In 2013 I chose FOCUS as my word. The reason I chose this word was because I can be very stubborn and sometimes lose focus. I can lose sight of what is important and fixate too much on temporary things. By choosing focus as my word I wanted to keep my focus on God as my priority and keeping everything I did in perspective of what will matter in eternity. I definitely had a lot of ups and downs, but I did notice that I became more aware of where my focus was throughout the year. This was my first year doing the OneWord Challenge, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was cool to see growth in this area of my life even in just choosing this word as my theme for the year.
For 2014, I chose AUTHENTICITY. To be honest, when I chose this as my word last year, I wasn't entirely sure why. I was praying about what word to choose and I couldn't come up with anything. I finally started thinking "authenticity" and that was it. I had no idea how it would play out throughout the year. And it wasn't until just a few weeks ago, actually, that I realized how authenticity fit into my 2014. There were multiple times throughout the year I'd look over at the poster I made and wonder how I was going to explain why I chose this word. But as last year came to a close, I realized a way that I HAD become more authentic over the course of the year. Instead of hiding my chronic illness, I'm open about what is going on (at least more than I was). Instead of pretending to be someone I'm not, I'm honest about how things are going and how people can pray for me. It has been a challenge to get to that point, but looking back, I can say that becoming more authentic about my struggles has been good!
This year was easy...my word for 2015 will be HOPE. Bet you didn't see that one coming =P Haha, yeah, I don't feel like I chose this word, but that it chose me. This my theme for this upcoming year that is starting with a lot of unknowns and outstanding questions. Recently I've been down, really down. I know that God always promises that in our weakness He is strong, but when I feel weaker than ever in so many ways (physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, how many other ways are there??), sometimes I just feel like I'm getting hit when I'm down.
I don't understand why things have to be so hard, or why I feel like I'm in a snow globe that's just been shaken and I don't know which way is up. I'm not mad at God for my circumstances, but that doesn't mean I don't ask Him why it has to be so hard sometimes...and in those moments all I can do is HOPE in God's promises.
Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength; He will raise them on wings like eagles. They will RUN and not grow WEARY; they will WALK and NOT FAINT."
GOD HAS PROMISED HEALING. I know I mentioned that before in my blog, and I hold onto that promise. How much more can I relate to this verse recently than in years past...waiting...I know what that is like...running and not growing weary...how I look forward to that - having my illness take away the running I used to do has been HARD, but one day, I will run again and not grow weary...maybe I'll even run an ULTRA! (anything longer than a marathon for non-runners reading this =P)...walking and not fainting...doesn't seem like much until you can't walk down the hall without blacking out (or actually passing out like I did this morning, fun fact! haha)...how I look forward to (and wait eagerly for) the day of complete healing!
Hebrews 10:23 - "Let us hold fast the confession of our HOPE without wavering, for He who promised is FAITHFUL."
We are commanded to hold onto our hope of God's promises because He is and always has been faithful to fulfill what He said He would do. So I do that. I am reminded of healing when I don't see it or feel like things are getting worse and not better...and I try to remember that God is purposeful and present in my suffering. Just because I don't see how things are playing out, doesn't mean that my struggles don't somehow have a purpose or reason for why I'm dealing with them.
The last verse I chose is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible. If you haven't read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (or Rack, Shack, and Benny for all you Veggie Tales folk =P) check out the book of Daniel. Quick summary, S, M, and A refused to bow down to the king of Babylon because they told him they only worship the one true God. He got mad and decided to have them thrown in a fiery furnace. These next verses are their response to king Nebuchadnezzar (Mr. Nezzer in the Veggie Tales movie).
Daniel 3:17-18 - "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn't we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set."
WOW. This verse gets me everytime I read it...maybe I should read it more often...haha...Anyway, what I love about these verses is that S, M, and A recognize that God CAN save them. At the same time, they recognize that just because God is ABLE doesn't necessarily mean that He WILL. Initially that can seem harsh...why would a loving God not use His power to save the people He supposedly loves? Why would God not heal me if He loves me like He says He does? Honestly, I don't have a perfect answer for that. All I can say is that I know that God sees what I don't see and knows things I don't know. I also know that this life is about more than just me, so somehow I fit into a bigger plan that I don't know about, but God does. So in essence, S, M, and A are saying that they believe God is powerful enough to save them and they believe that He can, but they also recognize that what we want is not always a part of God's plan, and if God chooses NOT to save them from the fire, they still trust Him and believe that He is God. Again, WOW.
So that's my OneWord for 2015! (I know, that's a LOT more than one word, but you get the picture =P) I'm choosing to believe in God's promise of healing because He always fulfills His promises, but even if I don't get the healing that I so desperately pray for, I still trust that He is God and I always have HOPE for what is to come in heaven!
Let's make this interactive! What's your OneWord or New Year's Resolutions?