Amy L Harden
Two Views On Choosing A Word of the Year
Each year for as long as I can remember, God has given me one word, sometimes a few words.
It has only been in the past couple of years I have discovered my friends and fellow Christian writers are also given "words" to focus on. There are two camps in the community, and both have strong opinions on the subject.
A few of my friends are quite keen and very enthusiastic about the process to get to "The Word of the Year." They mind map the results from their previous year's word, then look to the future and delve into goals and mine for scriptures to anchor the meaning revealed by focusing on what God has been speaking into your heart as of late. I have found short dynamic workshops and revelatory Pdf offerings leading "Word of the Year" enthusiasts through the process.
By far, the best book I have found is by Debbie Macomber called "One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make a Difference." Thank you, Liz Curtis Higgs, for this jewel of a book. Since I am a lover of words, this goes far beyond finding a word for the year; it looks at the importance of the power of what a single word can do in a person's life. It is a good read, and I highly recommend it even if you are not on a quest for the right word to stamp on your journey this year.
On the other hand, I have writing friends who find the whole thing tedious, convoluted, and not for them. They choose to glide through the upcoming year, not being impeded by a word - a "by the seat of your pants" approach. I smile at their social media declarations that they will not be anchored by a word throughout the year. What is the fun in that? Picking one word binds the spirit and doesn't allow for other words to fall in their lap to muse and meditate on, bringing revelations and new adventures to explore and the treasure of the "Ah-ha!" moment. I respect this decision on their part, just as I respect those who feel the need to mind-map their word to discover it.
As for me, I take wisdom from both camps.
Yes, I have a word of the year with scripture I lean on.
Yes, I choose not to let the word be an anchor unless the Lord tells me it is an anchor word.
I believe He wants us to be aware of our word but not held down or caught up in it so much that we can't see past it. We won't learn or grow if we aren't open to His possibilities. Researching the word in the dictionary and discovering the synonyms and antonyms for your word is eye-opening - a word blossoms and grows, and so too, do you.
Last year my word was "Overcome." It took some overcoming to get to that word. I didn't land on the word until the end of January. I kept insisting my word was "deliberate." God's response was a big fat - nope. "Overcome" proved to be what I needed. We had to overcome the grief of losing my mother-in-law and our cherished golden retriever while dealing with the ever-changing status of the pandemic. The stress of my third daughter's wedding with growing concern over shutdowns and limiting numbers of guests. My biggest hurdle I overcame was the need to please everyone AND be accepted or liked. As long as God liked me and was pleased, I was good to go. I banished my imposter syndrome to the back of the bus when I took on a writing coach and life coach who guided me over many bumps and rejections. I also overcame the need to constantly ask God "Why?" and the need to know why before stepping out in obedience. I think you would agree that God was right deliberate wouldn't have gotten me through 2021 but overcome certainly did.
This year He came early in giving me my word.
First, He called me back to in-house worship at my church, telling me that we would need the covering of the church family in the upcoming year. At the end of the first service, I heard "steadfast" - you must be steadfast this year, no matter what happens in your life. Do not take your eyes off me. Be obedient. Be steadfast in all that you do and speak. The "why" is not essential because none of what you do is futile or done in vain.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15: 58
"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast: I sing, yes, I will sing praises!"
Psalms 57: 7
Definition: Steadfast - firmly fixed in place, immovable: not subject to change. firm in belief, determination, or adherence: LOYAL, Resolute
Synonyms: Constant, dedicated, devoted, devout, down-the-Line, faithful, fast, food, loyal, pious, staunch, steady, true, true-blue.
On the third day of the new year, I stand steadfast waiting on what is to come knowing that God is with me and my Savior goes before me. Funny things is He has already given me another word. It is "finish." I will discuss this word in a future post.
If you have chosen a word for the year, please let me know what it is and your scripture. If you haven't chosen one, please tell me about your views on this practice.
God bless and Happy New Year to all who follow me here and at social media.
Numbers 6: 24-26