At the end of year I take some time to seek direction and definition for the for the year ahead. In this process, I usually ask the Lord to show me a word that will shape the following 12 months of my life, kind of like a word of the year. Last year my word was intentionality. At the time I felt this word come to my heart, I was pregnant with our forth child and while life was moving really fast, I felt that it was an invitation to slow down and be intentional about what really matters. I wanted to be intentional about my prayer life and spiritual growth, relationships, gift giving and celebrating others, more intentional with my day planning and the list goes on and on. I felt that it was important to not just continue going with the flow and the madness of life, I wanted to truly stop, slow down and be intentional with the life, people, time and resources I’ve been blessed with. I love 2020 for giving me that gift because I was able to see this manifest in a way I would have never imagined.
So much good came from 2020 for me personally, tough stuff, but good stuff nonetheless. However on the other side of that, like many 2020 turned into a year of uncertainty and if I’m honest, complete confusion at times. I still remember meeting up with my friend Drea at Target on Saturday mornings for our weekly Target run. We would watch people line up with gloves on their hands, masks on their face and we would look at each other and say ‘I will never wear a mask in public like that!’.. I could literally laugh at some of our conversations because we had literally NO IDEA what was just ahead on the horizon for us.
I have never in my life questioned more than I have in the last 10-12 months. At times I would sit and wonder ‘what do I even believe anymore’? .. Questions I had surrounding COVID-19 led to questions in just about every other area. Having my life totally flipped upside down, left me asking ‘what really matters anyways?’ I know what I thought mattered, but was I off? Was I wrong? Is there more to life that I was missing? I started to ask myself all the hard questions; What do I believe about people? About faith? About church culture? About family structure? About politics? About relationships? About MYSELF? What do I believe about every single thing I’ve ever know? 2020 put me face to face with a lot of questions that maybe I always had deep down inside, but never gave the time of day. And while I believe there is a place and need for these types of inquisitions, I did it in ways that would often leave me spinning out of control at times as I took in more than I could handle.
As 2020 was coming to an end, I was thinking, praying and asking; what is my 2021 word? But nothing came to heart. In fact, not only could I not put language to my expectancy for 2021, I was almost afraid to! The last several weeks, I’ve found myself saying ‘I don’t know what I believe’ more then ever. I’ve found myself so confused and in fact, last week I told my best friend that I am literally the person in the book of James- I am the double minded one, unstable in all my ways.
I know this is quite the introduction, but in order for you to understand where I’m going, I need you to have an idea of where I’ve been. So a couple weeks into 2021 I decided that if the Lord hadn’t shown me a new word, I would follow the last direction He gave, intentionality. That would be my word for 2021.
Then something happened. A couple of weeks ago I went to my training session and before class, my trainer did a quick devotional and prayer. As she was reading the devotional, the following words jumped out;
‘I come insecure, He assures me of His presence.’
I heard the Lord whisper; ‘Assurance, this is the year that I give you complete assurance. Trade your insecurities for assurance, trade your questions for assurance, trade your fears for assurance. I will show you exactly what you believe. I will assure you that things are exactly as they should be.’
I could have cried.
Assurance. That’s my 2021 word. That this is the year that the Lord will take all my questions, all my fears, all my insecurities and replace them with assurance in Him. I never realized how much hope and trust I put in people and things. Not in an idolatrizing way, but in a way that was unhealthy and unsustainable. People disappoint you, places change, life is always evolving, I need to remind my soul to put all my hope in the Lord, all my trust in Him, to lean not on my own understanding and to believe that He will perfect that which concerns me.
I feel like my words in the past have been great, and they have made my life better in so many ways but this year- this word- is so personal to me because it reaches deep into the depth of my soul and answers the hard questions that no one else can.
God is so good. He doesn’t need to explain Himself, nor does He need to assure me that He is who He says He is, yet here He is .. doing it! I’m thankful for this. I’m excited for this. And most importantly, I’m 100% believing for this. My heart and soul needs assurance in this season, I’m so thankful that God has decided to do just that. And here’s the thing, I don’t believe that He will only do it for me. I believe that He can and absolutely will do it for you as well! God wants His sons and daughters completely assured of all that He is and everything He created us to be.
Do you have a word of the year? If you do, drop it in the comments below or tag me on social media! If not, I encourage you to take a few minutes and ask God. I promise you, He will answer if you ask.