It’s been nine months since I was given my word for 2020, unfazed, and I thought it might be a good time to let you know how I’m doing. I must admit, unfazed hasn’t always described me so far. I’ve had some days where I let events and situations faze me a lot, and to be fair, this has been a tough year all around. But having a word doesn’t mean you automatically attain some kind of perfection.
As I pondered my goal of being unfazed, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear that the way to let my word play out for the next few months and beyond is to have a perpetual posture of praise and worship. As the quotation I posted a few weeks ago stated, this can be under the surface of everything we do, all the time.
When I was growing up, my dad would often tell me to stand up straight. I don’t have naturally good posture, so I needed reminders to keep my shoulders back. I was thinking about the word posture and how it has more than one meaning. It is also aspect, attitude, demeanor, disposition or mode. All these words can describe how to live in a praise and worship state of being.
Having good spiritual posture is even more important than physical posture. Now when I think about standing straighter, I won’t just think about my shoulders, but I’ll be praising and worshiping God, singing and making melody in my heart (Colossians 3:16). Maybe with this posture, I can remain unfazed for the next three months and go on to learn to let the love of Jesus keep me unfazed and resting in his peace the rest of my life.
Resolutions made on New Year’s Eve or Day usually last for a few days to a few weeks, but when you have one word, it’s a year-long commitment. I have a notebook dedicated to my words. I add notes throughout the year, Bible verses that support it and prayers to help me keep on track. I stamp the words on the front in different colors with the year noted below.
I shared a couple of thoughts with you earlier this year about my word unfazed. The first was where I found it, in Romans 8. The second was a phrase from a Calvin sermon I use to remind me to shake off difficult circumstances: what of it? Jesus loves me. I discovered another verse to help me keep from being fazed: Psalm 91:4 in the NIV: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Sometimes hiding under his wings and keeping warm under cover of his feathers is the only way to deal with painful things in life. Some might think that’s escapism, and maybe it is, but escaping to the loving arms of my Father is the only kind of escape that leads to life. It’s a path I intend to take often, until the ruts are a mile deep.
By now, most people have given up making resolutions. Several years ago, resolutions began to be replaced by the simplicity of a single word. I’ve had a “one word” for quite a few years now and I know many of you have adopted this as well. Being given a word by God and then reflecting on it throughout the year helps me focus on one thing and sets the tone and direction for growth in grace and knowledge.
This year God gave me the word unfazed. It jumped out at me as I was reading Romans 8:37-39 in The Message: “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
Life took some unexpected turns for me last year and I’m certain this coming year will also hold some surprises. By remembering my word, I hope to ride the waves in the love and strength of Jesus, and not let any of it faze me. I’m going to hold onto the fact that nothing can separate me from his love, even the rough stuff.