Choosing a word for the new year each year has kind of become a thing, at least in many of the internet circles I run in. I noticed it for the first time a few years ago, as some different bloggers and friends I follow started talking about doing so.
I’m going to be honest here for a minute. I have a tendency to reject things that seem to be the “it” thing to do, or the “popular” thing to do. I don’t care for fads and I can be somewhat cynical so when something seems like it’s the “new thing” to do, my initial reaction is often to reject said “new thing.” I’m not one for jumping on the newest bandwagon (unless it involves reading and books . . . then I tend to make a flying leap onto the bandwagon.) This tendency of mine to reject the “popular”, “it” thing to do can be a good thing at times. The cynic in me keeps from jumping into something head first without investigating to see if it’s something really worth going in head first for. But this same tendency in me can also be a not so great thing. Sometimes it keeps me from doing something that really is a good thing just because it’s what “everyone else” is doing.
So, this word of the year thing has been around for several years now, and it’s something I’ve avoided because it seemed like the “it” thing to do, a new trend or fat to follow. And recently as this new year has started, I’ve been reminded of this word of the year thing again as bloggers I follow and friends I have have been choosing their words. My first reaction, as usual, was to dismiss it, but then I thought, “What if this is one of those times that I’m missing out on something good that God wants to do because I am stubbornly refusing to do something just because I think it’s the ‘popular’ thing to do?” So, one day during my quiet time, I finally settled down and said, “Okay, Lord, if You want me to have a word for the year, I want to have one. I want to know what it is. Show me.”
As I prayed over this, I came to the beautiful realization that God has been giving me words of the year (really more like seasons than the actual timeframe of a year) for a lot longer than I even knew this trend existed. Sitting there, I saw past seasons of life played over and words and phrases that God gifted me during those times—sometimes for me to cling to as I weathered a storm, other times to teach me something new I needed to know or remind me in a new way of something old that I just thought I had known before. All these words and phrases from over the years drifted through my mind—so real, so personal, and so powerful even today in a different season than the ones they were delivered in.
It was so very humbling and joyful at the same time to look back and see all the work He had been doing in me, all the times He’d already given me something to hold onto for whatever season I was in at the time, whether that season was weeks, months, a year, or years. Sometimes it was a word, sometimes a phrase, sometimes a scripture. But there has always been something. I realized then that God was going to be faithful to work in me whether I had an official word for the year or not. But I also saw that He just might use this word for the year to teach me something in a new way. Shortly after that realization, as I continued on in my quiet time, God did indeed show me a phrase for me for this year, this season, and I am looking forward with excitement to see how He uses it to teach me, to guide me, to make me more like Him, to comfort me, to draw me closer to Him over the next season, however long it may be. He even laid on my heart a phrase for my family, one to pray over us as we approach life this year.
Some of you are probably wondering, “Well, what’s the word then?” But I feel like that’s kind of a personal thing between me and the Lord for the moment, that really, what the word is isn’t what’s important in this post. What is important is that God is faithful, even when we don’t even realize it. That He’s there in all the seasons, giving us just what we need to make it through and to be drawn closer to Him, even when we may not have realized what we needed.
What’s HIS Word for the season you’re in? Look back—what help has He given you during the seasons of your life? Maybe you’re not into that whole word of the year thing either, and that’s okay. God’s still faithful. He will give you what you need for every season you encounter.
Hope Dweller Stories Update: I still believe that this is something God has called me to do in this small corner of internet space that I have, and I am still working on trying to get one up as soon as possible. People are busy and I know that it’s difficult to fit things in sometimes, so I am waiting for God to work the time out for the people He desires to post here to be able to do so. Please continue in prayer with me about this aspect of my blog. I really hope to have the first post up sometime in March.