There is a discipline, an intentional seeking and clinging to grace-filled living, called OneWord365. This discipline calls us to choose one word, through prayer and waiting on the Lord. This one word is chosen in light of the new year, and it’s the word that we pray God fulfills in our individual lives:
“One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.
It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.” -from One Word 365
Over the years, I’ve chosen themes and verses and words to mark seasons of my life. This fall, I started mulling over 2015 and praying for a word that would become an area of focus for the months ahead – my One Word 365.
Then, I read about another lady’s word – Reach – and I wanted mine to be that. I wanted to reach for new goals. I usually like verbs. I usually like doing. But, I couldn’t lie – I wasn’t ready to Reach.
Persevere? 2014 had left me winded. Persevere seemed significant.
Or, maybe Be Still. Or, Steady On?
Or maybe Hang On For Dear Life – but that was altogether too many words.
I prayed about choosing Trust for a couple days. God knows, I need to focus on trusting this year. Then, Trust gave way to Hope, but I sensed nothing affirming about either of them. Of course, Hope seemed well enough, but my heart, quite honestly, is too heavy to choose Hope. I started swinging back to the Hang On For Dear Life option.
Until, one morning, I sat on my bed in quietness. I was nearly obsessing about my word. January 1st had come and gone, and I was still wordless. A song was playing on the radio beside me about God’s love and, when I was least expecting an answer, the word Loved settled on me.
It wasn’t what I had envisioned for 2015.
It wasn’t a verb, and I recognized that fact immediately. Sure, the verb “to love” would be a fitting choice for a missionary mama. Love my neighbors. Love my family. Love, love, love. Do, do, do. But, I suppose God knew the best thing for me would be a verb-less 2015.
And, thank the Lord, it wasn’t Lovely. I would’ve thrown sticks at Lovely – because, I don’t feel Lovely, that’s why.
So, at the end of doing and the end of feeling, there is just simply Loved. It calls me to just be.
Yes, that, my heart nods in agreement.
I can’t earn it, can’t deserve it, can’t change it, can’t destroy it – because, thankfully, Loved isn’t up to me. Loved is a safe place to rest my torn up heart and to just be – be a girl who can’t take her eyes off the rightness and the beauty and the marvel of her Savior. Yes, I’m ready to focus on being Loved by Him.
So, this year, maybe I’ll come to really understand, maybe I’ll really let His love sink deep, past my imperfections and failures. Maybe I’ll let it settle me, wrap me up, sing over me. Maybe I’ll just focus on being held.
Loved. That’s my word for the next 12 months. And, it’s my prayer.
I don’t know what 2015 will bring. I only know this: I am Loved. And, may I know it more fully in the months ahead. Loved.