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
Linking today with Jennifer, Holley, Sandra, Kelly and Lisha
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
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love it… amazing how he leads us to the ‘one word’ that no only represents our ‘year’ but also ministers to our spirit.
Yes, Sharon, He knows us better than we know ourselves.
I felt a little sad reading you post Di because the things you have said don’t seem to fit with the Diane I know and love…..but then it often takes a true baring of the soul in a post like this to really get to know someone…so I’m glad you wrote this….and I look forward to reading about just how LOVED you discover yourself to be in the year ahead,
You are beloved by many, and by me <3
Thank you Mary, this was a difficult post. But God is good and though there have been painful times, there have been many times of great joy. And you, Mary, are one of those Joys.
Diane, I read this post yesterday & it moved me deeply. But really had to let it settle on me before sharing. It has been such a joy getting to “know” you basically through The Consileum. The warmth & welcome you have extended to so many has been such a blessing. To think of you experiencing hurt & loss saddened me so. I am grateful our God takes us on a journey, in & through our One Words, to bring us to the place of wholeness in Him. I am so grateful for His gentle grace which continually deposits into our hearts that which we need to overcome & have hope. I am so grateful He brings us to the place of recognizing we are loved so that we may in turn love others. And I’m grateful He has crossed our paths as you are a blessing! Looking forward to all God unfolds in 2015. A big hug to you!
Thank you for your kind comments Joanne. I am so thankful for you and that you are a part of The Consilium. God is doing so much among us and I’m excited about what is to come!
Dear friend…not only are you loved by Him, I love you dearly! What a gift you are to me!! You love well those in front of you and you love well women in the second season of their life (or third or whatever we call it!) I love you, Diane! Thank you for being in my life.
Thank you, Mary. I love you too!Your friendship is a gift to me!
Diane, you and i are kindred -spirits living hopeful of the same expectations that past couple of years. for me its time to enjoy the journey and not the hope of the destination, its much easier said than done. yet there’s no greater hope than waiting on the Lord. xoxox
Yes, much easier said than done. I think we might be kindred spirits. Thank you, Teresa.
This is beautiful. His love is amazingly refreshing and when we step into it realizing He just loves us . Period. Loves us. No strings attached or requirements. Just loves us. That is something to behold.
Melody, I glad to meet you! Yes, we are loved. Period. Thank you for stopping by today!
Hope, Overcomer, Loved ~ Hope helps us to overcome fear so that we can freely receive love. I’ll remember those words, as well. Thank you for sharing. God Bless and Happy New Year~
Happy New Year Damarise! It’s nice to meet you! You too are Loved!
I so understand you. I am working to get over approval too. I loved this line, “That’s what it takes to overcome; it takes that part of you dying.” You really got me thinking how the pain and the hurt and the agony really is where God does his work as we go to him. Thank you for this. Cheering you on and thank you so greatly for joining the #RaRalinkup!
Kelly, It’s an addiction that takes daily discipline to Christ to live! Thank you for stopping by. It’s so nice to meet you!
Diane, this was a beautiful post. Truly. Your “overcomer” portion above resonated with me like no other. It called to mind a quote I recently heard on a podcast from a sermon I listened to. I’m still processing it, but it went something like this: “As we grow, we tend to get too big for our circumstances. We grow out of places and relationships…yet we feel defeated. Sometimes God truly uses this as a way to pull us into the next place.” He also said, as I’ve heard him say many times before, “You will never fulfill your calling in your comfort zone.”
I am learning this. I am learning to let go and just be loved. To embrace Who he made me to be and to allow myself to be pulled out of those places of comfort so that as I grow, I can grow into the sweetest spot of all. Whatever it is that He would have me do.
Thank you for these words. They are a reassurance that I am on the right track to overcoming the hurt from the last few years. I am on the right track to accepting that love.
Blessings to you!
Jennifer, Your comment has blessed me so much this morning! I would love to hear that sermon if you can find where you heard it.
I pray that Christ comforts you in your growing pains.I have no doubt, He will!
The sermon I listened to was from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. I absolutely love listening to Steven Furtick preach and he inspires me in my writing quite often. He can be blunt and rough around the edges at times, but I sometimes think I need that. 😉 The sermon title was “Find Your Flow” and it was aired on New Years Eve. You can find it on their website or download the Elevation app to your phone (make sure it’s the orange app with the upside down V…as there are several Elevation churches). I hope you enjoy!
What a great word and I appreciate you sharing so honestly your journey over the past three years. As I read your words, you reminded me we never know what surprises God has for us and how He gently woos us back to Him because He loves us so very much…Blessings on your new year…visiting from Kelly’s blog.