Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Word for the Year

There is a trend that has been online for the last several years of picking a word for the year. I don't usually participate because, well, I often don't know how to define my vision for the year by a single word and I am usually too indecisive to pick just one.

Well, this year I have been praying for weeks asking the Lord if He had a simple word for me to designate as a word for 2019. We are in such an interesting transition that seems to be akin to the "Waiting Place" Dr. Seuss described in his book Oh, The Places You'll Go! We have had so much happen in the past 6 months that led us to this place of hurry up and wait. We have had some miraculous provision from the Lord that is a story for another time, but absolutely beyond anything we even asked for, and yet the Lord has been pretty silent when asking Him for specific direction and His voice to speak to us. I wondered if wait was my word for the year, but my heart didn't feel settled when I would try it out. Other words seemed to be possibly appropriate as well, but nothing would settle in with my heart as the word that God was speaking to me, and I couldn't get to the place of saying yes, this was the one, but my heart really desired to have a word, as silly as it might be.

As I thought and prayed and asked, one word would pop up in my mind as a possibility that I would quickly push aside. It is a great word, but it didn't seem like appropriate to what I see as the season we are in. Yet the word kept coming up in my mind, and I realized it was what my heart desired of this season most of all: joy.


I am someone who really desires to be at peace with all my relationships and circumstances and find general happiness regardless of what is going on in life. I have lists and lists of thanks written down - mostly written in times when my heart is feeling least thankful, in order to point myself back to seeing the overflowing faithfulness of God in my life and redirect my moods and emotions. But even deeper than thankfulness and happiness and peaceful relationships with people and circumstances, I am desiring that deep, overflowing, abundant joy that God speaks of in His word. Like, true joy that causes me to laugh at the days to come. I don't want to be moved by mere circumstances or transition or my emotions. I want joy that is bigger and deeper and wider than the emotion of happiness, though I love to be happy. I want the joy of the Lord to be my strength and my anchor.

Isn't it funny how sometimes we have this deep desire but we wonder if the Lord wants it for us as well? I think that was what I was wrestling with - joy is my desire, but I asked is it His desire for my year as well? Quieting my busy mind and thoughts to actually ask myself what I was wanting and ask the Lord what He was saying about this year, I finally found this place of settledness in the word joy. I believe that funny that in the middle of my current unsettled life - almost all my worldly possessions in a storage unit and no place to call my very own - He is calling me to discover abundant, overflowing joy. I am so curious and excited to see how He plays this out in my life this year and what it ends up looking like.

Jesus had no home to call His own when He was ministering on this earth, something I have come to really appreciate and relate to over the past three months of looking and waiting for the right house, and I love how He has showed me that He really does understand and know all our temptations and weak places in our lives. He is acquainted with all our ways and He is so very near. He also was filled with joy above all His companions, says the writer of Hebrews, so I know that Jesus wasn't just content with life or thankful for what He was given but had this amazing joy that was so far beyond what was in front of Him. I press in and pray for God to do amazing things in our lives, and He really always does, but I am so excited to discover and experience joy that is so far beyond. I want to know this joy of Jesus and have it overflow from me onto others as well.

Do you have a word that you feel will define 2019? I would love to hear yours and what significance you feel it holds.


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