Monday, January 2, 2017

My #OneWord365 for 2017

Last year was the first time I participated in the #OneWord365 movement. And I'm so on board with it again. See, instead of making a list of goals, or “resolutions”, you choose one word to guide your year. And I just love that concept. 

The word goals has always been super intimidating to me. 
I've always had such a difficult time with high expectations, including ones that I set for myself. So I decided to stop creating resolutions, because I had no faith in my ability to follow through with them. The problem there was that I was going into each new year expecting to fail. And with that kind of attitude, I always did. And that's why I was so happy to discover this One Word movement!

The word I chose for 2016 was TRUST…and I grew a lot just from consistently keeping that one word in the forefront of my mind. I had my own perspective of what this word was going to mean,  of course. And God knew exactly what I needed to gain from it, and how this word was going to grow me. And I just love how we still can be constantly surprised by God. It's like I forget that He always has something unexpected and beautiful to reveal! But I kind of love that, because I love being able to say, "Wow, God! That was YOU!" And I was truly stretched, in the greatest ways, by this word TRUST that He gave me.

I've had sort of an odd game of ping pong going on in my head the last few days as I've tried to come up with a word for this year. Actually I think it was several games, while grappling with several different words. I wanted something that was going to allow me to grow and change in every aspect that I hoped to this upcoming year. I kept wondering, what one word would be THE One Word? The one that would shape my relationships...maybe change some habits...maybe help me improve upon some unhealthy routines in my life...and maybe even allow me to make a difference in someone else's life. Without setting measurable goals that I would inevitably break within a few days, what could be the single word that would still get me to where I want to be?

That word, trust, from this past year covered everything. But God gave it to me. He was the one who continued to present me with opportunities to learn about trust. And like I said, God always takes us by surprise. So rather than focus on the next chapter and trying to write it for myself, I choose to let God write it. God, You come up with the word...

And He did...

My word for 2017 is BRAVE.

God kept leading me back to it in very obvious ways, but I just kept wanting to pick a new one. Brave is not something I do very well, but I'm choosing it now because it "piggy backs" off of the word trust. Yes it took an act of bravery to choose trust as well, and knowing what is coming in the next year, it's a good thing that God always goes before me and knows even better than I do how I will need this word BRAVE more than anything else.

It will be an act of bravery as I enter into the biggest new phase of my entire life, and watch everything as I knew it before completely change. That's SCARY. It's a great thing...but a big change. And scary.

It will take bravery to withstand all of the negativity that will inevitably come my way from many sources as I plan a wedding and a new life.

It will take bravery to respond to God's {CLEAR!} callings to minister to and encourage people who are struggling in the same ways I have. I've had many chances and promptings to do so, and I have not obeyed.

It will take bravery to jump into a new ministry venture that the Holy Spirit laid on my heart a couple years ago, but now really seems to be paving the way to allow me to start. And my soul is ALL KINDS of revved up for it! {Don't worry...I'll come back to talk about this one day. It's absolutely something to be shared...just not right this minute.}

I'll need bravery to open my heart and say to the people who care about me most, "Here's what I'm dealing with, or struggling with right now and I need your support." Brave enough to be SEEN.

I have a lot of things I want to try this year too! New things. Things that I would not usually have done out of fear...fear of people's eyes on me, fear of failing AND of falling, fear of rejection, fear of simply not being enough. And my fears are not going to just disappear overnight and all of a sudden I will become this brave-hearted person. But through prayer and surrender, and believing that God will give me the strength to go into the next year, following Him as He leads, I know that 2017 holds great things! The best things!

Bible stories are seriously the greatest, because they chronicle brave people doing brave things in the name of the Lord. And I have a few favorites that just always inspire me. Maybe some of your favorites are the same...

A Jewish Esther bravely stood before her Persian king and spoke truth.

A young boy, David, boldly stood before a giant and defeated him with only a stone.

Daniel didn't fear the lions and trusted God to save him.

Mary accepted the plan God had for her to carry His son, in spite of the rejection she knew she would receive.

Moses was relentless with Pharaoh, led the slaves of Egypt into freedom, and proclaimed the Ten Commandments.

So many others I could list here...some of the bravest people in our history, and their BRAVE could only come from God and His leading. All the while being molded and fashioned more and more like Him. All of these people made CHOICES. They chose to follow. They chose to trust. They chose to keep pressing on, even when there was pain involved. They chose BRAVE.

And that is how we become more and more as the LORD wants us to be, and more like Him. Through taking steps and making choices. Bravery isn't a feeling, just like so many other things. It is jumping in, knowing that it might not be easy, and knowing that it might not turn out the way you expect...but also knowing that God is already ahead of you, and through His spirit, your step of brave faith will shape you into a more Christ-like person.

As I've written above, I already know the ways that I want to grow in bravery this year. But I also know that God has a few things in store that I could never even think of. And I'll be able to face anything through His strength alone. Because He makes me brave.

What about you??
What is your One Word for the year 2017, and the purpose behind it?

I'd love hear about it!

1 comment:

  1. I love this. This is my first year to actually have a word, in earnest. It's surrender. It's gonna be a great year! Tracy