We are so thrilled to have Amy Bowman of New Nostalgia here today to share her “one word story” with you!
Every year I choose one word to keep close to my heart throughout the year. This year my word is ‘COMPLETE,’ and I literally keep it close to my heart by wearing it on a special necklace. I have a tradition of getting a one word necklace each year with my ‘word’ on it from our dear Krafty Kash, and it is always so special to me.
Let me tell you why I chose the word ‘COMPLETE.’
Almost 1 year ago I was at a retreat called Refresh My Heart that was put on here in Nebraska by my friend Lelia Chealey. I was looking forward to the retreat for so many reasons. My sweet pink sister Karen, whom I met through this blog, was coming all the way from California to be with me and attend the retreat. She was there to support, for I was speaking on “How To Fully Live While Facing Death.” I am a two-time cancer survivor, one whose chances of living a long life have been cut short by cancer.
Living fully is something I talk about often on my blog. I am determined to do just that with the time I have left on this earth, but I must say life has a way of challenging that. Through the challenges of the last year – many of them having to do with ongoing side effects from cancer medications I take for protection – I have learned that living fully does not mean performing perfectly or responding perfectly to all life brings.
I don’t believe that God expects perfection, for only He is. God just expects us to trust Him, and have faith that He’s got us, and holds it all together.
This little lesson came about so clearly and in such a precious way at the above Refresh My Heart retreat I talked about before.
When we arrived to the conference, at the sign in table there were tiny little boxes that had each of our names on them. We were to carry them with us and NOT to open them until we were told. The anticipation was super fun and I wondered what was in the box. During one of the sessions, we were told it was finally time to open our boxes, and inside every woman received a heart with a word on it. We were told the words were prayed over, that the exact word would be given to the exact women who needed it. What a gift! I heard women ‘oooing’ and ‘ahhhing’ over their words before I was even able to get mine open, and when I finally did, the word ‘COMPLETE’ was staring at me.
I felt a puzzled calm come over me, which was interesting as ‘CALM’ was my word for the year before. You would think that I had learned to be still and rest during that year, and I had in many ways, but something still needed my attention. God got my attention through my new word.
As I have pondered my word, ‘COMPLETE’ it has become an even more restful word than ‘CALM.’
COMPLETE is a precious word for someone who at times can feel so incomplete. Life and breast cancer can do that to you. Cancer takes so much from a person, both tangible and intangible. For me cancer and the medications I take has taken much from me –parts of my body, my hair, emotional stability.
I know I am complete, fully known & fully loved by my Creator because He says so, and that gives a super natural calm and stillness that I am so very thankful for in challenging times.
Complete. Lacking nothing. In God I have been made right and new and whole. I can rest assured that God has got me, will never leave me, will finish the work He started in me, and my striving for perfection can cease.
Does this mean I have conquered perfection? No. I’m still a mess in this messy world. But boy, have I made strides. Wearing the word ‘COMPLETE’ around my neck reminds me that the God of the Universe thinks I’m complete and pretty neat.
Knowing this changes me. I am changing. I am changed.
God’s love is enough.
He makes me complete.
What about you?
Did you choose a one-word this year? It is not too late. Join me. Choose a word that is special to you, order a necklace, keep your word close to your heart & see how this small yearly tradition can change you, too.
Amy Bowman is a wife, mother, blogger, 2-time cancer survivor, hair stylist, homemaker, lover of beauty, & lover of God.
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