Well, here we are once again...another year has come to an end and a new year has begun! Was the past year what you wanted it to be? Did you accomplish your goals? Did you not? Did things happen that brought you joy or pain? Are you glad to see 2018 come to an end? Are you looking forward to a new year? Have you been thinking about what your new year resolutions will be?
A few years ago, I decided to stop looking at a new year coming with new resolutions to set. Instead, I did something different.
I started coming up with a WORD FOCUS for that year. A WORD that would challenge me, change me, push me, and grow me. Some WORDS I have used in the past have been OVERCOMER, FEARLESS, CONFIDENT, BELIEVE, PURPOSE, FORWARD, and NEW for 2018.
Why a WORD you may ask? It's very simple...there is power in the WORDS we think, say, and read. Take the Bible for instance. Look at all the powerful WORDS God has given us. He tells us that His Word is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword in Hebrews 4:12. Proverbs 18:21 says that life and death are in the power of the tongue.
WORDS can build faith or build fear.
By choosing a WORD for the year to focus on, it makes me focus on building my faith and suffocating my fear.
Maybe you are ready to suffocate fear and stop listening to doubt. I would challenge you to give this a try for 2019 and pick a WORD.
How should you pick you ask?
PRAY. Ask God to give you guidance on what He wants you to focus on this year. Ask Him to show you areas in your life you need to grow.
BE CHALLENGED. Don't pick a WORD that you are already doing well at in your life. For example, if you are already great at being on time and organized in your life, TIME MANAGEMENT is not something you need to work on. What is an area in your life that you want to see change? Your work ethic? Your finances? Your confidence? Faith?
BE A LITTLE SCARED ABOUT YOUR WORD. I know that sounds crazy, but if the WORD you choose doesn't make you feel like you may throw up a little inside, it isn't the right one. When I picked NEW for 2018, I had no idea what God was up to and I was scared out of my mind y'all! He pushed me into trying new things and trusting Him to do them. Because of that, I wrote a 10 day devotional on overcoming anxiety and it has been purchased literally all across the world! That was not something I ever thought I could do...He totally did that and encouraged me along the way to keep walking in NEW things.
BE GRACIOUS. This is not a New Year's Resolution guys. If you mess up or have a bad day, or even week, give yourself grace. When choosing a WORD, it is all about a year long process of growing and changing. You are not going to get it right by the end of February! It will take time...there will even be bumps in the road...but the journey to your new destination will be worth it!
So, what's my WORD for 2019 you ask? It's funny you should ask that question, HA! It normally takes me all of January to know what my WORD FOCUS is for the year, but God revealed it to me as 2018 ended...I won't lie...He scared me with it because it means bigger faith from me and bigger faith steps. It also means continuing to release control and I am a confessed CONTROL FREAK!
Before I tell you this WORD, I do want you to know something. I know a lot of people reflect in December and hit the ground running in January with all their visions, goals, dreams, WORDS. It is OK friend if you don't! It is OK if it takes you all of January just to get your house back in order from all that you had going on in December. And...it is totally OK if you need to take the entire month of January to do your reflection, goal setting, vision writing, and WORD FOCUS. Don't let social media tell you otherwise. Take your time so that you can be ready and focused to slay this new year.
Ok, enough stalling...my WORD FOCUS for this year is.........................
Ephesians 3:20 tells says this: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
When this WORD and scripture was put in front of me, it was as if God was saying to me, "Stop asking me to do things for you that you can do for yourself...ask and believe for beyond yourself so that others can see Me in you. Trust me for greater...believe that I can still do what my Word says and I can go above and BEYOND all that you ask or think."
So...that is what I am going to work on for 2019. Believing that God can do BEYOND my reach and my strengths. Believing that He can do a work that no one else gets the glory for but Him.
I also want to go BEYOND in every area of my life. I always push myself to grow and learn, but I have realized that once I get to that point where I have to step out a little further or do something new, it scares me and I shut down because it is the unknown. Well, it stays in that "unknown" category until I try right? So, going out in the "unknown" to help me grow BEYOND is on the agenda for 2019!
I don't want to shut down this year. I want to keep pressing in and go BEYOND what I think I can do. I want to learn new things and try new things. I want to take those faith steps that I have been scared to take for months because someone may say no or I may look different to this world.
The thing is...as followers of Jesus, we are different. That means I will be getting it right this year by living different and going BEYOND myself and reaching BEYOND what I thought I could do....believing BEYOND what I think God can do. He is greater and can do the impossible.
So...once you get your WORD, I would love for you to share that with me and the WHY behind it. We can pray for one another and pray that God continues to guide us and help us in this new year!
It's time for you to grow friend. It's time for you to walk in the purpose you were put on this earth to do. You got this! Now....what's the WORD?