Last year, it seemed so clear to me what I wanted my word of the year to be, I mean, Abide seems like a pretty great thing to pursue and it's a word that I always felt a connection to. This year though, I had no idea what word to choose, so I prayed about it. It was then that the word retreat popped into my head, seemingly out of nowhere. With this came instant confusion, certainly God was not calling me to focus on a word that implies quitting, or getting away. I felt like I was trying to pursue the opposite of these things, so why would He give me that word. So like anyone would, I googled, and I mean I googled hard. Going deep into the word, searching it's meanings, It was only then that it dawned on me that retreat was actually the perfect word that God had given to me.
What struck me was the "act of moving back or withdrawing". One of my goals for the year had been to move away from things that were unhealthy for me, and to move towards things that were good for me. To make healthy choices for myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I wanted to retreat into God, and away from things that were pulling me down, keeping me from my best and most healthy self.
After talking to a friend about my word for the year, He also pointed out the fact that when an army withdraws, it is not quitting, it is simply pulling back. Pulling back to look at the problems, rest, and gather what they will need to go back into battle, I think we all could use a little of that in our lives don't you think. To step back after a defeat, rest in God, and gather up the things we will need to go back into the battle. If you look at the definition, it is a withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat. When the evil of this world gets to be too much, rest in God. When this world beats you down, and you face a defeat, rest in God. It is such a beautiful attitude to have looking into this new year. A withdraw isn't giving up, a withdraw is recognizing that if I keep going like this, I am going to lose. Without Him, I will lose. In life, doing this is an act of total surrender. To look at the strength of the enemy and recognize your weakness, your 'not-enoughness'. We can rest in this weakness, because where we are weak He is strong, and there is nothing more comforting or energizing than that.