Choosing One Word…His

One word.

Everyone seems to be picking one as a theme for their year. It’s all the buzz on social media. It was an idea presented to me from a writing group, but then I began to see it everywhere. Immediately I felt a pressure to have a word. I mean I must need one word, right?

Choosing One Word

The thing is I’m not really a one word kinda gal. I mean I’m a writer. There are words floating around in my head endlessly, and to pick one…one single word to define 366 days (It’s a leap year, folks!)…well, the pressure was more than I could take.

My mind began tossing some of those words around wondering if each one could be the word. Trust? I did need to work on trusting in the Lord’s provisions at all times. Hope? Oh, how there are moments when I have needed to focus on the hope of situations. Peace? Maybe what I needed was to seek more peace or be at peace or find His kind of peace. Surely there was something there.

For days I walked around in a stupor, tossing words round and round in my head hoping to come up with that one word. While we were playing yahtzee, I pandered the word “fun.” In the car ride to church, in a chorus of little voices, my heart whispered, “family, connecting, love.” On my elliptical I cheered inspirational words like “persevere, persist, prevail, triumph!”

None seemed right. They were all great words, but they just weren’t the one word for 2016.The pressure mounted. I stared at my husband thoughtfully for several moments and thought “joy,” just before he looked back at me with eye brows furrowed and a smirk on his face. Ok, that isn’t it either.

Sleepless nights went by, not due to the one word hunt, but because several little ones have decided to work out a shift so that I am watched over at all times. Such a sweet crew I have. There is rarely a moment in which a limb of some sort does not grace my face. Rest? That is a great word, and much needed, but not the one.

I had nearly given up my search. My mind is so often a busy place and this seemed to only increase the word traffic, taking me from all that was right in front of me. I pleaded with God to quiet my head. Then I chose to turn to The Word for counsel.

As I read His Word and searched the scriptures for what would soon guide my year, I felt God whispering, “I’ll give you what you need. You don’t need a word as your guide. You need Me.”

And then it hit me. This chaos and pressure that came from picking a word was not connected to the Lord. This was not a divine assignment.

These activities we give ourselves are wonderful in ways. Sometimes we need something to point us in the right direction. January is the month for New Year’s resolutions and new beginnings. While these can be great to help point our attention in a needed direction, like the one word assignment, it can have us focusing on what the world deems important, not what God is calling to our attention.

If a resolution or a word enhance your connection to the Lord and allow you to walk in the direction He is calling you with a bit more ease, then by all means stick to that resolution or choose that word. If He calls you to this activity to speak into your life, then it truly holds the weight of greatness.

If like me, it was just an idea tossed out to help direct you and you find yourself overwhelmed with the burden of picking a resolution or a word, then turn to the Word instead. What is He telling you? What areas of your life is He calling you to focus on?

We are each called to different things. When we allow the world to define these things, we miss the opportunity to hear the greatness God has in store for us. We escape from all the wrong things, leaving behind the opportunities that may be counter intuitive to the world, but His divine call on our lives.

According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, the top resolutions for 2015 were:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Getting Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Staying Fit and Healthy
  6. Learn Something Exciting
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Help Others in Their Dreams
  9. Fall in Love
  10. Spend More Time with Family

Many of these are great resolutions, just like all the great words I had cycled through during those few days. Everything on this list drips with hopeful intentions of achieving a goal that will enhance their life.

Statistic Brain Research Institute also noted that only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. So many set out to succeed only to find themselves missing their mark at some point in the year.

While picking a word does not put the same kind of pressure on our shoulders that a resolution may, it too allows us to attempt to work things out in our own power.

Why don’t the majority of people succeed at their resolutions? Any time we strive to do things in our own strength, the odds are stacked against us. Succeeding by worldly standards is nearly impossible. We are destined to fall. The world will always highlight our shortcomings whereas God will always help us highlight His greatness.

Picking a word for your year or a New Year goal are not bad practices, but doing so in lieu of listening to the Almighty Father is. He is waiting patiently for you to listen all year through.

I stopped my one word search and settled on just being present. I guess that could have been my word, but I wouldn’t want to risk not continuing to listen and settle on just one word for the entire year. Only God knows what adventures He has in store for the rest of my year, and what words I may need to hear.

Right now, I’ll be present with my family, with my writing, with Abba Father. I’ll do this by stopping the search for the one word, and choosing to search The Word.

May you be blessed by His presence all year through.

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