I can bet most of you are probably familiar with the concept of choosing a word for your year.
When I first stumbled across the My One Word website just a handful of years ago, the simple power of the concept instantly grabbed hold of my heart. And I’m not the only one. In a pretty short space of time, the concept has ignited a firestorm of followers: an ever-increasing number of people determined to ditch those long lists of New Year’s resolutions in favor of choosing just one word to encapsulate their year.
The words are as different as their bearers. Uniquely gifted to us. Because when God shows us our word for the year, it is a gift. Amazing how one simple word can give us laser focus. Can trigger radical change. Can be so simple, and yet unleash such growth in our lives.
Unlike a long list of resolutions, which are quickly forgotten and serve only to document our shortcomings, one word is a seed planted in our spirit. It resonates through our weeks and months and helps to frame our year.
Even this scatter-brained mother-of-three can remember one word.
I’ve seen the power of one word clearly in my own life. The last time I prayed for God to reveal a word to me for the year, he gave me the word “Connected.”
Connection. It was something I craved for, as a writer tucked away on the other side of the world. I longed to be part of the thriving writing community I’d caught a glimpse of at the one Stateside conference I’d attended. But I hardly knew where to begin.
This one word, given to me by God, informed the decisions I made that year. It takes time and effort to form relationships with others, and that’s one thing I have little of. Not to mention that I’m an introvert by nature. I don’t put myself out there. Yet, every time I hesitated before typing an email or leaving a comment on a blog, the same word whispered through my spirit. Connected. And so I would forge ahead. Take the time. Reach out a hand. Interact with openness and transparency. Communicate love to others.
And soon, sooner than I’d imagined or dreamed, strangers become friends.
The miracles God brought about through that one word? A critique group of American ladies who’ve become treasured kindred spirits. An overseas trip to ACFW conference, where I formed many wonderful new relationships. And finally, the chance to become a part of the Writers Alley, where I found my writing family. What an unexpected blessing.
All because of one simple word.
Fast-forward to this year. I sought God. I prayed about my word. I dreamed up various possibilities that I thought might help me along the path toward my goals. Words like Focus. Discipline. Self-Control. Good words. Useful words. Words I need to apply in my life.
None of them felt right.
It wasn’t until post-baby hormones and stressful circumstances recently combined to leave me an emotional mess that God finally whispered my word, clear and true, through the email of a fellow Alleycat.
See, God seemed to be saying, you’ve had it all back-to-front. Don’t focus on the fruit you want to achieve. Focus on me. I am your source. I am your lifeblood. Abide in me, and I will bring the fruit.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, ESV)
I’m excited about tapping into God’s vision for my life this year. I’m excited about growing one word closer to the woman God wants me to be.
Why not take the One Word challenge yourself?
Do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything.
Will you join us?
What is your word for 2013?
Karen Schravemade lives in the land of Oz and likes to confuse her American friends by using weird Australian figures of speech. When she's not chasing after two small boys or cuddling her baby girl, she spends her spare minutes daydreaming about the intricate lives of characters who don't actually exist. Find her on her website, on Twitter or getting creative over at her mummy blog.