The beginning of a new year is often a flurry of activity for many people: resolutions and goals, reflecting on the past year, planning out the year ahead. In the past several years I have become aware of a large segment of people having a word of the year – a word that tells what they hope the year will bring, perhaps something to remind them of their focus and goals. It seems to have brought meaning to a lot of people.
This year I thought it would be neat to have a word and see how it applies to my life throughout the year. Last year I felt God was asking me to TRUST and REST and so I was learning to live in those two words, though it wasn’t something I set about working on.
I don’t really know how most people choose a word. I pondered something that would encompass an area I desired to grow in. At first I thought BELOVED would be good so that I could learn to be secure in the identity I have in Christ. I was praying about it in the early hours of the new year as I was trying to fall asleep. The word TRUTH stood out in my mind. It doesn’t seem like a typical word – there’s no real action to be taken (like COURAGE or BRAVE or UNSTOPPABLE). It seems kind of “eh”. So I prayed God, is this what you’d like me to focus on this year? Is this my focus for the year – truth? And I think it is.
I am quickly warming up to the word TRUTH. I am looking forward to studying the word, mainly in scripture. I know that God’s word is truth. Jesus says that he is the truth. I am looking forward to really digging into truth. I know our society likes to say that truth is relative, that there is no absolute truth, that each person makes their own truth. I don’t really agree with that so I am excited to set down some truth for me to anchor myself to and have firm footing.
In addition to studying TRUTH in scripture, I think I am also supposed to work on speaking TRUTH (in love, of course). I have been a people pleaser for years, the underlying fear being rejection. I have been learning that I have an everlasting love in Christ so I do not need to fear being rejected by people. I will always be loved and accepted and valued in Jesus. So I would like to be more true to myself – honest about my thoughts, likes, dislikes, desires. I don’t want to temper enthusiasm for fear of the buzz kills out there. I want to be able to express joy and disappointment and anticipation and not worry about what others may think or say.
I am excited for the year ahead and excited to see what is in store. I know many people also choose a Bible verse for their year. I wonder if it’s related to their word. It’s probably a hope or reminder as well. I would like to do this, but I think I will wait for one to emerge from my study of truth in scripture.
Do you have a special word or verse for 2017? I’d love to hear what it is!