Friday, December 30, 2011

What will your word be?

For the past couple of years, I have prayed about a "word" for that year. Some of you have probably heard of this. There's even a site devoted to it called My One Word (My One Word).

The first year I did this, my word was "Hope." Little did I know that by the end of the year, that was about all I'd have to hold on to. During that year, the company that my husband worked for unexpectedly closed it's doors leaving over 300 people without a job in a town that doesn't boast a huge number of jobs to begin with. We were blessed that I still had a job teaching, but the next few months truly stretched our ability to hope and hold on. When he finally found another job, it was one that provided a much smaller paycheck and much harder work week. The challenge of holding on to hope became a DAILY choice to believe.

Last year, my word for the year was "Anticipation." This really goes back to something I felt like the Lord spoke to my heart three years ago. It was a sense of foreboding that things were about to get bad...really bad, but that in 2012 we would see things turn around - miraculously! I make no claim at being a prophet, but when God lays something on your heart like this, you know it! I decided to just hide this word in my heart and watch. I guess I don't have to tell anyone that the past three years have been tough...but there is change in the wind. It is coming - can you feel it? Anticipation is growing!

Anyway, back to this year's word. I was on a run the other day and, as I often do while running, I was praying. (Okay, so sometimes I'm just praying I can continue to breathe and for strength to move the next step, but I'm usually praying!) This time, I was asking for my "word" for the year and the word "INCREDIBLE" kept coming to mind. Okay - this isn't one I'd have chosen, but it sounded interesting. I came home and looked it up.
Incredible: so extraordinary as to seem impossible
Okay, so far I'm liking this word for the new year.

Then a couple of days ago, I was reading a devotional by another blogger and another word almost jumped out at me - "MERCY". Now the feeling this word gave me is hard to explain. It was heavy - not a bad kind of heavy - an overwhelming kind of heavy...the kind that makes you want to go to your knees and bow your head under the weight. It was a worshipful kind of heavy.

Mercy: This one has a LOT of meaning.
1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence
2. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.
3. an act of kindness, compassion or favor
4. something that gives evidence of divine favor or blessing
It doesn't take a prophet or even someone very smart to realize that as a country we are in need of God's much I am in need of His mercy. 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that somehow the two words were to be coupled together: INCREDIBLE MERCY. These are my "words" for 2012. Could this be the year when we see God pour out His incredible mercy and save us from a destruction we have brought on ourselves? I guess time will tell, but until then I will hold on to these two words knowing that whatever the year may bring, His INCREDIBLE MERCY is far greater than what I deserve.

What will your word(s) for this year be? Please take a moment to share them with me! You'll be surprised when you look back at how accurate that word has been!

Psalm 25:5-7

New International Version (NIV)

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long. 
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
   for they are from of old. 
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
   and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
   for you, LORD, are good.

Proverbs 28:12-14

New International Version (NIV)

 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
   but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

 13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
   but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

 14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
   but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

Micah 6:8

New International Version (NIV)

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.

Luke 1:49-51

New International Version (NIV)

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
   holy is his name. 
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
   from generation to generation. 
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
   he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.


Kathryn said...

OH! MY! I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this post, Donna! I had a 'word' last year - it was "Listen". I remember reading someone's blog (I think maybe it was Lysa's but not sure) that talked about having a one word prayer for the year. I didn't really have much more info than that but as I prayed I felt my word was to be 'listen'.

I wasn't planning to have a word this year but something happened at the first of the month that changed that. I will be posting about it hopefully sometime this weekend, if not today.

However, I had still been wondering and praying about it and seeing your post was like yet another confirmation that I AM supposed to do this again.

Thank you for sharing - I will share more about my word for this year in my next blog post :)

Donna said...

Kathryn, I can't wait to read your next blog!

Lauren Gonce said...

Remembrance. As November, more specifically elections, approaches, I get more and more nervous. That should decide a lot in the coming years. Europe is...well in a pickle. If we don't pay attention to history, we're bound to repeat it. We need to remember ours (and others) mistakes.