So I have got to ask, how many of you have a “word of the year”?
I must confess - I used to think that whole thing was hokey. A cliche. Just a trend.
I mean, what’s the point? A word? To characterize your year? To sum up the next 365 days? Insert eyeroll here. Like that couldn’t be meaningful at all, right?
Well … a few Christmases ago in 2016 I got hit in the gut. Not literally, but man did it almost bowl me over. A word. A word for the upcoming year.
Could it be? Could I be turning into one of those people? A person with a word?
Yup. It happened.
But here’s something that I have discovered - or experienced - in having a word of the year. It can be dang meaningful. And it can help keep you centred and focused when life wants to take you off track.
Hear me on this though. It’s not about picking a feel good word. Just because it feels good.
It’s about taking time to really connect with your heart. With your soul. Or for me - really waiting on God for his PROMISE. Because that’s what my word represents to me - His promise to me.
Can I take a moment to share with you how exactly that’s manifested in my life? Well, it's my blog so I guess the answer is yes hahaha!
In that hit-me-in-the-gut moment in 2016 I was given the word JOY. Yes. Given. And I consider it one of my best Christmas gifts that year.
But man, was I naive.
I thought having JOY as my word meant I was in for a rocking 2017! Look out world, because everything's coming up roses for me.
The first week of 2017 saw Terry lose his job in a company wide layoff. And he remained unemployed for all of 2017.
Hmmmm. Joy? Are you sure God?
The summer of 2017 saw me sustain a life altering head trauma.
Joy? Had I heard him right?
But yes. JOY.
Because 2017 took us through a season of REALLY learning about JOY. How it’s internally cultivated, not based on outward circumstances. How my joy comes from what I have in Christ, not what I “have” here.
Having that word kept me focused on learning about and discovering joy during some of the toughest stuff.
Or what I thought was the toughest stuff.
Enter 2018. And the word BREAKTHROUGH.
Except this time I am not so naive.
Breakthrough means that I have to be pounded. Because a pounding happens before the breakthrough is realized, right? Think about a battering ram, or a wrecking ball (no, not Miley Cyrus’s peeps). They hit and hit and hit UNTIL they break through.
But I could never have been prepared for the pounding that 2018 brought.
A manic episode - a first ever with my bipolar.
Having to pull Caleb from school.
Heartbreak in my marriage.
Another bout of unemployment for Terry.
While I couldn't have predicted the pounding I would take, God had prepared my heart and had given me HOPE in my word of the year. The pounding was not for nothing. Breakthrough was going to happen.
And we have definitely been blessed enough to see some of those painful breakthroughs emerge, especially in the relationship between Terry and I.
Have you caught the purpose behind having a word of the year yet? Have you caught the blessing in having a promise from God specific for you, for what you will face in the year to come?
And now my word for 2019. Are you ready?
.. (drumroll please) ...
H E A L I N G
There are many things in our lives that may need healing. Our bodies are the obvious one. But there is so much more that can be broken and scarred.
I feel so thankful that this past Christmas God put HEALING on my heart. Because I need it. In boat loads.
I need it for my body. For my mind.
I need it for my heart. For my marriage.
I need it for my family relationships.
I need it for my dreams and purpose.
I need healing. In. Every. Way.
And here is God's wonderful promise to me for 2019:
"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds" Jeremiah 30:17.
What incredible HOPE to know that God has a promise for me this year! That no matter life’s circumstances or the schemes of the devil - I can hold on to His promise. Because He is faithful when all other things around me - INCLUDING me - are not.
So if you have brushed off the concept of having a word of the year let me encourage you to reconsider.
Not in having a word, but in capturing His promise.