Saturday, January 2, 2016

OneWord 2016

I'm starting this post on January 1, in the midst of a bad flare of symptoms. I've been lying in bed hugging a trashcan or sitting on the floor of the bathroom for the past 2 hours trying to fight off yet another reaction. New year, same drill...going to sound super ironic when I share my OneWord 2016.

Ready??

VICTORY

I know...I'm not feeling very victorious right now...and it's only Day 1...

BUT there's a whole lot of year left, and despite how rough this year starts, I refuse to let that dictate the next 365 (leap year!) days.

Like I've said before, I truly believe that this is not MY OneWord, but a word God has placed on my heart. Leading up to the end of December, I begin praying and asking God what should be focus and theme for the upcoming year. Some years are more straightforward than others in choosing a word.

This year the word came to me almost immediately. After a year of HOPE, what else could I choose but VICTORY?? Plus, when talking with my mom on New Year's Eve, turns out she came up with the same word for me without any idea of what I had been thinking and praying about. That just confirmed it.

So, VICTORY, what does it look like??

Truthfully, I don't know. A close friend introduced me to the phrase "expect without expectations" when we were in college. The idea is to be ready for God to move, to believe that He can intervene in any circumstance, and to wait expectantly...BUT that waiting is to be done without preconceived ideas of WHAT God will do or HOW He will accomplish it.

So when I say my word is VICTORY, it means that I am ready for healing and victory over these challenges, I believe that God is able to bring about healing and move in a mighty way, and I'm waiting to see what He is going to do. Yet at the same time, I understand that healing in God's eyes may look different than how I think it should look. God's plan is bigger than me, and I want that victory to be a part of His plan, not just my life, whatever that may look like. So while I am choosing VICTORY as my theme for the year, it is in knowing that God's and my definitions may be different and the end result may not be at all what I expect. So I'm "expecting without expectations!"

Deuteronomy 20: 1, 4
When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt...for the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.

Moses was reminding the Israelites that not only would God be with them as they faced their enemies, but that He was the same God who had already given them victory in Egypt. God is always with us, and has already given us victory over many things in our lives. When things seem tough, that is what we have to hold onto.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. for the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

If I have the weaknesses I do for the sake of being a testimony of God's strength in the midst of these challenges, then I truly do count it as a blessing. If I could be strong on my own, there would be nothing for God to add. Instead, I am helpless on my own, and I have nothing to add...God is the strength I need and gives me victory over challenges as a testimony of who He is.

2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Like I have said before, choosing VICTORY as my OneWord does not necessarily mean I will be physically healed by the end of the year. My struggles are not just physical but spiritual. While I truly am praying for physical healing, even more I am praying for spiritual healing and growth.

James 1: 2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and completely, lacking nothing.

Joy is smiling through the tears knowing I still have a promise of healing. Joy is laughter amidst the pain and nausea and ER trips and doctors appointments believing that despite my circumstances, I am loved beyond anything I could imagine. Joy is being reminded that I always have hope in God even during the hardest, darkest moments. My faith has truly been tested over the past few years. It has been stretched, and at times, felt torn to pieces. But at the same time, it has grown on a much stronger foundation, and I am learning what it means to be unshakable and lack nothing because God is everything.

So that's my OneWord for this year...VICTORY...let's go 2016!

What is your OneWord or New Year's Resultion?


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