One Word Changed My Outlook & Helped Me Grow by Teresa Coehlo for The ConsiliumInstead of a New Years resolution of promises to eat healthier or exercise that I’d never make good on. The past few years I’ve resolved to focus on one insightful word that I could cling to for a year.

I wanted a “spiritual” word; one that’s been invisible from my physical life. One that I’ve felt has been staring me blind in the face waiting for me to grab hold of it.

Two years ago I started this one-word challenge. My first word was “Hope,” and last year I braved the word “Trust.” I even purchased a coffee mug with the word “Trust” painted on it to inspire me. Or hoped it would.

I strapped each of these words on like a spiritual, “God’s will” for my life.

Otherwise, I promise you I would never have picked them.

Words like “Hope” and “Trust” are lapped-up like biscuits and gravy that get passed around a kitchen table, only to later leave me feeling bloated and empty.

I’m not proud to say the past two years there have been more days of unattractive wailing than I’d dare confess. The potential for “Hope” and “Trust” was almost tangible at times, but instead, I was left floored.

I’m one who wants to see God in all things, the beautiful and the pain, and yet I know I’ve been inconsistent finding Him in the details of either.

The New Year arrived.

When it hit, I wanted to get quiet and literally spend time on my knees experiencing some magnitude of a great spiritual awakening. I romanticized over a grandiose one-word vow from God that would be hands-down a life changer.

No sooner that I lowered my head to pray what materialized was the word “Release.” I remember thinking, “No…not that word,” as if I was supernaturally shopping for a better deal.

As God does in teaching moments there’s a profound shift that settled well within my soul. Without Him, I wouldn’t have known what I was blind to. But know that now I am seeing my sinfulness and the stinging fact that before this stunning revelation it was my puny faith that failed me. Not God.

God produced a word that only He could breathe into existence. Not by chance. But has wings to set even the most kicked-in-the-gut free.

Some churchmen claim that if a destination we’re of God, He’d make the transition easy otherwise I’m living out from His will. Hogwash.

There wasn’t a shortcut for Christ.

I’m not one to preach about life, but I can say that Hope and Trust were nailed to a splintered cross and not a comfy mattress.

It is only March and already God has taught me how to Release what I’ve neglected to see until now, the need to cultivate my faith. Not just words, but what God can perform through them.

Do you choose a focus word for your year? How has it changed your outlook on things?

If there’s a word you believe God has etched on your heart for 2017, join me @



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Teresa is a mom, wife and founder of Power of Modesty. As former teen model, she knows the struggles women, young and older, face when It comes to self image. She speaks to groups, teaching that God is faithful in His love, He goes after us at our worst, and keeps after us until we see who we are in Him.

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