As I mentioned last post, in 2012, I began choosing a word for each year. This decision has deepened my faith and strengthened my foundation.
Three Ways to Choose a Word for the Year
There is no special formula for choosing a word for the year. But, if you’re not sure where to begin, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the one thing I struggle with?
- What is my deepest desire?
- What do I want to accomplish this year?
- What character trait do I want to develop?
- Is there a verse that resonates in this current situation?
- What do I need the most in my current season of life?
- What word or topic do I want to explore?
- Is there a word that repeatedly shows up?
Unshakable: My first word
My first year, I chose a verse that resonated with me. During that time, my husband’s company was restructuring, relocating employees, and forcing extensive traveling. All of which wreaked havoc in our family dynamics and in my spirit. For an entire year, I read, journaled, pondered, and meditated on this promise within Psalm 16:8:
“I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)
These pursuits provided a foundation of unshakable faith. Years later, a diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder would test my faith. However, because I had engraved ‘unshakable’ and Psalm 16:8 in my spiritual foundation when the diagnosis came, I swayed a bit but remained steadfast in faith.
Ask God to guide you in the word choice. By seeking God’s direction, you are relying on His Sovereign nature, and are involving Him in the process. One of the attributes of God is that He is Omniscient. This means God is all knowing–He knows everything there is to know, past, present, and future. By involving God in the process, He is eager to whisper to your heart the area you most need.
Rest: My 2018 Word
Rest was the word God gave me for 2018. To be honest, I didn’t like this word. Rest felt lazy. At the end of 2017, our family had moved to a new town. I wondered how in the world I was going to rest in 2018 when I had a gazillion boxes to unpack. By involving God in my word, He revealed over the course of the year, that He wanted me to enter into His rest–a soul rest. The verse I selected to accompany the word rest was Psalm 46:10, “Be still [cease striving] and know that I AM God.”
My soul was at rest in 2018. My soul was at rest when the scans confirmed my daddy’s cancer. My soul was at rest when the ER doctor told me both of my lungs were full of innumerable blood clots. My soul was at rest when mom had hip, knees, and shoulder surgery. Rest—this type of rest only comes from God. My lungs are now clear and healthy. My dad had surgery and undergoes immunotherapy every three weeks and mom is in physical therapy and doing great.
As you pray for the right word, you will notice words begin to catch your attention. This is where the fun comes in. Document or brain-dump these words onto paper. Grab a journal, sticky note, or index card and jot down each word that rises to the surface of your mind. For me, this is the fun part. I love to use colorful pens to document each word in a journal.
Even if you don’t like the words that come to mind, jot them down anyways. You are not selecting a word yet, but jotting down ideas. One word will lead to another. Continue to pray for guidance. As you do, your senses will heighten. You’ll notice song lyrics, street signs, and phrases like never before. God will guide you in the process.
Choosing the Right Word
After you have asked yourself the probing questions, prayed involving God’s guidance, and documented words, you’ll notice one word or phrase rises above the rest. This is your word. For me, when one specific word keeps showing up, then I know it is my word. It as if God is giving me a heavenly nod or nudge.
Here my last words:
- 2012: Unshaken (Psalm 16:8)
- 2013: Provision (Genesis 22:8)
- 2014: Abundance (Psalm 65:11)
- 2015: Hope (Hebrews 6:19)
- 2016: Trust (Romans 15:13)
- 2017: Refuge (Psalm 73:28)
- 2018: Rest (Psalm 46:10)
- 2019: Dwell (Psalm 91:1)
I hope you find this process as enjoyable and I do. Please share with me your thoughts or word for this year.
Hugs & Hope,
~April Dawn White
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