Every year I am amazed how a simple word or phrase that silently creeps into my heart in midwinter and slowly emerges as my Word of the Year weaves itself into my soul. In 2021 the word that chose me is simply, GO. Two letters we all learned to read early in life, but one word oozing with power, wisdom, and gentle companionship.
I just returned from an 8-day silent directed retreat. Yes, I did stay quiet (most of the time.) The practice of attending a retreat at least yearly is life-giving for me and essential for my spiritual walk with God. My spirit rests and recalls its Creator and its central call and life purpose.
Two weeks ago, I shared my expectations about this year’s retreat and now want to share some of my lessons and retreat reflections in this weeks and next week’s posts.
Word of the year – Retreat Reflections
What did my word of the year – Go – show me on retreat this year?
Keep Going – God is inviting me to be more than to do. I am not finished yet. God is not finished with me yet either. Keep going is energy to propel me onward in this journey.
Go forth with joy and thanksgiving. I get so serious and focused on my to-dos and lists, I forget to breath in God’s amazing wonder and thank him for all his gifts. Go’s best friend is Joy and I am neglecting her.
Go with peace. God’s peace lays deep inside my soul no matter the turbulence swirling around me. Peace beyond human comprehension provides a firm foundation during any storm.
Go without regrets. After months of pandemic in which I turned a new decade older, I find myself thinking – If I were to die or were dying, what would I regret not doing, saying, being with? I heard go on that trip. Go see that old friend. Go, take a risk. Go for a walk and pay attention to the holy all around.
Go write and go light. I am called to be a writer – a core essence of how God created me. I am a writer and writers write. Go light, be the light, reflect the light (2020 word). On a humorous note, go light came to me as I dragged my heavy suitcase into the retreat. I always take too much – Travel light, Jeanie, both figuratively and literally. It’s ok not bring everything – all will be fine. There will be enough.
Go slow. Retreat slows me down to hear God’s voice and the whispers within my soul that often are drowned out by the external noise and internal chatter. I also was reminded to go one step at a time. God will show the way. Be patient.
Go with wild abandonment. Being present, sitting within God’s heart at retreats reassures me God loves me, each of us, unconditionally, with wild abandonment. God’s love serves as the primary message throughout my journals and one I need to hear often and perhaps someday will fully believe. A new dimension to the phase go with wild abandonment arose this year – how much I am also called to return that love to our Almighty God and love him unconditionally, with wild abandonment.
A simple word yet powerful held me during my time with God. I was surprised and blessed by my word of the year and these retreat reflections. A little more insights will be coming next week. By the way, thank you for your prayers .
How is God forming you lately? If you have a word for the year, how is it lighting your way?