Towards the end of 2011, I was beginning a relatively new stage in my life. Setting New Year’s Resolutions felt like it might be necessary since I was about to really start being an adult. As 2012 began, I experienced a great desire and hope for Joy in my life. I happened to go online around that time and discovered a movement called MyOneWord365. It encouraged the idea of having one single word that guides you year as opposed to setting resolutions which we are often unable to stick to beyond January. I knew right then that this was something that I wanted to keep doing for years to come. In 2012 God gave me the word Joy.
I was in a new city, going to a new church, starting a new job and making new friends. God helped me to find the Joy in all these moments. Most of all, I experienced the joy of being reunited with my mom after having lived apart from her for more than six years.
When 2013 rolled around, I started trying to think of what word I would choose as My One Word. So many things came to mind but as I thought through all of them, I realized that I was doing the exact thing I’d been trying to avoid; I was trying to make resolutions. I had forgotten that My One Word wasn’t one that I chose but one that was given to me by God, based on what He was doing in my life at the time. So I stopped thinking and decided to be quiet and simply listen. I heard it so clearly; “New.”
I know, it would probably have made sense for the word “New” to be my 2012 word. But you know what the Bible says about God’s thoughts and our thought. I knew that God was planning to bring something new into my life. Maybe even more than one thing. And it couldn’t have been truer. 2013 was the year I started working in Accounting. Something I had never thought I could ever do in my life. It was also the year that God led me to enroll in bible College. But I guess the newest situation I found myself in, was experiencing the loss of my mom. This time she was not just in a different country. She actually left earth and went to Heaven. I mention this experience here because, while it is a sad situation, it brought me closer to God than I have ever been. It opened my mind to knowing Him in a completely new way. It also helped me realize a new form of strength within myself that I never knew I had.
Then came 2014. I had already established that my One Word was one that came from God and not one that I chose. But the year had already started, and I still hadn’t heard the word. On the first Saturday of the year, I was lying in bed “complaining” to God about how He hadn’t given me my word yet. “What’s taking so long?!” He answered, “Wait.” At first, I thought He was just telling me to wait for Him to reveal the Word, but then I realized that this was the word.
With the word for 2013 being new, and having experienced the beginnings of many new things, I was eager to hear what was coming next. What should I do now? But this was the time I needed to learn patience. But also, how to wait on God, while still being active. I wrote more details about it here.
A few months ago, I shared a post called You First Loved Me. In it, I shared the story of a dream I had towards the end of 2014 where God gave me a new understanding of what His love is. This was the dream that gave me My One Word for 2015. In 2015, I experienced God’s love in ways more real than I have before. God’s love was so real to me that it caused me to venture out of my comfort zones and ask myself the hard questions of how I should live out God’s love in my life. This was the year when I discovered what I call the true meaning of life. I realized that life is all about giving of yourself to serve and minster to others and allowing others to minister to you in return.
2015 was also the year when I made some, let’s say, not very well thought out decisions. These decisions led to me being in a “bad” place in 2016 to the point that I didn’t actually listen or connect with God on a Word for 2016. I will share more about the state of my life in 2016 in another post.
With 2016 being one of the most difficult years of my life, I was eager for it to end and to hear a new word for 2017. God revealed to me that one of the things I needed to do to change the direction of my life was to simplify everything. Basically, I needed a detox. So, in 2017 I went through a process of thoroughly decluttering my life. I got rid of all the physical, mental/intellectual and spiritual clutter that I had let pile up in my life, mostly in 2016. Through this decluttering, I was able to find out what things were truly valuable in my life and what things were just taking up unnecessary space.
For a while, I didn’t recognize how these words and my experiences over the past six years all tied together. But I can definitely see a connection now. I believe that God has been bringing me through a process of self-discovery. Human beings are created for relationship and fellowship with God. And true self-discovery only comes with discovering who you are with regards to that relationship. Through the last six years, I have learned that God reveals Himself to each of us at our own pace and in our own language. He first taught me to experience His Pure Joy in every part of my life, then revealed to me that He was doing a new thing. Then, when I started to get ahead of myself in the process, He reminded me to wait on Him and be patience. Then He helped me see that love is truly what makes the world go round. When I let my weakness and the cares of the world creep in and seemingly derail the progress of my journey, His calm voice reassured me and reminded me to declutter and keep things simple.
I now feel that I am back on track in the process of self-discovery and am ready for the next stage. Next week, I’ll share with you the word that God has given me for 2018. I am really looking forward to the amazing things He has planned for this year. Happy New Year Everyone!