Here’s the thing about “one word” for 2015: I’m just not sure how much I buy into it.
There, I finally said it.
It’s not that I doubt others when they claim to have received a word from the Lord to focus their year around, and I would never tell others to quit choosing a word, especially when they find it meaningful and purposeful. I’m just a skeptic in general. And to be honest, I’m not sure my word has changed all that much from what the Father was teaching me last year. So, I find myself struggling with whether to really embrace the idea or not.
It feels a little forced to me, I suppose.
Yesterday, when I read about the same ol’, same ol’ from Grace Covers Me, I felt so relieved! I’m not alone in my doubts or frustrations over the one-word frenzy. I’m not the only one lacking in the one-word department. I’m not a spiritual failure.
Maybe that’s what it really comes down to: fear of failure.
I’m afraid to choose a word – what if I get it wrong? What if it’s my will doing the leading in choosing it and not the Father’s? What if I don’t like my word for the year 2015?
And you know, that’s exactly what happened.
I’ve been praying, even begging, the Lord to give me insight. To open my eyes to His plans for this year. To provoke change this year. I’ve wasted too many moments worrying about this one word, as if the word itself held power over me rather than Christ Himself.
Finally, I decided maybe I wasn’t supposed to have a word for this year. I quit looking for my one word everywhere, quit justifying the words I wanted to choose for myself. I decided I could skip the one-word link-up or just choose one of the verses that keep popping up for me instead and run with that.
But then one morning we had this quiet heart conversation.
Persevere. That’s your word.
I don’t really like that word, Lord. It sounds hard and possibly painful. And we’ve already done a year of trials and suffering. We’ve already been discouraged and overwhelmed. What about “Overcome?” That word sounds better to me. It’s joyful and final, and I know the ending of that word is good. That word means triumph, and isn’t that true, Father? We have victory in You!
But your word is Persevere, Beloved. The triumph is coming, don’t doubt that. The victory is at hand, and is in fact, already yours. You’re like a child who sits willingly for a little while, learning the lesson, yet too quickly you hop up from this place. You think you understand, but you’ve only grazed the surface of the banquet of learning I have to offer you. Be patient. I know you’ve struggled long. Be patient; be still. Sit for the full lesson. Do not leave the table so eagerly, sure you have have found “the answer.” Sit. Wait. Stay (Ps. 27:14).
But in your staying, don’t lose heart, Daughter, Beloved One. I promise growth, imperfect progress (Phil. 1:6). I promise blessing (Luke 1:45). I promise rescue and deliverance and victory (Ex. 14:14). You will overcome! You will prevail. I am the God of the impossible and the God who keeps His promises.
Don’t run ahead; stay by my side and let me shelter you.
Don’t lose faith now. Persevere.
Oh, Father, I’m so weary and so frail. I’m so ready for the rescue. I want a different word, yet not my will but Yours. Help my unbelief. Help my trembling heart. Give me “chazaq,” courage to persevere even in this. When I am weak, then I am strong. Don’t let me forget it!
I will never let go, Daughter. I will never leave you or forsake you. You are not in this alone, for I walk by your side, even more I carry you. That’s the deliverance you receive now. I carry you. I am with you. I don’t ask you to persevere alone and by your own strength, but by my Might (Josh. 1:9).
Ok , Father. Ok. I see now, although not yet fully. I see there is power in persevering. I see the hopeful waiting, the strong assurance that You will not leave us here to waste away. I see the strength in that stance. I feel the joy in it! I hear you calling me to stand, yet not to run. No, not yet. But soon. I will follow You and wait on You. You are the Lord God, the lover of my soul. You make all things new in Your time. So, I will wait and only by your grace, I will persevere.
I’m certain this conversation will keep playing out for me, stubborn, sinful thing that I am. I still have a few lingering doubts about “one word” but I find value in this process, for it required much abiding in Him. And that’s never a bad thing.
My friends, if you find yourselves lost in the one-word frenzy, don’t despair. You are not alone. Even more, if you’ve heard His voice, yet find disappointment in what He has to say, take heart. He will carry you through.
As my friend Arabah Joy wrote in Trust Without Borders:
“Why do we languish when we have so great a salvation? He will not remove His compassions from us and His mercies are not without effect! ….We can throw ourselves fully upon His mercy and on His good character, knowing that he who trusts in the Lord will never be disappointed.”
So there it is – the same ol’, same ol’.
“OK, so maybe “same-old”, minus the negative connotation, isn’t such a bad choice after all. Same-old dependence. Same-old faith. Same-old consistency. Same-old ministry. Same-old following. Same-old day-in, day-out walking with the Lord.”
I can’t say for certain that this word will be mine all year long, but I do believe it’s mine for now.
Same ol’ truth; new perspective.
Sharing with: Grace & Truth Christian Living
Sharing with: The Loft