Monday, February 6, 2012

Best Friend in 2012

Now that it’s February, have you forgotten your New Year's Resolutions? Did you set any goals in January?  I don’t like New Year’s resolutions, but I’m intrigued by an idea I got from several fellow bloggers: choosing a WORD for the year, a word that encapsulates your hopes for 2012. Different friends chose words like Rest, Communion, Peace, and Surrender. 

I chose the word FELLOWSHIP for 2012.  This year I want more than ever to cultivate close fellowship with Jesus.

One reality of life as a cross-cultural servant can be loneliness. 
You’ve left your loved ones back home.  You sometimes struggle with feeling out of place in your new country.  It takes time to build friendships, both with nationals and with other cross-cultural workers, who often seem to come and go anyway. Do you ever feel this way?

Last summer I felt like I didn’t have a friend left in the world.  One of my closest friends, whose children grew up with mine, left Turkey for good.  Two other close friends left for summer furloughs and my Turkish sister left for a 6 week trip trip.  As I drove back from dropping Bahar at the airport, another friend came to mind, and I thought, “Maybe this summer I can spend more time with Carol.” But a few days later, Carol’s visa was cancelled unexpectedly, and she and her family had to leave for 6 months!

I said, "Okay Lord, what are you trying to tell me?" And I sensed Jesus reminding me that He is my dearest, most faithful friend, even in moments when others just can’t be there. Amazingly I ended up having the most encouraging and relaxing summer that I’d had in a long time.  I experienced God’s provision in wonderful ways.  (Talking on skype every week with Bahar was one example!)

So my word for this year is fellowship.  
want to know Jesus more intimately.  I want to walk with Him day by day, telling Him what’s on my mind and heart, telling Him my worries, doubts and fears, just like I do with close friends.  It’s so easy to wonder off and forget Him, but He’s always there waiting for me when I return.  

I remember Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, “that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” (The Message, Ephesians 3:17) I want to open the door of my heart every day and say, “Come in!”

So did any of you choose words for the year 2012?  What are they?


Paula Greene said...

I had not thought about my word for the year until I read this post, but upon reflection, I think my word is HOPE. “Hope believes that God is not done. Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not the feeling we will have. That is, hope is the (up) feeling we have that the (down) feeling we have is not permanent.“ Thanks for this idea!

Linda said...

Fellowship. That's lovely, and it implies so much depth. I have a feeling your year of focusing on fellowship with the Lord is going to bring blessings that you can't even imagine right now. How exciting!

Bless you,

OliveTree said...

HOPE is a word full of promise, Paula. Romans 15:13 is one of my favorite verses.

Thank you, Linda. That's what I want.

Alida said...

I can totally relate to the feelings you shared. Just a few months back I joined a newly formed Bible study group and am finally getting the Fellowship I need. My word is Surrender and one of the things I am surrendering to is the fact that I need fellowship in my life.

Blessings to you!

momto8 said...

I remember when I felt alone .. I prayed for someone to come into my life and just "help me on my path".. and that happened....and when I told her she was an answer to my prayers she got embarrassed and laughed! we are still very good friends....
Keep the faith!!

OliveTree said...

Friends and fellowship are a lifeline, I agree. I'm so thankful for mine. (After last summer, all of them returned!)

Shanda said...

That is a beautiful word and aim. I pray God sends another friend to replace the one who left. I remember my mom always prayed I would have one Christian friend at each placed I lived. God provided and always an English speaker and a fellow expat. Praying over your heart today.