Reflections on 2023

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Personal journal entry, January 3rd, 2023: “Solivitur Ambulando — A Latin phrase often attributed to Saint Augustine meaning, ‘It is solved by walking.'”

I had forgotten about my first scribbled words at the beginning of the year, but as I reread them, I realized their significance. My recent journey around the sun was all about “walking out” truth and laying down things that were factual (true) but not truth.

During the spring semester, the Father continually emphasized my attitude. Sometimes, this was through piercing my soul with His Word and sometimes through the words of others. One of my prayer group members grappled weekly with the same idea as she walked out days filled with her husband’s cancer. “I continually ask myself, ‘Did you have a bad day, or did you have a bad 15 minutes?'” she said.

This question resonated with me as well. Was I allowing a phone call or a run-in at the grocer to ruin my day? What was my attitude?

As I searched for answers, I found the Oxford English Dictionary defined attitude as a ‘settled way of thinking or feeling.’ Other dictionaries added an interpersonal layer by stating attitude was ‘typically reflected in a person’s behavior.’ Some types of attitude are freeing, but others merely reveal that you are stuck. I realized I was in the latter.

Over the summer, I began to desire a renewed focus. As I stepped away from several activities, I had the time to consider the next steps prayerfully. How do I move forward? What changes need to happen within me? What am I missing?

Although I’d come to believe that there is indeed “nothing new under the sun,” a respected friend mentioned a podcast by a refreshing speaker named Jamie Winship. If you know me, you know that my favorite authors are from the distant past. Some have even suggested that I only “read the dead guys.” Yet, as I listened to this recorded interview, I was intrigued to learn more.

Soon, both our prayer group and family were grappling with new questions on our lives. “What name does God have for you?” and “What does it mean to experience the Kingdom of God?” We stopped telling God what to do and began asking Him more questions. “What do you want me to know about this? What do You see that I cannot see about this situation? Where am I believing a lie in this situation?”

Almost immediately, the Father revealed a three-year grudge within me. Conventional methods of “forgiveness” hadn’t helped resolution, and I felt immobilized with how to move forward. Instead of rehashing all the wounds to Him, as I had done many times before, I asked, “What do you want me to know about how to forgive? What needs to change?”

I felt prompted to set aside time to address the hurt before Him once again. This time, after each recollection, I said, “I forgive and lay down this pain. I want to walk away from this, disallowing the evil done to me to continue its hold. I claim Your blood over any areas I have a hard time ignoring. I’m tired of living like this. Search me and point out all areas of unforgiveness.”

Almost immediately, I began thinking about the situation less and less each day. When it did resurface, I simply prayed, “This is Your responsibility now, Lord. It’s not my problem, but Yours.” In my journal from 2000, I had written, “All debt is payable to God (Romans 8:33-34). If He has canceled the debt, then there is no higher authority to demand the debt.” I was ready to accept God’s debt evaluation and move on.

I am still in the process of walking this out. But as I do so, the walking becomes easier as I visualize Him at my side. I ask, “Where are we going today, and what do You want me to know about this?” As often as I remember, I check in with Him again and seek to do what He told me last. “Solivitur Ambulando.” In doing so, I find that I am content and (mostly) happy.

May you find 2024 solved by the walking.