Every year I choose a word for the next year, rather than a resolution. I choose a word I want to adopt and explore in the coming year… I started this tradition following someone I still consider a mentor, the fabulous Lola Akinmade Åkerström. 

Every word I choose is one I want to foster in my life. Last year I chose the word ‘released‘. I had felt strongly that I was being called into something new, that I would be entering a new phase of my life. I wasn’t really sure at the time what this might mean. I wasn’t wrong! 2019 has been a year of new starts. A new home in Benfleet, Essex for my husband and I. The first place I have ever lived as an adult that immediately felt like home. Perhaps the biggest changes have been in my professional life, or in terms of my ‘life calling’:

– I started doing spoken word poetry live and sharing my writing. This has been really nerve-wracking but also freeing (releasing!). My poetry has drawn on some of the worst moments in my life and I have been blessed to find a way to share that and help others.

– I left my wonderful job with All We Can. Not because I was dissatisfied, but because it was time. Time for new things. I now have the utter privilege to serve The Elders as Communications Advisor. My main duty is looking at how we communicate the climate crisis. This feels like a huge weight at times (because in spite of the wonderful Greta Thunberg and others like her the world is not awake enough, change is not happening fast enough). This also feels like what I was meant for!

In my personal life the biggest ‘release’ has been the quiet release of making peace with some of what I am, my flaws. But also trusting in God to make the most of me anyway.

This year I choose the word: Align

Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

I am not sure I am in alignment yet with God’s plans, but I do know God is moving me so things line up! For the first time I suspect my 2020 word is really a continuation of my 2019 one. And it comes with the need to continue to change.

I had a conversation with one of my bosses recently, a few weeks ago. She, as an elder (and an Elder), has decided to commit what time she has left to hope. She looks at the planet as it is, she said she sometimes thinks we humans have left it all (the climate crisis) too late, but that she wants to know she tried. I want to know I tried too. And I also have a faith that tells me in God the possible can be made possible. Joy can come out of the darkest situations.

So I am ready to be moved further into alignment. I am ready to be bent and moulded and shaped so that I fit what needs to be done. Last time I made my word of the year a wish to be used by God it was painful. But I don’t regret it. I ask again now – use me God in 2020 to serve the poorest and most marginalised. Bring me into alignment.

I wish you all a peaceful and joyful 2020. Together, when we work together, this is a world worth loving.