Sorry, Shelly

I told Shelly that I wasn’t choosing a word for the year. That I never had. That I never would.

Part of it is simple rebellion. I get sort of sick to my stomach when I see people choosing words like “love” and “hope.” It makes me want to choose some other word with four letters to mark the year.

Another part is what I wrote to Shelly, that each year usually starts with one simple cry, albeit in different circumstances: How long, O Lord?

But during the last week of 2012, we went to Colorado, meaning I went hiking in the snow, meaning I had a revelation, as always happens when I hike in the snow.

Here’s what happened. I got on the wrong trail with the wrong equipment. I was wearing hiking boots and microspikes and was supposed to stay on the snowshoe trails. I’d never done those trails in that particular area, so I got turned around and walked on the cross-country ski trails instead. Well, I got busted.

Mr. Nordic Man was very polite, but he firmly redirected me to the proper trail. I knew sort-of-kind-of how to get back to my cabin, but it was longer and uphill. I was mad.

That’s when it hit me: You are no longer in charge.

I could have chosen to ignore this bit of revelation, since it’s a phrase and not a nice, neat word. But, oh, it fits. It fits like that damn slipper on Cinderella’s foot.

The worst part is that I didn’t realize I was in charge at all. Apparently I had great power and great responsibility and let it slip away, like the snow that’s now 1,000 miles away.

So Shelly, that’s my word (my six words) for the year. It’s not all bad news. Whatever happens in 2013, it’s not my fault. I’m no longer in charge.


  1. Oh my goodness, you make me laugh Megan. And you don’t need to apologize for that kind of epiphany. We are never really in charge, even when we think we are. Right? 😉

  2. LOVED this, Megan!! You had me laughing and then landed on such a profound revelation. Step into it, friend!

  3. This. Is. Deep.

  4. Ah yes. The things we find when we are looking for something else.

    Lovely post.

  5. hisfirefly says

    and I can hear God snickering softly and ever so lovingly in reply – “you never really were, you know”

  6. I love this so much. And I cannot think of a better phrase for just about all of life, actually. And there are these times – like the Nordic trail guide (fie on his type!!) – when it literally hits us in the face: we are not in charge. We are far more frail than we know and try as we might, we cannot control outcomes to anything that really matters. Except. To put one foot in front of the other and try to listen. Thanks for this.

  7. I like the word, snort.
    Though, need a new word each day. One per year just doesn’t cut it.

  8. See? This is why I love you so much. Well..of course this isn’t the only reason. But, it’s part of the reason I love you so much. 🙂

  9. I have issues with this word choosing too, Megan. But God did speak one to me that first week, only I don’t feel like sharing it. Mostly because I don’t know what it means and I don’t have a lot of smart goals to say about it. But your six words? I have to let those name me over and over, it seems. I’m a slow learner.

    • This is wise, I think: “God did speak one to me that first week, only I don’t feel like sharing it. Mostly because I don’t know what it means…”

  10. You are so funny. And right.

  11. Megan – This is one of your best posts. Seriously. It gets right to the point, in no uncertain terms. So here’s a couple things:
    I too often have revelations on hikes. Usually similar sorts of messages.
    I don’t have a word for the year, either. But I did get a couple of ‘words’ that came out of left field at a particular time that I will for a period of time claim came from God. The first one was this:
    “Just keep going.”
    No promise, no solution, no clarity. Just keep getting up every day and going about my business.
    A few weeks later, in the fray of wrestling with questions about direction on a certain issue, came this terse message:
    “Don’t do anything.”
    And I’m like, “yeah. That sounds right.”
    Both of these echo your revelation. I am not in charge.
    I am considering doing a blog post on this, mostly for my own spiritual processing of it. You can take credit, though.

  12. I’ve had some nordic experiences. And I really like the How long, O Lord?

  13. I kinda had a revelation this year. I can’t explain it this good, but I feel like God gave me a word for the new year.

    Be still and know that I am God.

    That’s it. Now, let’s see if I can follow.

    BTW, my other revelation for the new year is tea. Lots of it.

  14. What is this word of the year business? There are so many words in our language I can’t imagine choosing just one. I can hear your voice in this writing, Megan. Thinking of you. xoxo

  15. This made me laugh. It’s so you.