A new year is upon us, along with those pesky thoughts of New Years’ resolutions. Well, resolutions are no temptation to me anymore. I’ve given up trying to change myself by my own self-effort. The indwelling Christ is my “Game-changer” and my “Life-changer.” And a few years ago, He brought a lovely “new thing” to my attention … the idea of a word for my year. So, for the past several years, I have had my word. But my word had never stuck until in 2016 I stepped aside and allowed the Lord to “give” it to me, rather than try to come up with one on my own.
So each year my word just seems to “find me.” Every year it has appropriately come in the midst of my “all too real” life circumstances.
At the end of each year, as I was thinking blank thoughts of what the coming year could hold, there it would be: my word for my year. And can I just say, it was right every time.
Here is briefly what the last several years held:
In 2016, my blood pressure had shot up because of everything going on. In the midst of it all, the Lord reminded me of advice I had received years before, “let life unfold.” So “unfolding fullness” became my “mantra” for 2016. And each day I journaled how the previous day had unfolded and prayed about the unfolding to come.
Then in 2017, overcome with thoughts of inadequacy to face what was ahead, I welcomed the Lord’s word for the year, “daily bread.” I knew Him as my Provision and Sustenance for each event as it came.
In 2018, as my blood pressure shot up again, my word came: “rest, just rest.” I found myself drawn into rest over and over again, often because of sickness or medical procedures for my husband or myself. But it seemed that “forced rest” was actually a blessing as a precursor to a hectic fall travel and teaching schedule.
Then again as 2019 began. . . I began to fear there would be no new word. I was just blank. Nothing seemed to be unfolding. But I knew better than to go looking for one. Then one day, as in the past, my word found me — “Wait …wait on Me and My timing.”
The interesting thing about this year has been that I totally forgot about God’s word for my year, Wait. In previous years, I had often revisited my word. But this past year was different. As I look back over 2019, I see how the Lord actually set me up to wait on Him in the midst of all that was going on even though I was “brain dead” to my word. And you know what? I’m glad. Because it proves it has been His doing and not by self-effort.
Wait on Me came through a retreat message I was preparing. The same message grabbed hold of my soul through long and recurring bouts of vertigo and dizziness and the resulting diagnosis of past strokes as the cause of it all. And without my consciously realizing, the same message sustained me through my twenty hyperbaric treatments that followed.
And so I’m thanking God for another unique, though surprisingly difficult year health-wise. He has been teaching me to pace myself better and YES! Wait on HIM! It has been freeing and fruitful in many ways.
So now for 2020 —only God knows what this coming year holds. I have been waiting on Him, again feeling blank and thinking maybe I will just live out more intentionally all my previous words. Then all of a sudden, I think my word came. It just seemed to be plopped into my mind: WRITE! Wow! For the past several months, I had been asking the Lord how I should be spending my time, now that my health has given me a “head’s up.” So maybe this is God’s answer. I think I will go with it and see how it “unfolds.”
And so I pray . . .
Thank you, O God for this past year. May all my “words” keep coming together to shape and form me into Your image and glory while I’m still walking with You on this earth. And if this year’s word truly is Write, may I wait on You for every word, because You are my Bread and You are my indwelling Fullness for everything I face. I rest and receive it all from You.
What about you, my friend? Does a word keep coming to you? Ask the Lord about it. Maybe that’s the Word HE is giving you for the year ahead. Why not stay with it awhile and journal what the Lord may be “unfolding” for you.
He IS the word, you know. Amen.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on abranchinthevine.com.
Featured Image by Evie S.