My word for 2008 was become. Really this could be a word for this life and the life beyond this one, so I could easily go without ever picking another word on which to focus my personal development, because in reality, becoming is the whole point of our existence. However, I do better with some change in focus, and I'm more motivated to keep working when my focus slightly changes. (My 2009 word I think falls in line with the tenor of my 2008 word, but that will wait for another post.)
I loved this focus. I loved altering my perspective to encompass my potential rather than what I am. I grew closer to my Father in Heaven when I remembered who I am destined to become--viewing life through this lens altered how I saw myself, how I saw others, my decisions, my mentality, my reactions.
I better realize that becoming requires an eternal perspective, especially given that in this life we won't ever be what we're ultimately supposed to be in the eternities. When it comes down to it, God only cares about who I am--not about the mistakes I make. Of course I can't become who He wants me to be by making poor choices, but those choices are only a means to what our Father really cares about--who we are in the end.
I've made the conscious decision to live in such a way that I like myself. I want to love the person I am and so consequently strive to act accordingly. I'm definitely not saying that I've succeeded 100 percent in these efforts, but by being at least aware of this desire, I feel that I can eventually reach that place.
I've seen that when my primary goal is to become more like my Savior and when I surrender my will to my Father's, God empowers me. I had a significant experience this year where I realized that I am much more on my way to becoming than I thought I was. In said experience, my most important concern was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. This trial drew on for months, and despite the pain involved, I came out victorious, realizing that my primary concern of acting in according with Heavenly Father's will made me become more of the person I want to be, without me even recognizing it at the time. With that desire, I am changed even when I don't see it immediately.
This was a remarkable year for me. I've had several life-changing experiences, and I've learned so much in my relationships with family, friends, boys, and most importantly, my Father in Heaven. I come out of 2008 so much more aware of people and how we can be instruments in God's hands, helping others become in our own becoming journeys.
I've tried to see each of my experiences as a chance to become. This mortal life is the only one we have, and we are meant to have joy; the best (and really only) way to that joy is through becoming like our Heavenly Father. None of my experiences have to be pointless--I can learn something in everything. I've realized that becoming is so much more than I ever thought it was. This really could be a lifelong word, and I'm hoping that my subsequent annual words can build on and tie into each other.
I love my life. I love who I'm becoming. I love the person Heavenly Father sees in me, even though I don't always see her.