Trust (my word for 2013)


TrustMy word for the year is trust. I discerned this word from an online retreat offered by Christine Valters Paintner on her Abbey of the Arts website.

Christine traces this relatively new practice to the desert Mothers (ammas) and Fathers (abbas) of the third through sixth centuries. She writes: “Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word—this word of phrase would be something on which to ponder for many days, weeks, months, sometimes a whole lifetime.”

Christine invited us to seek and discern a possible word for the next year as “something to nourish you, challenge you, a word to wrestle with and grow into.”

As I began pondering this (and it was a “pondering” rather than “thinking”) I originally settled on “deeper” as in, to live my life more deeply, to do deeper in prayer, etc. But it didn’t quite feel right. So I pondered some more. One night, as I was drifting toward sleep the word “trust” came to me. And I intuitively knew that “trust” is my word for 2013.

I held onto this for a few days and when I had a chance, I looked up “trust” in the dictionary. Here are a few definitions that resonated the most for me:

*reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence
*to rely on or depend on
*to believe
*Syn: certainty, belief, faith, assurance, confidence imply a feeling of security.
*”Trust implies instinctive unquestioning belief in and reliance upon something. Confidence implies conscious trust because of good reasons, definite evidence, or past experience. Assurance implies absolute confidence and certainty; commitment, commission, credit; entrust.” (my emphasis)

Then I made a list of what I want to trust and my list surprised me—essentially I want to trust God and I want to trust myself. I was/am surprised by how fundamental my desire is—the stuff of life, really. Here are a few:
*I want to trust that God does love me;
*I want to trust in God’s goodness and generosity;
*I want to trust that God is with me on my life journey;
*I want to trust that God is on my side;
*I want to trust that I can trust myself;
*I want to trust that I can live without fear and shame;
*I want to trust that I will honor myself—my dreams, hopes, desires, and plans;
*I want to trust that God is interested in my dreams, hopes, desires, and plans.

Notes on trust

I illustrated the word visually, as seen in the photo above. I also wrote an acrostic poem which is where the word is written vertically on a page and then use the letter to form the first letter of each line. Here is my attempt:
Trembling I grasp hold of I know not what
Releasing what I need to leave behind, what I have gripped onto for too long
Understanding that releasing is the way
Sustaining me as I move toward the invitation
Trembling with anticipation for what will come, what will be.

I am both curious and excited to see how I will live into “trust” this new year!
What about you? Do you have a word for the year?

3 thoughts on “Trust (my word for 2013)

  1. Hi June,
    I started the link you shared for the Epiphany retreat on Christine’s site. I’ve been dwelling on the word humility, trying to rest in God, and let my shortcomings be okay…. not easy, but it is reminding me of my dependency on God.

  2. I like your word for the year. The song”Trust & Obey” came to mind right away. I sing or have it flow through my mind on a regular bases. Perhaps because I need to be reminded often. I think of how totally Alice trusts me and her parents, and realize the responsibility of that trust. My prayer is to never cause that trust to be weakened.
    I have not considered having a word for a day/month/or year. I too shall ponder on that and let you know what I come up with.

  3. June, the last several years I’ve had a word emerge as a focus for a couple years, then shift to another. The first one was Joy (and I was surprised at how often I saw joy, take delight, etc in scripture passages). The last couple of years it has been Grace (emerging first as a focus word for centering prayer and then broadening into a word I wanted to better understand at heart level). Last year it wasn’t a word so much as the concept of Light. With the Leader Advent materials, I was wondering if it might be shifting to Mercy (what all does that encompass at heart/soul level?), but it hasn’t quite settled yet. Trust is another that keeps coming up as an invitation for me and others, especially in gestalt pastoral care faith imagination settings — good to see how it is flowering in your work with it. Something to continue pondering…

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