Instead 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 @ http://oneword365.com/
Latest posts by Teresa Coelho (see all)
- One Word Changed My Outlook and Helped Me Grow - March 28, 2017
- Learn from Me: A Journey Into My Past - November 29, 2016
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My word for 2017 has been “Standing,” and your post is timely, because just yesterday I was looking at it and wondering how I’m doing with living my way into the beauty of Paul’s words in Romans 5:2 — We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
That’s my prayer for you too, Teresa! Let’s Release the things that bog us down so we can stand tall and shout!
I haven’t chosen a “one-word” for this year (yet…), however, I’ve practiced this for several years. My most memorable “one-word” was the word “courage” a couple of years back. Wow! Did God take me through a season where I learned to cling to Him! He taught me to trust Him and when I did, that peace that can only come from Him settled on my heart and the fear dissipated. Thanks for reminding me about this great habit that cultivates in us the qualities God wants to grow!
I hear you Diane! I let him choose my one word too and I believe the word He gives us is like a prophecy of what He intends to do in us during the year. This year He is training me to be PRESENT in His PRESENCE.
Can you just imagine how that is challenged?!! So far it has been about abiding rather than striving 😉
Ah! The power of a word to change us! Look how God worked to give you hope and learn to trust him through release! What an awesome God! I have had a few words over the year as well. Last year it was “whale” … seriously. I am still learning through that one big word. This year it is curare, the Latin root word meaning “to take care.” It has been a rich and powerful experience to see what God has for me in a word. His words, His word! And sometimes we have to get off that comfy couch to really get it. Thanks Teresa for such an encouraging word!
Thank you, Theresa. I, too, choose one word, although this year, God led me to one phrase: He > i. Release is definitely something I need to do-with His help of course.
I never get over the fact that the God of the universe wants to speak to us and give us a word of hope, encouragement or comfort, right when we need it. If we seek Him, we will find Him. It’s such an overwhelming experience!
While I love seeing God in the mountain top experiences, it’s been in the deep valleys where I have seen His transforming power at work. God often leads us to places of surrender because there is something in us He wants to change. When we try everything in our own power to change things. We finally release it to Him….It’s hard but it’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing your journey!
How good God is to lovingly show us the truth we need to see about our own hearts.