For me, 2019 brought nearly every major life change a person can encounter condensed into a short amount of time. We moved, bought a house, my husband began his first call, we had a baby. In the midst of those big things, I was surviving by abiding. I was learning what it meant to abide in Jesus when I felt as if I couldn’t string two coherent thoughts together at any given moment. I was learning to accept and extend more grace for myself than I ever thought possible. It was Gospel living at its most extreme. Now, we are done moving, the baby is six months old somehow, and we are settling into a new routine. It’s good. This new routine brings with it some breathing room, some space to not just survive but to strive.
New Year, New Focus
I often choose a word to help guide my year and point me to Jesus. Some years, choosing a word is more challenging than others. This year, the word came easily, though it surprised me a bit. My word for 2020 is faithful.
This word came to me in a gavel-pounding, Law-heavy moment. A moment where I realized it was time to move from survival to living. I needed to recognize where I had been and look forward to what was coming next. In that moment, the questions were, “Now what? What does it look like to be faithful this year in this place in this season of life in the vocations God has given me?”
Faithful to My Vocations
As an adjective, faithful means “loyal, constant, steadfast.” But the definition of vocation is a bit more slippery. We use it today to mean our job or something we are naturally inclined toward. Martin Luther viewed vocation as much more. Luther called vocations “masks of God.” My vocations as wife, mother, neighbor, friend, church member, and writer are all opportunities for God to make Himself known. Author and theologian Gene Edward Veith says it this way: “God is hidden in human vocations.” All of these definitions left me with one question, “Was I being faithful to my current vocations?” To some of them, the answer was yes and to some, no. So then, what does it look like to be faithful this year in this place in this season of life in the vocations God has given me? The answer is truly a moving target, and I am sure I will come back to this question repeatedly as the year progresses. It will help me recognize the moments where I have failed, in large and small ways. It will move me to repentance and correction. Ultimately, this question will point me to Jesus.
Faithful in Law and Gospel
The word faithful has convicted me and produced a new-formed gratitude for the Law. The Law is Jesus’, and it is very good. The Law reminds me that on my own, my natural tendencies are not toward patience or kindness or faithfulness. It reminds me that I can be a mask of God only through the saving work of Jesus Christ. And so, this word faithful becomes a beautiful cycle of Law and Gospel, pushing me to repentance, gratitude, and reliance. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:11–12: “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.”
So here I am, walking headfirst into 2020, hanging on to both the Law and the Gospel. I am constantly asking myself, “Now what?” as a way to remain faithful to my current vocations. Meanwhile, I am repeating and rejoicing in the truth of 2 Timothy: when I am faithless, He will remain faithful.
Wonder how God is working is plan through you and your vocations? Still trying to discover God’s vocations for you? Discover your answers with Wherever Love May Lead.