent reason at all, and yet for every reason. I know now what it feels like to have a burden on my heart for others, to pray without ceasing, and to need God with every single ounce of my being. I get what it’s like to miss someone so much it hurts. I get the pain and the heartache and the stages you go through when you don’t know what to say but something needs to be said.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that abundance has made itself known in undesired ways as well. And yet, all the abundance has given me the greatest blessing of all. In my weakness and in my brokenness and in my exhaustion, I’ve been given an abundance of grace. For all my rebellion and all my sobbing and all my imperfection, God chooses to continuously pour himself out instead of withdrawing at the first sign of a struggle, and I cling to Him like never before. I need an abundance of Him, and I think that’s the real reason I wear this necklace daily.
I’m not a jewelry person. I wear my purity ring and that’s it. But wearing this necklace is a constant reminder to me of where I’m at now and where I’m going this year. I have an abundance of days and countries and people left to experience and explore and meet.
If you’ve come up to me and asked me what my necklace says and then looked at me skeptically when I explained that it was my word of the year, I probably haven’t done a good job of encompassing the breadth of its meaning. But that’s because I’m still discovering it for myself.
The abundance of love I allow myself to feel. The abundance of acceptance I feel. The abundance of provision I have. All of these affect how I treat others. Whether I see them as a burden or as a gift. Whether I understand their value and meaning as unique and original. Whether I let my joy infect others, or whether I keep a semblance of happiness bottled up inside me. Whether I dance on rooftops with abandon or whetheproclaimather hide away the light. Because if I prolaim to have the Light inside of me, I won’t be able to contain it.
Luke 6:38 reads: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Pressed down. Shaken together. Running over.
That’s the abundance I feel. Like God is measuring how much to give me based on legal standards, on how I used to measure up by the merits of the law. And then He throws away all of the charts and tips over the barrel of His goodness until I can’t hold my cup anymore, no matter how tightly I grab it and how wide I set my stance.
this is abundance.