How can it be 2017 already? Though we’re in the middle of winter, what some may consider a drab season, a new year has begun, full of hope. Promise. Uncertainty.
There’s something within me that does little leaps when the calendar turns to January first. Call me crazy, but there’s always a sense of anticipation to see what God is going to do in the next 365 days.
For the last number of years, I’ve focused on one word. I’m always surprised at how God brings them to life in my heart. These are my previous words:
I read the One Word post I shared this time last year, and my heart smiled. God did what I’d hoped and so much more as He made the word “Authentic” real in my life. He taught me what living authentically looks like.
And He worked some big healing in my heart. I wasn’t sure what I expected. In some ways, learning to live this word was harder than I imagined.
This past year held ups and downs as the waves of life ebbed and flowed on the shores of my heart. Sometimes gently. Other times, with crashing ferocity.
Here’s a brief recap of what God showed me.
Authenticity begins with honesty.
God showed me I wasn’t honest with anyone—not even Him—when it came to how I felt about the things happening in my life.
For decades, I’ve stuffed those emotions I deemed “unacceptable,” because I didn’t want to be rejected. I won’t elaborate on that here, but you can check out some of my other thoughts on rejection if you’re interested. I learned early to hide those emotions that could induce this painful response.
God challenged me to deal with perceptions I had from my past. As I journaled about some of the hurtful experiences in my girlhood, He helped me reframe those painful situations and see them through different eyes.
He also called me to be honest with others about what I really felt when life got hard, or I felt hurt. As I began doing this, I experienced freedom.
When we know we are always loved, we learn how to trust from deep places in our hearts.
I’ve known God loves me passionately. I’ve said it here on this blog. But, I learned it in new ways last year. He brought me through disappointments. He helped me process the emotions and share honestly with my hubs and close friends.
He showed me the beautiful healing that happens when we invite others into our pain.
As September rolled around, I began praying earnestly about what my word for 2017 would be. I was 90 percent certain God had more to teach me about authenticity. And, He probably does. I continued to pray . . . and wait.
I believe He confirmed my word on December 30th.
My theme verse for the year is Psalm 86:11.
As I ponder the things God helped me focus on last year, I’m seeing how these words will dovetail in my life. As I learn how to live authentically, I’m going to be intentional in my daily choices. In how I set my priorities. I think He’s begun showing me some of the areas where He’ll focus.
I don’t know how God is going to work, but I’m excited to discover what He has for me. I’m continuing to pray for God to reveal what He wants me to learn about living intentionally.
I suspect the things I learn will be tested as life’s waves roll across my days. I’m certain I’ll be stretched and changed. Most of all, I expect I’ll learn how to love God more and how to live more authentically for Him.
What about you? How do you begin a new year—goals? Resolutions? One Word? If you’re a one-word person, I’d love to hear your word and what God’s shown you about it.