Reflecting on keywords for 2023 that I want to prioritize or carry out with more courage, focus and intention, I ended up with some seemingly disconnected expressions that nevertheless felt like a coherent whole to me (verse one). My attempt to find words that connect the ideas produced this little piece of poetry.

If I get around to it, I will share in more depth what some of the expressions mean to me. For now, here some first thoughts to explain a few of the lines.

*Presence, embrace* 💝
These words encompass a range of symbolic associations. But first and foremost, I am referring to the literal meanings…

*Mary’s Song (Mary’s Magnificat)* 💫
Reflecting upon the Christmas story, I often focused on the hardships that being the mother of Jesus caused for Mary – which were clearly there and very real, yet obviously, Mary did not get lost in them, but rather, the specialness and wonder of her role, of what God was doing with her and in her, seem to have been most meaningful to her. She rejoiced in this situation! She felt blessed and perceived it as a privilege. This suddenly occurred to me when I read the passage in Luke 1 a few days ago, and has challenged me to approach demanding situations in a corresponding manner.

*Arise* 🙋
I have often been perceived as someone who will fight against lies, against fear; fight for healing, for my own and others’ true identities, and so on. This is completely accurate – I dare to say that I always have been and always will be willing to fight these fights when necessary. Still, there is a point when I get tired of fighting and have to very consciously remind myself that this is what I do and who I am. That there are times to rest, but then to get up and press on.
Reminded of 1 Kings 19, a Bible passage reiterating that an angel said to the prophet Elijah in the desert, “Get up and eat.”

*Bow and arrow* 🏹
A symbol for the sense of resolve, determination, purpose and focus I want to have.

*Approach – let go* 👋🏻
Yes, these two belong together, as letting go of things that eventually pull me and others down means facing the fear and sense of loss that often come with or even before the relief and freedom.

*Stand rooted, in His call* 🌳
Perhaps it’s self-evident – that the resolve and persistence, the courage and the vulnerability (that enables closeness) that I want to demonstrate shall grow out of my connection to and faith in the triune God – my Lord, Creator, Helper and Savior.

Graphics with text designed with https://www.canva.com/ 

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