Some do resolutions. Some do a word. This year, I was just going to write down a couple of goals. But a word came to me after a bit of soul searching.
I read somewhere that if we let circumstances change us to the worst version of ourselves, then we’ve lost sight of who God intended us to be. The author encourages the reader to think back to the person they were or to look at a picture before tragedy hit. Stating that’s who God intended them to be.
As I debated to agree or disagree I realized I didn’t have any pictures of before I met my husband. He took in a broken woman who didn’t want to bring along anything from her past. Including pictures.
I thought back on my pre-traumatic life. I remember being extroverted and friendly. Now, I’m more introverted and cautious. So I prayed, “God, who am I supposed to be in you. I don’t know my identity. I know that I’m your daughter, but what is my role in your kingdom.” During the week I processed what I read, then out of the blue one of my aunts sends a picture of when I was 15 years old.
My first thought was “wow, that’s a big smile.” The corners of my mouth turned up as I remembered the carefree, happy teen. All of a sudden snaps of pictures, hidden somewhere in my parents home, flashed before my eyes. In all of them I am laughing or have this ridiculously enormous smile. The most thing told to me growing up, not always as a compliment mind you, was that I laughed too much or that I laughed too loud. I was always laughing or trying to make people laugh. As I stared at this picture I felt God whisper, ‘this is who you are in me.’ Then I cried. I cried because I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed for no reason at all. I cried for this fifteen-year-old girl who lost her way and forgot her source of joy.
Life happens, things changed, and so do people. This girl instead of getting up stronger, shut herself to the world in hopes of protecting herself. In doing so she stopped reaching out to people. She stopped helping people. Stopped cheering people up.
I realize now that joy can be a choice, just like love and forgiveness are. While I’m not going to tickle anyone, tell jokes, or force a laugh that will scare others off, I do hope to reach out more to hurting souls. Maybe laughter will follow. In fact, I hope it does. I want to hear that fifteen-year-old laugh again. After all, doesn’t Proverbs say laughter is good medicine? So as strange as it may sound, laughter is my 2022 word.
” . . .weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5 (NIV)
Do you have a word, resolution, or goal you want to work on in 2022? I wrote down a few goals that my 12-year-old insists are resolutions 😆.