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  • Writer's pictureHeather Simmons


I celebrate my New Year in October. I've experienced too many life-changing events (both awful and wonderful) that have forced me to reexamine life's trajectory during this month, that to just sit around and wait for January 1st to make resolutions seemed silly and ill-timed. During college, I finally decided to just get ahead of the circumstances and make October 1st my very own New Year's Day. Almost 10 years later, I still use the month of September to shake off the old season and prepare my heart for the next.

It's appropriate that September is the end of summer. The heat is exhausting and frankly I'm over it. The pool is nice and all, but give me sweater weather (please read this in your best SNL "sweatah weatha" voice). October is a month of harvest that ushers in a physical metamorphosis of the Earth that is completely visible to us. Doesn't it blow your mind to watch the Earth change at such a rapid pace? I want my intentions and vision to refocus and alter as permanently as the changing leaves, so this is when I intentionally seek the Lord for a word.

I do lots of meditation and take solitary walks on Jemison Trail. I open my heart to the Lord and ask Him to decide my path and to help me keep "me" out of it. After a long while (read: weeks of consistent prayer) the Lord gives me a word. One word that I cling to for the next 365 days. In 2012 the word was fortitude. I needed a lot of it that year: I quit my job and started Tallulah, completed two runway shows in New Orleans, and lived the life of a starving artist. Fortitude was also the word in 2013 and 2014-- imagine that. In 2015 He gave me a new word and I was thrilled. Joy. Joy was my new shiny word!

Now I don't know about your relationship with God, but He can be a bit sassy with me at times. Here I was thinking that joy meant an easy plateau, a season that wouldn't be so HARD, a time of happy rest. Lord knows I needed it. But if you've read any of my posts since April, you'll know that life has been anything but easy this year. Life has been peppered with major inconveniences in which I had to find joy despite the circumstances -- which was His ironic point of course. Sassy, I'm telling you. This September I told Him I wouldn't put up with any more of His tomfoolery and that I expected a word devoid of innuendo and double entendres. And it sure better not be "patience" or some other refining word like that.

He's been gracious to me this year and given me one deeply satisfying noun. My word for this year is revival.

Revival: "A restoration to bodily or mental vigor, to life or consciousness, or to sporting success." THIS is the breath of life I need. This is the restorative word my soul has been aching for, the balm my heart needs. I've spent the entire month of October preparing the way for this word, sorting through life and belongings and majorly purging everything. I'm in desperate need of transformation in all the corners of my life.

If you need a movement to join, a team to be a part of, an idea with which to align yourself, join me in revival. Let's revive our own hearts to vigor and experience sporting success. Let's lay the groundwork for new breath and new beginnings. Then let's revive the world.

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