“One Word” Disappointment

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?

One Word for 2015, disappointed in your One Word,  one word struggles

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.

What?

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.

I am.

Don’t run ahead; stay by my side and let me shelter you.

Don’t lose faith now. Persevere.

one word 2015, one word worries, 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).

Persevere!

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’.

But as Christine wrote at Grace Covers Me,

“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.

Persevere.

Jen :)

Sharing with: Grace & Truth Christian Living

Sharing with: The Loft

Comments

  1. says

    I love this, Jen! I normally eschew all things overly popular. I always found the one word thing to be either trite, or for ladies far more spiritual than I.

    Even as I chose a word this year, I would not presume to say that the Lord ‘gave’ it to me. I do feel that He impressed a memory, an image in my mind and from there I chose the word that best describes what I feel I need to work on right now.

    Will it change over the year? Maybe. Is it actually from God, or just me? I honestly don’t know. I do think that focusing on one thing/word that will help us grow closer in some fashion to our Lord is bound to become a blessing.

    Persevere is good. It is focused, yet potentially vast in it’s application. Nice post, Jen. I love your transparency and your obvious heart for our Lord. Grace and peace to you!

    • says

      Whew, Rebecca, you have no idea how much these words encourage me this evening! As soon as I clicked publish, the doubts came. I agree with so much of what you said above. I do think the word will be a blessing, a tool even. Thanks for this!
      Jen :)

  2. says

    Jen, I like this post. It is honest and transparent. It also reveals a heart that is willing to do the tough thing, if that thing is a God thing. It took me a few years to decide to do the ‘one word’ thing, and I do not do it lightly. God has been very specific with me over the past 3 years as He has given me my word for the year. Each year has brought much learning and growing. Always He walked with me as He unveiled how my word would impact me. He will walk with you, too, this year as you persevere.

    • says

      Thank you, Leah, for your wise words. Perhaps I envy those who claim their words with such conviction? :) But I have a growing confidence that this is the right path, even if it was as other than nearly I would choose for myself. I greatly appreciate your encouragement here!
      Jen :)

  3. says

    Jen,

    I am so glad you left me a little note on my post, just so I can come and read yours. Oh my gosh! Can we have coffee? Seriously. I really appreciated your candor and honesty, as well as your struggles for I share the same, especially if they happen to be long trials. I cannot wait to read more and get to know you.

    Be sure I will be connecting with you more.

    • says

      You’re so sweet, Samantha, and you bless my heart with your words. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ll have hot cocoa! I look forward to connecting with you, as well. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
      Jen :)

  4. says

    I am still struggling too. Right now it is exercise. Another friend suggested “strength” which I like too. I think the essence of the “one little word” is to help you focus on a vision for your year. I think also grace applies here too. I don’t think there is a chance of getting it wrong. You move ahead in faith and lock on to your word. I took the honest approach. I said right now I think “exercise” is my word. I am going to pray over this word and see where the Holy Spirit leads me. I love the word Persevere. It can mean so much and praying over it and living it can take your life in so many directions. Good luck in your quest for God’s visions for your life in 2015!

    • says

      Yes, Mary, you are right. Grace in all things, even choosing a word! It’s funny you mention exercise because that is one area that my word speaks to as well. I’ve faced some setbacks lately with this extended illness. In the past when I’ve faced setbacks, I typically give up for a while. Not
      this time! Now that I’ve put the word out there for all to see, I’m excited to write about all the ways in which it carries meaning for me. Praying clarity for you as you press forward with your word, too!
      Jen :)

  5. says

    Dear Jen, persevere is a beautiful word, not necessarily linked to suffering. In Hebrews 12:2, God explains how to do it: looking [away from all that will distract us] to Jesus (AMPL). The word endurance, used in verse 12:1, also refers to patience, hope, and resolution. I trust that in 2015, you will see God’s promises come true.

    Blessings from Italy,
    Milly

  6. Dory says

    Hi there, greetings from the UK. I have been encouraged by the following Scripture recently:
    ‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.’ 2 Chronicles 17:9
    God bless you.

  7. says

    Thank you Jen for sharing this. For the last few years I’ve chosen “one word” and it was always so easy…it just came. This year it was harder, nothing really seemed right. For several reasons I settled on Grace. It seemed right and it’s something God has been giving me a greater understanding in. I am a ruler follower and want to “do” for God, but He continues to show me I live under grace. I need grace in my life and I need to give it. So grace seemed right.

    But something didn’t sit right in my spirit and the word I keep hearing even now is another word. It’s a word I’m not sure I want either. I struggle in this area I know I do and while on one hand I desire greatly to grow in understanding and depth I hesitate.

    Can one change her mind if she’s already chosen a word? That’s where I was when I read this post. So I am headed over to my blog to explain that my new word will be prayer. After all if I chose the word and not God then I decided I must change it. ;-)

    • says

      Love your honesty, Sharon! I came to the conclusion that even if I got my word wrong, it’s better to be working toward something rather than nothing. I do believe persevere is my word for now, but that may change, who knows? Only the Father! Thanks for being Brave enough to make that change!
      Jen :)

  8. says

    I love this Jen, particularly the first part. I errased the first part of my post because it was synical and straight forward in the way that I usually am and I figured it might unnecessarily offend, but I am not a fan of fads and I wouldn’t have done this at all if not for it being an assignment ;) I liked this thought: “as if the word itself held power over me rather than Christ Himself.” Thank you for your graciously worded honesty about the strong you had to participate in what everyone else is doing <3 If for no one else, I was thankful to read that I'm not alone ;)

    • says

      Yes, it’s always good to know we are not alone! Although it’s been a struggle, I’m actually thankful for the assignment because it made me spend a lot if time thinking, praying, and looking for God’s hand at work in my life. I appreciate what my friend Arabah Joy wrote at her blog about sowing the word in our lives and expecting a harvest. I may not be a fan of fads, but what she wrote helps me to be a fan of my word! Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Jen :)

  9. says

    It’s interesting – I never knew that there was a “religious” element to the one word campaign. I always just thought it was a word that you chose to focus on throughout the year. I like the idea of praying on it and having it be more of a divine focus. But I admit, I haven’t spent much time talking to God lately.

    • says

      I’m not sure of the background of one-word, so perhaps it really didn’t start that way? But for me, it definitely has a faith element to it. :) As far as admitting you haven’t talked to God much lately, I’m sure you’re not alone in that. In fact, I’m just coming out of a season of somewhat “ignoring” Him in my day to day living – or at the very least letting Him take back seat to the rest of my to-do, must-do stuff. It’s taken a month of illness to get me back to where I need to be! The best part is that He is someone I can say all of the things to, even those I’m ashamed to admit to myself or say out loud. He understands our suffering because He’s experienced it Himself. He walks with us, even when we fail to walk with Him. He loves us anyways! I think sometimes we forget that.
      Jen :)

  10. Kathy Schwanke says

    This reminds me of “one step at a time” and “one day at a time” … “just keep holding my hand…”

    I anticipate seeing God shower you with grace for all that is ahead and your VICTORY story!! :)

  11. jenniferclarkewriter says

    Wonderful post, Jen! Like you, I’m usually slow to jump on the latest bandwagon. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing! In these times, the most popular trends are often the most destructive. But you’ve turned the simple idea of “choosing a word” into a venture that has thrusted you towards our Heavenly Father. That alone is worth all the angst it took to get there. Thanks for linking up at Grace and Truth, and for partnering with me! I look forward to journeying together. :)

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