As I sit here reflecting on the wonderful craziness of the past year, I can’t help but wonder what 2019 will hold. Whether it brings new adventures or new struggles, I look forward to stepping out into the unknown. Every year, I ask the Lord for a word of direction, some little hint to guide me into the new year. One year, the word was jump. I had a picture in my mind of jumping off a cliff (something I would NEVER do in real life!). Jump? That year became a jumping off point for me, one in which I jumped out in faith in ministry. As exciting as that seemed, I soon let that word slip from my mind, until the next New Year came around. I think the Lord must have a sense of humor, because my word that next year was parachute! Yes, I questioned that one myself! The Lord wanted to be a parachute for me, a safety net of sorts.
Each year, we sometimes seem to fly through life. During the good times, we fly over the mountain tops with joy and laughter. During the struggles, we seem to crawl along the ground, being pulled along by the unseen force called time. No matter what we do, or how we feel, time keeps moving forward. I needed a parachute, a life preserver, the sense of safety and protection. Time was not going to give me that, I needed to depend on the Lord.
” God, keep us near your grace-fountain and bless us!
And when you look down on us, may your face beam with joy! (Psalm 67:1 TPT)”
I believe that God is close. He surrounds us, He sees us every minute of every day. He is not some distant being in the clouds. He is real, someone I can depend on. When He looks at me, He sees me through eyes of love and compassion. He cares enough about me to give me a word of hope and direction every single year. This year has been different. I have struggled to hold onto that intimate reality. The God who I hold to as a parachute, the God who gives me strength to jump, felt far away and lost. Truthfully, it was all me. I let the discontent I was feeling in life creep into my relationship with God. He had not left, He was just as close as ever. Knowing my heartaches of 2018, I eagerly began to ask for hope for 2019. Nothing. Lord? What is my word for this season? Nothing. I would read what friends would post. Courage. Rest. Hope. Nothing grabbed me.
All I heard in my mind was words. Words for other women, words of truth, words of hope. Words. I asked again – Lord, will you give me a word for this next year? Or will this year be silent?
Then in my heart, I knew. I knew what the Lord was trying to say to me. Word! I laughed inside; now I am sure He has a sense of humor. My word was word! The longing of my heart, going into this next year, is for my words to give hope, lift up, encourage, and heal. It is not my words, but the Word of Life that I connect to in my words.
“Send us out all over the world so that everyone everywhere will discover your ways and know who you are and see your power to save.
Let all the nations burst forth with praise; let everyone everywhere love and enjoy you! (Psalm 67:2-3)”
Our words can travel the world, they can touch hearts, they can create an atmosphere of joy. When we use words to spread hope and truth, we can change the world. My word is word for 2019. I pray that I can bring a smile to God’s face as He teaches me how to speak, how to write, and how to sing the words from His heart. Word!