A New Year, a New Word

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A new year is upon us, along with those pesky thoughts of New Years’ resolutions. Well, resolutions are no temptation to me anymore. I’ve given up trying to change myself by my own self-effort. The indwelling Christ is my “Game-changer” and my “Life-changer.” And a few years ago, He brought a lovely “new thing” to my attention … the idea of a word for my year. So for the past several years, I have had my word. But my word had never stuck until in 2016 I stepped aside and allowed the Lord to “give” it to me, rather than try to come up with one on my own.

So each year my word just seems to “find me.” Every year it has appropriately come in the midst of my “all too real-life” circumstances. In 2016, my blood pressure had shot up because of everything going on. In the midst of it all, the Lord reminded me of advice I had received years before, “let life unfold.” So “unfolding fullness” became my “mantra” for 2016. And each day I journaled how the previous day had unfolded and prayed about the unfolding to come.

Then in 2017, overcome with thoughts of inadequacy to face what was ahead, I welcomed the Lord’s word for the year, “daily bread.” I knew Him as my Provision and Sustenance for each event as it came.

Last year, as my blood pressure shot up again, my word came: “rest, just rest.” I found myself drawn into rest over and over again, often because of sickness or medical procedures for my husband or myself. But it seemed that “forced rest” was actually a blessing as a precursor to a hectic fall travel and teaching schedule.

Now a new year ahead, and I began to fear there would be no new word. I was just blank. Nothing seemed to be unfolding. But I knew better than to go looking for one. Then one day, as in the past, my word found me — “Wait …wait on Me and My timing.” Can I tell you how it came?

A huge potential glitch came up in what was a “set in concrete” schedule for March. The only way around it would be to either totally cancel out of a commitment or see if I could negotiate a delay of some sorts. After notifying the person in charge, I learned that neither of those was a viable option. So as I journaled and prayed, I said to the Lord,

Now what about this situation, Lord?
What is YOUR will and YOUR purpose and YOUR pleasure?
I’m rolling this on YOU, O God. I’m waiting to see how YOU work this out.

Then a verse came to mind … a favorite from the past:

We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy,
just as servants
keep their eyes on their master,
as a slave girl watches her mistress for the
slightest signal.
Psalm 123:2 NLT

And look at what came up on my Facebook newsfeed that morning:

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Now I don’t go around looking for “signs,” but I received it as a message from God to my heart —

I have heard you, Jan. Wait and watch. My answer to your dilemma is coming.

Sure enough, an hour or so later, I learned that the calendar dates that had caused such conflict were actually incorrect. The actual dates slipped onto the calendar in its place without near as much difficulty. God’s answer. It was then that I realized I had my word for 2019: Wait on God!

Thank you, O God, for causing me to wait on YOU. I could have so easily agonized, finagled, connived, and tried to figure it out on my own. What wasted effort that would have been. Teach me to wait on You, the only Wise One, full of love and grace. Amen.


PS. You may like to take a look at last year’s post. (Click here)

Many of you shared your words for 2018.
How did your word help you last year?

Would you like to share your word for 2019?
I would love to hear your thoughts …