Life change doesn’t come just because the calendar year has changed. True change usually happens slowly over the course of long periods of time as we learn, make new decisions and practice new habits. I’m not a big resolution person, but I am a big word person.
A couple of years ago, in a bible study group, we were challenged to claim a “word for the year.” I am not a very sentimental person and usually roll my eyes at these sappy, “feel good” exercises. But I went along with it then, and now I’ve had fun doing this every year since.
Whether it’s practicing a new character trait or starting a new habit, selecting a word for the year allows me to incorporate a new discipline and ask God to bring change in a certain area of my life. It’s not overwhelming- I just select one word that I pray over myself, meditate on, and remember in various ways throughout the year.
This past year, my word was YES. I wanted to be open-minded to all that God had for me and say “yes” to whatever He wanted me to do and wherever He wanted me to go. I wanted to stretch myself by saying yes to things that were out of my comfort zone and not necessarily convenient. This year definitely had its share of hard. Lots of tears were shed, and lots of goodbyes were said. But this year was also FULL of saying yes to new opportunities.
Here are some of them:
- Starting this blog!
- Leading in a new capacity at church
- Moving to a new town closer to our church community
- Starting school again to get my masters
- Starting a new job
God gives us opportunities all the time where we can choose to either say no (typically out of fear) and miss out on something amazing, or YES (although it may be really scary) and allow God to take us somewhere completely new and different. When we say yes and walk through the doors of the unknown, God stretches us, challenges us, and changes us in ways we never would have imagined.
My word for 2019 is PRESENT. Whether it be life decisions or my daily schedule, I am always quick to focus my attention on whatever is next rather than staying present in the moment. It takes great effort for me to slow down and live in the “here and now.” But this year I’m asking God to allow me to be more present in every moment and to take the time to truly notice and be with the people around me. I’m praying that as I grow in this area throughout the year, it will become a habit and a way of life for me.
Does anyone else do a word for the year or want to start this with me? Please share!
COMMIT TO THE LORD WHATEVER YOU DO, AND HE WILL ESTABLISH YOUR PLANS. PROVERBS 16:3