Since 2017, I have adopted a Word of the Year to focus on and study. For the last few years, I’ve devoted my January column to my word choice and my December column to the lessons learned from it.
Every year as I come to the end of my study time on my assigned word, I am blown away by God’s direction and prompting for the word I am led to choose. I won’t recap all of them right now, but let’s go back to 2020. My word was “Contentment.” Seriously? Contentment?! In the middle of a pandemic? I have joked that the fact that God put “contentment” on my heart in the middle of an international crisis was proof positive that He has a sense of humor. And, in 2021, my Word of the Year was “Surrender.”
While I’m never “technically” finished learning my past words, “Surrender” has taught me quite a bit. And, true to form – the most profound takeaway of the year is that I still have so much to learn.
I shared in the January column that I wanted to learn to surrender my business, surrender my to-do list and surrender my wants. I wanted to surrender my marriage, my son, my friendships and ultimately – surrender the steering wheel of my life to the God I say I trust. But, I am a control freak. It’s so much easier said than done.
I believe with all my heart that God wants us to surrender everything to Him and trust Him with everything we hold dear. But, just as the decision to follow Christ is easy – it’s also hard. And, surrender is no different. It’s crazy hard. And, I learned in 2021 that surrender isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s a moment-by-moment decision. Especially as I continuously set things at His feet, only to run back five minutes later to check on them. (I’m pretty sure that God facepalms Himself a lot over me and my tendency to do this.)
Another lesson I learned is that surrender means different things to different people. For some – they see surrender as weakness. And, I guess that depends on what you’re surrendering to. But surrender isn’t about weakness when it’s surrendering to God. Surrendering to Him recognizes His infinite capabilities compared to my finite ones. Frankly – surrendering to God is a bold move. It’s putting His will and agenda ahead of your own.
I have not perfected “surrender,” but I didn’t expect to either. Just as I continue to learn from past words – “surrender” will continue to be with me.
And now – I’m going to break tradition because I have a whole new plan for this column in 2022. Since I will need 12 full months to run with my new idea – I’m going to go ahead and announce my 2022 word, but I will return to tradition with a recap in the December 2022 issue. My 2022 word will be “Worship.” And, the goal of this word choice is based on worshipping God in all circumstances. No matter what. The good. The bad. The joyful moments. The aggravating moments. And everything in between. As of writing this, I have not chosen my supporting verse yet, but I am excited about studying my new word.
Until then – please have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King! I’ll see you in January, and “My Grace-Full Life” will have a bit of a new twist to it.