Last year, my huddle leader encouraged us to spend some time asking God for a word that would define the year for us. At that time, I felt like the word for me was growth.
As I reflect on the past year, I am so thankful for all that God has done. When I felt overwhelmed at circumstances, the word growth brought much comfort and strength knowing that he is using all things to work together for my good. When I felt excited at new possibilities, the word growth assured me of his leading and that he is showing me the way.
In preparation for this year, I was excited to do the same exercise. And this year’s word seemed to build on last year’s, in that it will be a year of continued growth. First, God brought a scripture to mind:
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.
I felt his encouragement to remember that in this next season of continued growth, overflowing joy and unending peace will be my constant traveling companions. They will be there to guard my heart and mind.
Then another scripture came to mind:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I recognize that when I say yes to God, I tend to think that it’s going to be all struggle, all difficulty and I just need to suck it up and muscle through. But God’s perspective is quite different. While there may be struggle and it might be difficult – his ultimate plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, so the struggle is simply an investment in a future blessing. His desire for me is to thrive, for things to turn out well – even turn out amazingly! Ultimately, his longing for me is to step more fully into the Kingdom and ALL of its fullness.
Therefore, my 2014 word is “Step in and step up.”
Step in to new areas of growth and stretching, knowing joy and peace are right by my side. Step up even though my tendency is to step down or away. In believing that God’s plans are good, I can embrace them trusting that they will help me to thrive.
The foundational reality is that God is good and God is with me. He gives me his grace. All his plans are to help me prosper and not to harm me. He is working to give me a hope and a wonderful future of adventure and blessing in Kingdom living. It’s going to be a good, good year!
What is the word God wants to give to you for this year? In what ways can you open your life up to that word of grace working in you?