A New Word for a New Year

Free.

This is my word for this year. And this verse goes along with it:

At last we have freedom, for Christ has set us free! We must always cherish this truth[a] and firmly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past. – Galatians 5:1 (The Passion Translation)

And this song – I heard it on Heartland a while back and it stuck with me:

I love how the verse talks about freedom coming from Christ – like if we always take it back to Him, just Him, just His message, just trying to follow in His footsteps – this is where we find true freedom.

Freedom from our past, freedom from fear, freedom from the burdens we can often place on ourselves and others (even if most likely unintentionally).

The Passion Translation grabbed me, as I sifted through all the versions of this verse that BibleGateway.com had to offer. I love how it says “At last we have freedom” – like it was always coming, there was never a doubt, we just had to wait for its arrival. And “We must always cherish this truth” – like this is something not to be taken lightly, something hard-won, something special and sacred. Christ went to the cross for my freedom, and He talks about coming to give me full life (John 10:10) and it’s up to me to live it in all the wonderful and unique ways He made me to live it.

The song talks about life’s storms and living in the moments despite the confusion they bring. We all have dreams and we can “dare them to come true”, as the song says. The singer, Sarah MacDougall (who lives in Whitehorse currently), mentions wildflowers springing from cobblestones, reaching up and never letting go. For some reason I just love that image 🙂 There is beauty everywhere, if we just look for it. Sometimes it’s a stubborn beauty that is found in the difficult, hard-to-grow anything places – the kind of beauty that won’t be trampled or ignored and will, in fact, bless all those who take a moment to stop and notice.

Free.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic that seems to linger on and on and can certainly make it hard to find the beauty around us, or fuel the feeling of freedom, or encourage us to dream beyond just being able to see people’s faces without masks once again – it is so important to remember there is a full life to be lived. It may not look anything like what it did a couple of years ago, but it is there. “I don’t have any more waiting in me”, Sarah says. “Want to live every moment like I’m free.”

Yes.

Live in the moments. Even now. Be free.

Free to grow even in places and situations that would seem to make it impossible.

Always moving beyond the things that once hindered or discouraged or threatened.

Even in the storms that come.

Daring to dream, growing in hardship, holding tight to the freedom that comes in Christ.

May this year be such a blessing to you, no matter what comes, and may you feel the freedom of living a full life in harmony and peace with those around you, treasuring each one as the gift they are, and realizing the gift you are.

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