For years now, I have joined in with many others who have started the New Year with a selected word to claim for the next 12 months. For me personally, this word is not necessarily humanly picked; rather, through thoughtful prayer, I feel as if it is divinely planted. Eventually, at some point, the word just comes to me, and my heart knows, “this is it.”
I encourage you to think and pray about a word for the year. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart. One friend of mine has chosen the word “good”. Another friend has chosen the word “listen”. I have yet another friend who has a pottery painting party for many, so that these differing choice words can be painted on cups, vases, or plates to claim, celebrate, and remember all year long.
In 2016, my word for the year was “bend” (bend to listen intently, bend to know Christ more). I wasn’t completely sure of what all the Lord was going to teach me with this word, but He already knew full well. It turns out in March of that year, I was asked to go through a 40 day prayer journey with a group of women. The author of the prayer guide suggested that I start and end the day on my knees. Because of the humbling benefits of “bending” in this way, I have kept the practice ever since.
In 2017, my word for the year was “pursue” (pursue Christ, pursue others for Christ with my giftings). Again, I experienced the unfolding of this word all year long in God’s creative ways. One example is that in September of 2017, my husband Mac and I were asked to do a couples Bible Study with Bill and Terri Howard, who are the founders of none other that PURSUE Ministries. God indeed has a plan!
In 2018, for some reason, and at this point only God knows fully why, my word is “forward” (forward with His plans, forward march with His ministry). What will this year unfold pertaining to this word as I seek, trust, and obey Him? Today, I do not know, but I certainly look “forward” to what He has had planned from the beginning.
Seek His Word first, and let Him guide your heart. Ask Him to divinely plant a word in you; then wait and listen.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”