I resolve not to resolute. Period. End. No more resolutions for me!
In contrast, I am asking God for One-Word to carry me through the year. Keeping it simple – just one word.
This is my third year asking God to gift me with his word for the year. The first year my word was Hope.
I was expecting a fun year of speaking and writing and new adventures because this was MY hope. But God saw things I could not possibly have seen, coming my way. He saw the tremendous loss about to happen. He saw how I was going to be faced with choosing Him over community. He saw how I was going to lose people I cherished, and how he would teach me to build my hope in Him and not the world around me. We don’t really realize how much of our identity is wrapped up in the company we keep, until we are separated from it, and we experience a kind of death of identity.
Overcomer was the word occupying my second year. I had high expectations for this year. Loneliness would be overcome and I would begin doing what I loved, speaking and writing telling others about the love of Christ. Or, so I thought.
But this was not the case at all. Fear, an enemy I once thought dead, resurrected; and rearing its snarly head caused me to fear speaking in public. I feared the opinion of others to the point I was paralyzed standing in front of them. This year required me to surrender the desire for the favorable opinion of others and accept only the favorable opinion of God.
The opinion of others had, over the years, become more important that the opinion of God. Loss and rejection became my companions as I surrendered my community to God. When you experience rejection it can cause you to morph into overdrive, trying to regain acceptance, and the feeling of community that you have lossed. God wanted me to be an overcomer. And it began with the burden of wanting to please others, and wanting the approval of others.
Overcoming this idol threw me into further seclusion and loneliness. I tried to keep upbeat online, while inside part of me was dying. That’s what it takes to overcome; it takes that part of you dying. It is in a dark void that all life come forth. A seed falls into the void and darkness of the ground only to emerge as rain and light begin to pierce its darkness.
I was blind in the darkness that had overcome me as I held on to the approval of others, until I allowed myself to let go so God’s light would penetrate the darkness of my life with the light of His approval. I did not realize my clothing of celebrating my first love had been torn and dirtied by my struggles with the world. I did not realize my feet no longer were dancing in praise to His name. I didn’t realize it, but the year my word was Overcome, was the year part of me died in Christ.
I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have overcome the world! John 16:33 GNT
My friend Jennifer Lee wrote an amazing book that carried me through this painful
transition into a new life. I moved from being tethered to the opinion of the world and its rejection, into the freedom of seeing how God has pre-approved me.
As this year’s my word came, and I tried to reject it. The other words had been hard and required so much; though the requirements were idols needing to be surrendered, I still did not want to go through another death.
I began to tremble as my word for 2015 began to emerge – Loved.
This is the word I have been desperate for the whole time, and now I tremble at its appearance for fear of what might be required.
But, Christ comes to me in the quiet, and whispers to me, “Beloved one, my daughter, I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. You are mine. I will build you and you shall be rebuilt, my daughter! You will again wear your clothes of celebration, and dance with me in the way I have taught you to dance. And you will dance before me, because my love for you delights in watching you dance.”
So slowly, I reach out for the safe arms of my beloved and resting my head against his heart, I hear it pulsing and I accept His word for me. Loved
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your tambourines, and go forth to the dances of the merrymakers.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
- When It Is Time to Bring Your Ship Ashore - January 2, 2018
- Art Of Hospitality – How to Love Others As Ourselves - November 27, 2017
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