Each year, I prayerfully choose a guiding word for the new year. And at the end of each year I like to reflect back on how that “one word” has fleshed itself out in my life. It’s neat to see how even though I chose the word, in all actuality that word chose me. Not sure if that makes sense…
I had the privilege this past fall of being on the launch team for Ann Voskamp’s latest book, The Broken Way. Ya’ll, this book is powerful! It’s one of those books that I will read again and again and that says a lot coming from someone who doesn’t really care to watch movies or read books more than once. I am not going to spoil the book for you, because I want everyone to go get a copy and read it for themselves. But as I was thinking about my one word for the year this word that she talks about in her book, cruciform, kept coming to my mind. Now if I am honest, I asked God several times, “Are you sure this is my one word for the year, cruciform? It seems scary, risky, and something I’m not sure I have the guts for.” I kept coming back to this word though…
“People who love the Cross are people who will die to things they love. To carry a cross means you come to an intersection, and you choose Him and never look back. To become cross- centered, cross-shaped means, choosing Christ in the midst of everything else, may mean losing everything else. But gaining everything that lasts forever. Spiritual formation is ultimately cruciformation. And this cultural moment is begging for a new way, a different way, a broken way of living broken and given like bread into a starving world. Reformation and transformation happens in places where there is cruciformation. Cruciformation–it’s a scientific definition, a term in molecular biology referring to the transformation from lineform DNA to cruciform (cross-shaped) DNA. And this cultural moment is begging the DNA of all things to transform from a linear worldview, from a flat-line view of the world, to a cross-shaped view of everything. From flat screens, from flat faith, from flat-line living–to cross-shaped choosing, cross-shaped living, to cruciformation. The way a life transforms is to become cruciform.” -Ann Voskamp
And after reading that, I knew that was my one word for 2017. In order for me to go to that next level, for me to go deeper in my faith, in my trust and in my walk with Christ there are many things that I need to die to and let go of. I am fully aware that this isn’t going to be easy or feel good. Heck, I may even toss this word out halfway through the year for an easier one…#justbeinghonest.
For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I have found myself with dreams/goals, passions and desires. Not that I didn’t have those things before, but I am just more sure of them now. And to be honest, I am not sure if it comes from age/maturity or just becoming more comfortable and a live in my own skin. But in order to see these things come to fruition there are a lot of things I must let go of, because truly I want the transformation and reformation that comes from a life lived cruciform, lived broken and given.
Not only that, but this dying to myself and letting go of things will make me a better wife, mother, leader, and friend.
“Self-denial is ultimately the way to self-fulfillment. We deny ourselves to follow Jesus. We deny ourselves to serve our neighbor. We deny ourselves to find ourselves. In denying-there is finding. This is a hard thing. This is a holy thing. This is the thing that will make you whole. It will hurt. It will be like becoming real…When we live cruciform–we form our lives into containers that can be fulfilled–filled with meaningfulness. Purpose. Kindness.” -Ann Voskamp
That’s what I want. That’s what I need. Cruciform.