A couple of year's ago, I found Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Name Generator. When I lived in Brazil, our NYE tradition was to pick a Saint out of a basket to be our companion for the year. I had never heard of such a thing and was so excited to be able to continue that tradition even though I no longer lived in community.
At the end of 2017, I made my then boyfriend (now husband) pick a Saint, too. God love that man who is not Catholic and goes along with my shenanigans. He got Saint Juan Diego and I have never seen a Saint follow someone around as much as he did for Paul.
When we were on our honeymoon last year, we also picked a word of the year with the other generator that Jen made. I got the word RELEASE. As it popped up on my screen, I had no idea what really that would entail, but assumed it would bring a bit of... discomfort.
What did the year 2019 bring for me?
Within the first months, I had to release a lot of ideas of what I thought marriage was and would be. In that release was a lot of my own way of doing things and learning how to be a better partner to my husband. On the other side has been much more joy, companionship, and love.
I also left a ministry that I had poured myself into for the previous three and a half years after a painful situation. It has taken me the entire year to release the hurt, sadness, and BIG feelings over what happened. It was my daily prayer to be released from all of it and on the other side has brought an immense amount of freedom, creativity, and trust in the unknown path.
By May we found out we were having a baby and my goodness! As I texted a friend yesterday, the difficulty of pregnancy has been the biggest surprise of my life. I have had to release my entire way of conducting myself in the world. I can no longer work for 12 hours straight, I moan and groan at just about everything. I had to slow down, do less, and ask for so much help.
For Lent, my spiritual director suggested that I pray for more trust. It was so hard and so fruitful and as my heart learned to let go and trust more, I had a beautiful encounter with a group of people who are helping Be A Heart grow. And as beautiful as it is, it has taken a huge amount of me releasing control and letting others in.
And maybe that's my biggest lesson of the year. The act of releasing - in various ways - has led to more ENCOUNTER with others and with God. In releasing ideas, situations, thoughts, feelings, there is more room for my heart to meet other hearts. Slowly, slowly, my guard lowers, my wall crumbles and I have space to accept something new in my open, empty hands.
I just did the Word Generator again because who can wait 10 more days for 2020? The word LIGHT popped up and I smiled imagining that yes, it is indeed light that rushes in after a year of RELEASE.
What word did you get?