Hi, my name is Lisa, and I am a pessimist.
I really wanted to say, I have pessimistic tendencies most of the time. But I decided to suck it up and say it straight out, even though it is painful to admit.
Am I even allowed to admit it? I mean, I’m a missionary. Isn’t there some sort of prerequisite for missionaries to be eternal optimists? Always smiling? Considering it pure joy…?
So I follow a blog (well, it’s actually an online community, should I choose to take the plunge…but I’m still on observer status). This blog is designed to encourage women serving overseas. (Sidenote: I’m not sure overseas is really the right term anymore. These women come from all over the world and are simply not serving/living where they started out. I’m confident that not all of us have traveled over a sea to get where we are.)
Anyway, this week the writers have been encouraging us to think about 2016 as it is about to arrive (in less than two hours on this side of the globe). But they are not suggesting resolutions. Which is good, because I don’t think I’ve ever even bothered to make one in all my life. See? Pessimist.
Instead, the idea is to identify one word. One Word, hopefully Spirit-led, not just on a whim. One Word to focus on throughout the next year. One Word to encourage, challenge, inspire…whatever it is you might need.
I knew what my One Word was before I’d read the first post for the week. In fact, a couple weeks ago, I’d already chosen two words. (Over achiever, I know.) When this One Word idea hit my inbox, I immediately selected one of the two–knowing which one would be more challenging.
Not taking the easy way out this time.
I’ve been convicted to pursue joy. Seems kinda funny to type that out…
Today I was looking through my Bible to try to find the right verse to help me cling to this One Word for 2016. There’s quite a variety. Many of them involve singing and shouting. I’ve marked some of those. But I’m not really the shouting type. Ok, now did I just admit to another thing? Am I not obeying that Scripture too? Ugghh…
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
That’s the verse I’ve landed on as my joyful motivator for 2016.
(I like verse 11 too. As a good Bible teacher–and student–I’ve always got to check out the context. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. It’s hard to separate it from the next verse. So, I think I’ll keep them together.)
So, there it is. Not only am I choosing to focus on joy this year, but I’m telling people. I’m telling you. This is getting serious. I could just keep it to myself. But somehow I have this feeling that my conviction might die out if I do that. Go big or go home, right? (Who really says that?)
Let’s pray that by this time next year I will be filled with testimonies of how God has helped me bear some of this fruit of His Holy Spirit that is within me. Or at least one. (There’s that pessimistic attitude again…)