2018 In One Word: Rooted
Roots in my heart, wings on my back.
With the year drawing to a close, we all tend to reflect on everything we wanted to do, everything we were believing for, everything we didn’t actually do, all of it. That, I think is the hardest part; those “should haves.” We get up the nerve every year to believe God for something specific, a word for the year if you will, and we hold onto it, waiting for God to show up. The thing is, we always tend to choose these specific ways we believe this word will come to pass or how God will show up, or blah, blah, blah, but that’s usually never the case. Usually our word manifests how we’d least expect it. I remember, about 2 years ago, I felt like the word “Favor” was being spoken over me--I thought that meant I was going to have the best year ever experiencing more favor than I could ever imagine, that’s not what happened. It turned out to be one of the most difficult years I’d had in my short life of then, 24 years.
The favor didn’t show up how I wanted, but after I started to reflect on it, the favor showed up in tiny little instances that I otherwise overlooked. That’s our human nature, “It’s my way or the highway.” God tends to see it another, better way... His way.
This year, I was believing God for the word “Rooted.” The funny thing is, my life has looked, from the outside looking in, far from rooted. Last year, my best friend of a long time decided she didn’t need me in her life anymore. I left my home church to find a new church with my then boyfriend, now husband. I quit my job on a prompting from the Lord. I got married and simultaneously moved halfway across the country where I basically had no community to a small town with hardly any people in my life season, or age bracket. You guys, that doesn’t sound like “rooted” to me. It sounds like a crazy, chaotic, hot mess. That’s just it thought, I think the craziness really helps us focus in on exactly what we’re looking for. It forces us to stop and think, to really consider all the possibilities.
Honestly though, I don’t think I even started to realize what I was actually learning about the word rooted. Often I think we often associate that word with being stationary or grounded in a community somewhere--Again, stationary. That’s not always the case though. Sometimes rooted looks like an internal process rather than an external one. My personal mission statement for years had always been “Wings on my back, roots in my heart.” I used to say this to every Bumble and Tinder date I ever had because I thought it made me sound cool, like I was traveler, like wanderlust filled my veins. Can someone say “LOL?” Now I’m starting to realize the truth and honesty in that self-proclaimed mission statement. God has been showing me that, that is where He is rooting me, in my heart. My life changed drastically, you could say I was “up-rooted,” but my roots feel stronger than ever.
Through the changes, I’ve seen God show up in greater ways than ever before. In the past, it would become difficult for me to stand in the truth of who He is, but trough this season of physical and emotional up-rooting, I feel more spiritually rooted than ever.
Ok so, maybe I should define the word rooted, because honestly, that always helps me; If I know the true meaning of a word. According to the dictionary, rooted is defined as: “Firmly implanted.” When standardly thinking about being rooted, we usually associate it with trees and plants, because they have a root system and they are deeply planted in the ground, in fact, they cannot survive without a strong and sturdy root system that goes deep beneath the ground. With all of that context, read this verse:
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
That is exactly what I’ve come to learn about being rooted. Sure, in the standard context of the word, my life looks like a tumbleweed, just floating around with any wind gust that comes its way, but in all reality, my life is like a tree, planted. The tree living in my soul is planted near a life giving stream. My roots in the truth run deep. Today, as I reflect on these roots, I’m reminded of God’s goodness and how He loves to run the opposite direction of the obvious. In this paradox is where I learned it’s ok to simply have wings on your back and roots in your heart. Those roots in your heart are the most important anyway.