Each January, many people choose a word for the upcoming year – a single word that symbolizes their New Year’s quest. A focus. An aspiration. A goal.
You might even say a resolution encased within a fistful of alphabet letters.
An easily post-able, portable, proverbial reminder of what we deem most important to personally achieve during the next 365 days.
In the spirit of resolution simplification, I decided to choose a word this year too. So on January 1, during my early morning prayer walk, I asked Papa God for a little wisdom about what my focal word for 2020 should be.
Hmm. Several flitted through my mind but none seemed quite right:
- Courageous (Gee, doesn’t everybody need to be braver?)
- Gracious (Heaven knows I need more of this, especially during in-your-face social media encounters over politics)
- Reliance (if 2019 taught me anything, it’s that I’m totally dependent on Papa God for everything)
No. Worthy words, all, but somehow not the one.
Then I looked up.
My eyes focused on the contrail of an airplane slashing the blue morning sky with a straight white line from just above my head all the way to the far, far distance, disappearing into obscuring cloud cover, its final destination hidden from view.
Acknowledge, a still, small voice whispered to my heart.
And a familiar scripture flashed before my mind’s eye like the warm smile of a dear, longtime friend: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
As you likely already know (if you subscribe to my blog), my path for the previous 12 months has been anything but straight. Negative, confusing circumstances repeatedly threw me into a maze; more like a twisted, convoluted pretzel of left, no, right, no, turn around and try again, no, no, no! Don’t go there! Back up. Wait. Move forward even if you don’t know the way. Geesh, I’m lost. Oh, I see a path up ahead. Nope. Only a rabbit trail. More potholes. Lookout – a sinkhole is swallowing the road! Leap off the trail, into the woods. Dang. Lost again.
Wow. I could sure use a straight path. But in order to find one, the Word of God says I need to do three things:
- trust in the Lord with all my heart
- stop leaning on my own understanding, which is based on my personal experiences and perceptions and colored by my pain
- acknowledge Him in all my ways. Know God first (the root of “knowledge”). Then take action based on that knowledge. Action + knowledge = acknowledge
Acknowledge. Of course. That’s it. That’s my word.
And my quest for 2020. To actively lean on His understanding, not mine, by delving even deeper into His Word, which will allow me to discern His will; to base my actions on that knowledge and trust Him with my whole heart. This will result in a straight path. Even though I can’t see where the path ends, it’s the trail I want to be on.
Like that contrail. (Thank goodness Papa God knows I need visuals!)
So how about you, dear BBFF? Are you up for the challenge of choosing your life focal word for the upcoming year? New year. New adventures. New blessings. After all, the sky’s the limit!
Aw, c’mon, give it a go … and please share it with all of us right here in our Too Blessed to be Stressed community. There’s nothing we’d like more in the upcoming year than to acknowledge you!
Beth Stevens says
Julie Blackmore says
Expectancy….God has speaking into my spirit….”Blessings” and “Victory”…..repeatedly. So I am expecting our heavenly Father to move on our behalf….we have the Victory.
Marsha Stephenson says
Happy New Year Deb!
My eyes lit up when I read your blog. The very words I needed to hear!
From one of my favorite scriptures, Proverbs 3:5-6 I found my word for 2020!
It is “heart.” I desire God to open my heart, search my heart, ignite a fire in my heart for him, help me trust with all my heart, to love with all my heart…I could go on forever. You get the idea.
As always, you are an inspiration:)
Cheryl Johnston says
My word is RELY because relying on God and leaning into Him will be required even more this year. He is already giving me great peace as I’m laying my concerns at His feet. Like you, I will be acknowledging God daily and asking for the knowledge to move forward in wisdom and grace. I trust Him, no matter what, but I must RELY on the knowledge that He holds everything in His hands.
Peace- trusting the Prince of Peace when trials come my way!
I have been giving my problems to God – after chewing on them first, of course! – and finding myself yanking them back and chewing on them some more. When I finally find myself giving them back to God, well chewed by now, and leaving them with Him, His answer always comes. This year my resolution is to close my hands and TRUST.
Deanna Mcbride says
Hello Bff Deb,
This year has not started out good for my family and I. I lost my job before Christmas and it hit me hard the things I’ve heard my boss tell my other coworkers about me was heartbreaking… I give it my all for work, my family and my friends, I may not be the best at my job but I’m still learning daily. over the past 2 weeks I have been hearing, seeing, feeling that i need to be proud of myself and not feel bad about anything because i do the best i can. So my word for 2020 is Self confidence.. I struggle with this constantly.. I need to have faith in myself and what I can do. not to listen to what other people say.
SHINE is my word! It’s never on New Years but God has been giving me a word for almost 5 years. The first time He whispered “JOY” into my ear. He was telling me I didn’t have enough JOY in my life, and that was so true! So I got busy having and making more opportunities to expedite true JOY! That was ok Nov. 14 months later He all but yelled “PEACE” and I was responding to a FB post and I needed some peace! About 16 months later I kept seeing BELIEVE everywhere. I had a new boss and that was her word. She looked at me and said “I think believe is your word now! You have to BELIEVE in yourself! She was right! I’m in Senior Living Sales and I was doubting my ability with a horrific Regional torturing me. Well I DO NOW BELIEVE in myself! 11 months later I asked God for a new word. Everywhere I looked I kept seeing thankful and grateful so I wasn’t sure which one it was. I got out my Thanksgiving decor and 3 things Said GRATFUL on them and that was it my new word. A Four year later, God started showing me new words and I again wasn’t sure which one was the right one but I kept leaning toward SHINE! I went home one night and was still thinking about the word SHINE and it was on a sweatshirt a Christmas sweatshirt and a night shirt that I had so then I knew that was my sign and God gave me a new word SHINE!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Respect- So often we as woman battle in our workplace or even at church being disrespected for what we do as professionals and/or in our ministries.
As Christians we sometimes forget that being humble does not mean being enslaved, ridicule or simply having others enjoy the fruit of our ideas at our expense. It means that God gave us a creative mind for his glory. As a Christian woman, I will always give 100 percent in all I do, but I will always speak out when someone will want to disrespect me as a person or try to glorify themselves through my hard work. Respect is a word that women need to cherish. We have to respect ourselves, our families, friends and any person that we encounter in our lives. But we also need to put our foot down (nicely) when someone tries to disrespect us. To all my BFFs
My word is R E S P E C T.