Sunday, December 11, 2016

One Word 2017

As we are coming to the close of 2016, I have been thinking again about my one word for the next year. Many of you know I started two years ago choosing one word to be my focus for the new year, rather than making a bunch of resolutions. Actually, I guess it would be better to say I let God choose one word to be my focus. In 2015, my word was JOY. You can read there how I got started and chose that word.

Then this past year, 2016, I chose FREEDOM. Again, you can read about my struggles with this word. But I am happy to report, looking back, that I do see more freedom in my life. I wrote about some of my perfectionist tendencies, but by taking Sabbath this year, I have found so much freedom from the pressures I put on myself to get everything done right that minute! That has been the biggest source of freedom in my life, allowing myself one whole day to not work, just rest, even when I know there are still papers to be checked and grades to calculate before filling out report cards.

So as I have been thinking about my word for this year, and hearing what the Lord has been putting on my heart, I won't lie, there have been some arguments. I originally wanted my word for 2017 to be "hope." My devotion book I have been using is about "experiencing hope through Jesus' presence." So of course I've been reading a lot about hope, and I thought this would be a good, positive word for the coming year. I am looking forward to a year filled with different hopes.

But there was another word God kept bringing up, starting all the way back in September. I have written in my journal from September 3rd two verses: 

And so after waiting patiently, 
Abraham received what was promised. 
Hebrews 6:15

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 

Along with the prayer:

Lord, I hear you telling me to wait. Even my Dove chocolate wrapper today said, "What are you waiting for?" What am I waiting for, Lord? You know I am not great at being silent and waiting, but I want to hear from you.

Then the next day, on my Facebook "3 years ago today" feed, this came up:
Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Psalm 39:7
Perfect timing for a reminder not to trust in man's plans, but in God's. He knows what He's doing with me, and He will work everything out without any help from us.

And then again, 6 days later, another Facebook notification, this one from 5 years ago:

God will answer your prayers, and He knows when to give you the answer. Thank you, God, for making me wait for your timing. It's so much better than my own.

One of the teachers asked me after all this, "Do you think 'wait' will be your word for next year?" And I almost immediately said no. I didn't like that word. I don't know if I would call myself an impatient person, but I definitely wouldn't say I'm a patient person either. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. But I think most of us can agree that we don't like waiting.

But still, that word stayed in the back of my mind, until about a month ago, when when Proverbs 31 Ministries announced an online Bible study they would be doing on Wendy Pope's new book, "Wait and See." I signed up, and even without reading the book, I received so much from that study. And that was all the convincing I needed that "WAIT" would be my word for 2017.

I'm still not sure what the Lord will do with this Lord, what exactly it is He will teach me. But now I am willingly "waiting" to see. 

"David was 10 years old when he was anointed king. He wasn’t old enough or experienced enough to be king. Simply put, he wasn’t ready for the throne. However, his time as a shepherd prepared him to be king. David did what he knew to do in order to prepare for what he did not know. In the pasture, he spent his days learning to recognize and obey God’s voice, two traits that would serve him greatly as king. God does most of His work in us in private. He meets us in the pastures of life with a desire to cultivate within us a heart like His. This may take years, as it did with David. Often, we would rather rush through our time in the pasture than wait there to experience His work. But it’s in the pasture that God is preparing us for what is ahead." 
- Wendy Pope

Anyone else have a word for this next year? I'd love to know what the Lord is choosing for you. 

Also, I'll be back home in a week, so looking forward to seeing a lot of you then! If not, Merry {early} Christmas!

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1 comment:

  1. I've got several words that have been bouncing around my life for a while. Actually, a big one is hope (funny how that works), but like you, I don't think that's the root of it. God is narrowing down my choices, and I'm pretty sure I'll have it by the end of the year. Just need a few more times of seeking, asking, and knocking. 😊