In December, the Lord gives me a word. A word that He uses to grow me in my next season.
The first year the Lord gave me a word, was in 2015. My word that year was TRUST. Saying goodbye to my Grandmomma ushered in the passing of a mantle of prayer. Through that year, God took me on a beautiful journey, teaching me who He was and who I was in Him all while teaching me how to trust and believe in His promises. It was a beautiful year of placing my hand in the Hands of the One who chose me in Him.
In 2016, my word was FAITH. In July of the year previous, I wrote a spoken word called Fear or Faith based on Isaiah 41:10.
A line from this word:
"The battle for our minds is real and
while the enemy perseveres
there is a Power that heals
every heart and mind made whole."
In the middle of a long winter season of hope-deferred, He broke through my fear and mended the broken pieces of my heart into wholeness as He poured out beautiful moments of blessing. I won the battle for my mind that year at the hilt of my God who fought the giants that I surrendered to Him through faith.
In 2017, my word was PEACE. Through this year, God performed deep work in the quiet. He taught me to hear His heart, live in His presence, find peace in the garden of His grace, learn to clean out my thought closet, and long after Him.
In 2018, my word was LISTEN. This was a pivotal year as I watched my girls graduate. It was time to step back and allow the Lord to speak to me. The year was spent studying the red letters of Jesus in addition to listening to the stories of those in the Bible who shared their faith valiantly. God also blessed me with the honor to serve alongside and listen to faithful Guatemalan warriors He was using to pour into their people.
In 2019, my word was REST. In February, the Lord gave me this word: "I see you, I see the broken heart, I see the crushed spirit. I see the rolled-up super glue you use to re-attach the broken pieces. I hear your sobs in the bathroom and the gentle cry in your pillow. I hear your WHY and your PLEASE. I hear you daughter and want you to know I am here. Feel my arms wrap around you. As your tears dry, know that it is My hand that captures them. As you weep, hear the beat of My heart as I draw you near. Lay your broken pieces in My Hand. You do not have to strive to be my daughter. Just be still. Be still and know that I am working all things out. Be still and let me fight on your behalf. Be still and know how much I love you." I would learn over and over how the Lord was drawing me into His sacred rest. Surrender would become a beautiful verb that I willingly stepped into. The end of 2019 brought with it a beautiful gift in the sobriety of my son.
In 2020, my word was INTERCEDE. While in years prior the Lord was doing work in me, 2020 would be a year He did work through me. A diagnosis would lead me into treatment, but the Lord flipped the script and revealed the truth in Romans 8:28 as He anointed me for His purpose. He DOES make all things good! As I walked my journey of healing, He would take me on a journey of intercession for a nation and for those He placed in my path. I believe my son's healing was a catalyst of faith that truly awakened intercession within me.
In 2021, my word was JOY. It was this year that the fulfillment of a dream He had given me several years before began. I learned what "the joy of the Lord is my strength" truly meant in this. Over and over He gave me strength to walk my journey as He healed hearts, minds, and bodies before me.
In 2022, my word was BREATH. What God began in me in 2019, he breathed through me in 2022. My surrender allowed for this empty vessel to be filled. And oh, how beautiful the breath of God is! Christmas 2022 unwrapped a beautiful miracle when He breathed out His healing over in and through a fellow H12 leader.
In 2023, my word was ENCAMP. I didn't recognize this word until we were well into the year. It was a word that came up over and over again. God encamps our praise. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him. I was called to encamp in His Presence. When I look back on the year, I see how He was present in so many moments.
That leads me to 2024 which ushers in the word WAIT. The idea of waiting can bring anxiety to some. But the Lord is encouraging me to have a different perspective. He is inviting me into a season of wait with Him by my side, which is much different than a forced wait. Perhaps, I can view this season as a beautiful Sabbath where I can sit in the praises of all He has done over the last nine years.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me.