2019. The first time I jumped on the Word for the Year bandwagon. In December 2018, I felt such a passionate fire in my heart to declare arise as my word for 2019. And more specifically to shift my purpose to Wake up! (Romans 13:11) and Go! (Mark 16:15).
I was so focused on fulfilling calling and purpose for God’s kingdom that I took this to heart. I thought I would spend 2019 writing a book entitled ‘Arise: Wake Up and Go’.
Unfortunately, like many times in my life, I start projects with such zeal. I continue with determination when the going gets tough. Then, once I’ve had enough of certain pressures I, most often, don’t finish my purposed tasks. Much like this book’s manuscript.
What I originally intended with this book became snuffed out by doubts. It tripped me up by wondering if I really understood my calling and purpose with clarity. I became too sidetracked by distractions. I felt a heaviness of daily frustrations and quickly became overwhelmed.
I felt like a failure with my literal interpretation of my Word for the Year. It had seemed as though the word was lost on me. However, I had previously purposed within my heart to accomplish something in full- from start to finish. I internalized my new year’s resolution to read through the Bible in a year. Midway through the year, I almost gave up as I dwelt upon my heart motives. I knew my heart was in the wrong place as I attempted to complete this personal challenge to prove something to myself. Although I persevered, I felt disappointed in myself and nearly depressed.
Until today. I reflected upon this year’s journey with gratitude in my heart. And I found that God did, in fact, show up BIG in my life this year. He’s merciful. He’s gracious. He’s faithful. He’s loving. And He’s oh, so good.
1) In determining to write my book, I was led to forgive two crucial persons that have impacted my life. I particularly held onto [over two decades each] of hurt and grudges from our relationships together. It cascaded into uncovering several years of suppressed pains, from and against, other certain peoples. Those of which I didn’t know we’re hidden in my heart. More forgiveness flowed.
Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. -Luke 11:35 (NLT)
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. -Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
2) As a consequence of forgiving, my heart began it’s transformation to healed. God’s light shone upon areas of my heart that needed further repentance (perfectionism, control, striving). I found freedom from pursuing worldly affirmations and approval. And I learned to become better acquainted with God’s heart.
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.
Acts of the Apostles 3:19-20 (NLT)
3) In dedicating myself to reading the Word, I saw how God grew me with deeper revelations than I have ever experienced in my lifetime. He demolished lies I often believed, such as common “worldly wisdoms”. He transformed thoughts of Who I believed Him to be. I once thought He was out to punish me for every wrong choice I made (which is A LOT). But instead of punishing me for my wrong heart motives in reading the Word, He proved Himself faithful with the gifts of growth, help with perseverance, and deeper understanding of Truth.
But the Lord Yahweh is always faithful to place you on a firm foundation and guard you from the Evil One. Now may the Lord move your hearts into a greater understanding of God’s pure love for you and into Christ’s steadfast endurance.
2 Thessalonians 3:3, 5 (TPT)
I’m so grateful for this year. God truly beckoned me to arise. To Wake up! from a religious slumber. Of going through the motions of life while proclaiming to be a Christian, but harboring grudges and unforgiveness in my heart. He asked me to Go! and do the hard things that were needed to be done for deeper revelations and transformations.
Because isn’t that what any of us are called and purposed to do? To love Him with our lives, showing utmost obedience to Him, in order to bring glory to His name. He has been, and will continue to be, faithful to point all my failures and frustrations back to Him, His goodness, and what He has done.
I look forward to what I feel deep in my heart is for 2020. After prayerfully considering a word for the year, my heart is wide open and ready for renewal. And of course, to shout and proclaim glory to His name along the way!
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”- Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)