My One Word for 2013: Solitude

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves (Matt. 11:28-29).

It’s not a word that rolls easily off my tongue. But today, this first day of 2013, I’m sick in bed with strep, and the Holy Spirit has me paralyzed between my flannel sheets, forcing me to lie still and listen. Above the hiss of the duck-shaped humidifier, which my two-year-old son thinks is a potty, He rattles this word around in my head:


My mind drifts to the sermon yesterday morning, the one where our pastor asked, “What would your life look like in 2013 if you laid it all on the line for your faith?” He used lots of sports analogies, lots of running imagery, and I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. It was like a sermon on steroids for me, and immediately lists of resolutions began writing themselves on the sticky side of my brain:

Run more. Read my Bible every day. Drink more water. Eat less sugar. Juice more. Yell less. Reach out to the sick, the hungry, the poor. Foster healthy relationships. Distance the toxic ones. Write that novel.

I came home from church excited. Ready. Motivated.

And then I got sick, sidelining any plans I’d made for the upcoming year and sending me straight to bed.

All day in the cocoon of my covers, I sense the Holy Spirit inviting me into a season of solitude, and at first, I fight it like a fever. It seems more like an invitation to loneliness, isolation, anti-social behavior. I’m an extrovert, someone who likes to be active, involved, and around people. But that’s what’s gotten me here in the first place. I think that’s what went wrong in 2012. I filled my schedule too full, keeping myself busy to the point of exhaustion, and now it’s taken its toll.

So slowly He’s winning me over with this idea of silence and solitude, this discipline of spending time alone being refreshed and renewed, and I’m eager to reconnect with what’s most true and real about who I am and who God is in my life. But I know it won’t be easy. I know hard choices are ahead. But I also know I won’t really be alone; He’ll be with me. And I’m excited to see what my life will look like in 2013 as a result.

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)





  1. Let me know if you figure out how to slow down without feeling like your abandoning your responsibilities!

  2. Jesus needed time apart from the crowds. Why should we be any different? He wants to bless you, alone, individually, one on one. Allow Him to reveal to you how special He has created you and why. May 2013 be your best year ever! I love you Honey!

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