For the past four years, I’ve joined the movement of selecting a word for my year.
I’ve never been good at setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions. I forget about them once my life hits full throttle and races ahead, which typically happens starting the second day of January. But, I’ve found I can remember one word.
So, on January 1st, I write my word in my journal for the next year.
My daily focus on this word helps me be intentional about who I want to be, how I want to live, and how I want to know God better.
My word for this year is “reveal.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines reveal as:
1 : to make known through divine inspiration
2 : to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known
3 : to open up to view
This year I’m facing a lot of unknowns. Due to my husband and my choices related to downsizing and simplifying we don’t know where we're going to live when we move out of our rental this spring. We're hoping to settle down more permanently somewhere, but we have no idea where. Also, I quit a good job a couple of years ago to free up my time while my husband underwent a significant surgery and lengthy recovery. He's doing great and now I desire meaningful work and purpose and I don’t know what that is going to be—yet. My husband also desires a strong sense of direction and pursuit of his dreams in our new stage as empty nesters. He’s exploring ideas but doesn’t have clarity on what that will look like for him.
And our adult sons…I have no idea what the next year holds for each of them. Due to a variety of changes, I don’t know where my sons will be living or where their relationships, choices and career paths will take them.
When faced with so many unknowns my natural tendency is to feel anxious, obsessively think about different options, solutions, and scenarios and lose the sense of peace I long to live with. The peace God promises us despite our circumstances. (John 14:27)
So, here's how this word came to me. During the holidays our family went to several movies and I thought about how much I love going to movies. I enjoy not knowing what is going to happen and how the story will evolve and the ending unveiled. I watch with expectant anticipation. I find delight in eating junior mints and simply watching the movie as the story unfolds. I believe going to the movies is a social event, (although my boys disagree. They don't like when I talk during a movie.) And, I like it when it's a full theatre. It’s fun to laugh as a family, and as a larger group, all experiencing something together, gasp when something unexpected happens, and breathe a collective sigh of relief when the main character overcomes a challenge.
Pondering this, I realized I could look at my life like I watch a movie—with expectant anticipation.
God is the author of the story that I am in and rather than fear the unknown I can watch with delight and anticipation as God reveals my story to me. I know challenges, disappointment, heartbreak, and hardship are possibilities but success, humor, surprises, resolutions, and growth are just as likely to occur.
And I’ll cling to one of my favorite Bible verses this year. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
I’m excited to spend this next year watching God make known to me through divine inspiration, His plan, and His purpose.
I'll be asking myself every day, "What is God revealing to me today?" I don't want to miss a moment of His unveiling His beautiful story in my life and in the life of those I love.
I look forward to a year of learning to live differently. I want to possess an attitude of hopeful anticipation rather than fearing my future. I want to be the kind of person who trusts God so much I can sit back with my box of junior mints and watch with delight, as He reveals my story. And I want to live with a sense of peace because I know without a doubt, no matter what happens, He is with me and with those I adore.
❀ If you were to select a word for your upcoming year what would your word be? Why? Let us know by replying in the comments below. (For ideas visit oneword365.com)
Jeannie Blackmer is married to Zane and mother of three sons. She's the author of Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer, She’s also authored three books, contributed content to more than 20 books, and written articles for a variety of magazines. She loves her family, salt, chocolate, scuba diving and being outside as much as possible. She's managing the blog for the Flatirons Women's Ministry and is looking for writers!