January 2, 2019


“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6, NKJV)


This passage has been hounding me: in various, apparently unconnected areas of my life, this same verse, or reference to it, keeps cropping up. And if there is one thing I have learned in my 4 decades of existence, it is to listen when this happens. God speaks to us in countless ways and I, for one, am of the hard-headed, stubborn-minded variety; so I suspect that He hammers me with repetition when there is something He wants me to hear. But for the weeks that this verse has been a theme in my life, I have not been able to figure out why. Listening to a New Year-themed podcast this morning, I heard the idea of choosing a word for the year.

This is not a new idea to me but, truthfully, my mental capacities have not been functioning very well. I’ve felt lost. And for good reason, I suppose. One does not lose, in one fell swoop, one’s identity of 8 years without significant ramifications; but that stubborn brain of mine does not like to admit any sort of loss of control—this being no exception. I’ve attempted to function as if nothing is amiss; going about my routines as best as I can. But even those routines are not accessible in this present setting, as my husband and I are being treated to a beautiful holiday week with generous friends. It is a gift . . . and an unsettling reminder to me of my intense habit of clinging to routines—to my idea of whatever it is I feel I “need” in order to maintain some sense of normalcy.

But I digress. My writing has lost focus along with the rest of me; bear with me, readers, if you will.

What I was going to say is that a word for the year hit this morning. Gentle. Yes, that is it. After years of pushing myself, and of striving to be someone I think I should be, to find myself here, now, incapable of doing so anymore. How can I strive for anything when my livelihood, my home, my community, and my identity, have all been snatched away? I should clarify here that we are not, in any sense, destitute. But what we thought our path would look like this year is not at all what it is. We are having to reevaluate the defaults and, most likely, make some significant decisions in the near future. It’s not going to be fun.

So what I am feeling spoken into my fearful, feeble soul right now is, simply, gentle. I choose to claim this as a promise. Come what may in this new year, He is GENTLE and He will be gentle with me.


One Response to “gentle”

  1. Oh Anna, your heart is so beautiful, even in its struggle. And I’m so glad as God has prompted a word of gentle that He will reveal how gentle He is with you. And I look forward to knowing His gentleness more fully as you tell us about it. Interestingly, I think the Lord has led me to think of the word “gratitude” prompted by God’s goodness. I think we’ll both see His wooing hand upon us.

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