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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Choosing Your Word for the New Year

Have New Year's Resolutions been replaced by a "word for the year"? The idea of a Word for the year is choosing one word that embodies your goals and wants for the year. 

I gave up on Resolutions  ages ago because they set you up for failure.  The beauty of a Word for the year is focusing your energy on a goal that touches all areas of your life.

New year word choices are motivated by an endless variety of life experiences and goals. I can not speak into the motivation of your word choice.  Each of us must reflect on our own goals, successes, and even failures as we choose our word for this next year.  

Do you want more Joy? Joy in the little things, joy in your nuclear family, or joy in the midst of pain. 

Do you want more Patience? Patience with yourself, with your kids, or with just waiting on life to be what you want it to be.

Do you need to be more Intentional?  Intentional in your thoughts, in your planning, or in your relationships?

We may choose our word for the year, but God will choose how that word plays out in our life. 

I started choosing a word for the new year back in 2013. I honestly don't know exactly what made me choose the word WISDOM, I think I had just made some bad choices or been in situations that kept me saying "I don't know what to do." 

I had no idea that God used this simple word prepare me for circumstances that I could never have seen coming. The year of WISDOM became a year of life changing decisions that were no where on my radar when I chose the word.
The next year I chose the word SECURITY.  All I really wanted was to be more confident in my skinny jeans and less awkward around people I called friends.

Instead of feeling sassy in a new outfit, God brought about the circumstance of an abusive family member trying to re-enter my life. This brought up the root of my insecurities because I had to confront all the lies this person had made me believe about myself. I had to seek hard about true security in Christ, and heal from years of lies.  It was immeasurably painful, but in the end I am much more secure in who I am, even if I still don't like my hips in skinny jeans. 
A few years later I chose the word SAFE.  I had discovered a friend had betrayed me and a my family, and I wanted to safe with people again.  Only a month after choosing the word I was plunged into the hardest battles of my entire life.

I experienced spiritual, emotional, and physical battles that made me feel beat up and battle worn.  I lost count how many times I wanted to just give up on fighting.  When those evil voices would whisper lies to my heart, my still strong voice of God would come in louder with Words of Promise and truth. The God of Angel Armies sent out an protectors to find me as I  put one foot in front of the other through the darkest time of my life. I had to lift the Sword of God's Word in battle after battle as I my own strength was not enough.  

I have never felt more unsafe and scared than that year, yet I learned a new definition of what it meant it to be safe with God.  I learned the safety provided was the safety found in a battlefield; the safety of a shield that keeps you protected as blow after blow beats you down to your knees.  The shield keeps the blades and arrows from piercing your heart, but you are exhausted as you think the metal will inevitably bend around you, molding to the shape of your battered body. God kept me safe in through his constant presence and protection.
The word you choose will not necessarily shape the circumstances of the next year, but it will shape your perspective inside of those circumstances.

The outcome of focusing on one word is that you begin to see it everywhere.  When we focus on one word, it begins to drown out all the others. 

Focusing on the pursuit of wisdom kept my eyes off frustration. 

Focusing on security kept my eyes off the rejection. 

Focusing my eyes on the safety God provided pulled my eyes from despair.

Focusing on Joy this past year has helped my eyes off of the pain. 

CHOOSE YOUR WORD THOUGHTFULLY  Don't feel like you need your perfect word January 1st. The past few years I have not had my word until Mid January. I recommend praying and just waiting for inspiration.

 Read His Word, and mediate on what you think you need to learn this upcoming year. I promise you it will prepare you for whatever is coming, God is kind of cool like that.

I wish you a Happy New Year, and may God prepare you for your next year with a word that gives a small glimpse into His plans for your heart. 

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