I’ve been praying this prayer over the past several months, and when it came to choosing a word for 2018, this prayer popped in my mind and one word stuck out to me as the theme:
To know who to be, where to be and what to be in the season I’m in.
To not run from season to season so busy and missing what’s most important.
To have a holy anticipation about the future so that I live each day like it matters.
To be a woman who lives (and loves) intentionally.
To seek God’s way and not my own.
What is my piece of the puzzle?? (not what do I want to do with my life but what will He have me do)
To live out my purpose.
To live life on purpose.
I started focusing on just one word for the year in 2016. I wrote a post at the beginning of last year about that first word and never published it, so I’m sharing it here below…
2016: My First Word
Starting in 2016, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions and decided to focus on one word instead… a Fruit of the Spirit actually. I decided to make this my one, only one, New Year’s Resolution. I won’t take credit for the idea – it was given to me the from the first sermon of the year at our church, This is My Year… I Promise. Basically, we tend to make a New Year’s Resolution or two every year based on what we think is possible for ourselves, but what about what God thinks is possible for us? The gist was that focusing on one Fruit of the Spirit for an entire year could have a radical positive impact on your life.
As a refresher (I had to look them up too), these are the nine Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness & self-control. My 2016 New Year’s Resolution: Peace. To make, to seek, to find peace… true peace. The previous year, 2015, was my first experience with what I believe would be considered anxiety. Or maybe I was simply grieving, but I needed to find a way to get past it (or make peace with it). I mean, I was able to walk around with a smile on my face, and honestly, anyone who knew half of what was going on said, “Wow, you’re so strong. You don’t let it affect you.” What?! I’m crumbling! I can’t wait for my girls to take their nap almost every day so I can have a good cry because I can’t keep it together any longer.
We all have fears and grievances, but it’s no place to live our lives. It is possible to experience these feelings, then rise above them. But it wasn’t until several months into the year, of me trying to achieve it on my own – chasing after anything & everything I thought would bring me peace – that I realized I needed to let go – this wasn’t something I could control. To most of us, it seems completely counterintuitive, but surrender is key… true peace requires surrender because it isn’t something that’s found within. When we surrender, God takes control of the outcome. And finally… I began to understand what true peace felt like.
That peace is different than comfortable. It isn’t absent from difficulties, but is based on a steadfast trust in God and infuses us with the power of internal stability. What sweet relief it is to realize we aren’t expected to get through the tough times on our own. When we are weak, He is strong. As one of my dear friends (and former pastors) would say, “When I need someone to lean on, He’s always there. Some may say it’s a crutch, but when you’re crippled, you need a crutch… and I’m crippled.” The peace that only comes from Jesus is so necessary this side of life because we will all go through these seasons, unfortunately. But guarding our hearts with His peace means never losing hope in these situations and gives us the supernatural ability to walk through it with the knowledge that God can be trusted. “I don’t have peace because I figured it all out. I have peace because I believe in Christ.”
A few of my revelations through this process:
- True peace is believing that when things don’t go as planned (our plan), God’s plan for each of us is greater than anything than we can even imagine.
- I needed to stop being selfish – my circumstances aren’t about me. Realizing my purpose & the purpose for everything is part of a much greater & grander story.
- It’s a choice… to dwell in it… to listen to the enemy. OR to put God’s truth above all & live in it.
- If God is the ultimate source of peace, why not start each day here? This app is perfect for us busy moms to be with the Lord for just the first 5 minutes of the day.
So what about a New Year’s Resolution that can’t be broken or even checked off a list? Would you choose a Fruit of the Spirit to focus on for an entire year? A single word? Which one?