Although the last week of 2015 was good in many ways, it was also troubling.
My body was taking me down. I had to change plans twice to just stay home and rest. Severe abdominal pain that had been knocking on my door for months, coming and going, had decided to just stay.
But I was resisting seeing a doctor. Only after much persuasion did Jeff convince me to go. I subjected myself to an IV and chest scan and drinking the mysterious cup of liquid.
The diagnosis? Unknown. Perhaps gall bladder. Just take this steroid pack and hope for the best for now.
On New Year’s Eve, the pain began subsiding again, praise God.
Just in time to welcome in the new year. And my new One Word for the year: “Welcome.”
Already, God? (He knows how to work our One Words from the get-go, yes?)
So instead of attempting to ignore the pain and complaining about a lack of diagnosis and resisting getting help, I’m trying first to be accepting of it.
To practice the spiritual discipline of welcoming.
That doesn’t mean I have to like it. I don’t like pain telling me what I can and can’t do.
But I do need to listen to it (whatever “it” is). To welcome it in a broad sense. Not in a “I’m glad you’re here! Come in and stay!” kind of way, but in a “If you keep ringing my doorbell, eventually I’ll answer” kind of way.
- Consciously acknowledge.
- Willingly accept.
- Release it back to God.
Can we find peace even in this?
If we catch and release. Not just with abdominal pain, but with all of life. How else can we let go of something until we see what we’re holding onto?
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
– Jesus (John 8:32)
I’ll be working this year through the ten guideposts in Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, for monthly exercises in welcoming and letting go. Where she talks about “cultivating” attitudes for whole-hearted living, I’ll substitute “welcoming.”
January is my month to welcome authenticity and let go of what people think. Including myself.
As I share my own thoughts and life with others—without judging myself for them, including any perceived weakness for having undiagnosed pain—I also hope to intentionally hear others’ opinions and ideas without passing judgment.
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.”
– Brené Brown
So God, welcome to 2016!
May I first receive what you’re going to give. Only then can I properly decide what to do with it next—embrace it, work with it, or just let it pass on through.
Life is best lived when we see God’s presence in it.
“I am where I need to be. Everything around me includes and hides the sacred.”
– Mary Mrozowski
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
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Do you have a One Word for 2016? It’s a process that continues to amaze me—how God works through these words—so I’m learning to welcome them each year and not resist. Please share in the comments.
- Links, books, and other things I love – January 2016
- A Spiritual Exercise for 2016 – Memorize Matthew 6