About a week before the end of 2014, a writing friend forwarded a newsletter written by another writer who shared the one word emphasis the Lord had given her for 2015. Her word was “Promise” because she knew she would be writing a lot about God’s promises in the new year. She also sensed it would be a year of learning about what promises are – commitments made to others; the failure to keep those promises and the the imperative to be God-led in the promises we make to others.
The article spurred me to begin seeking the one word for my New Year. I have learned to pray about goals and resolutions at the beginning of each year so that I have a sense of the things he wants me to work at and achieve through the year. That practice has helped me not to take on more than I can handle and has helped me to accomplish more specific work for Him each year.
Only one other time has he given me one specific word as a guide / goal /gift for a new year. That year the word he gave was “Intimacy,” as I was still in the recovery process from childhood abuse. Intimacy and trust had always been difficult for me and yet I sensed a longing to learn if it was possible to really know God as he knew me.
In northern New York, the wintry weather was frigid and snow covered the ground for most of the winter, making it impossible to do a lot of outdoor physical activities. The Lord invited me to walk with him, in the sanctuary of the church we pastored which was right next door to the parsonage. Each morning I walked the few yards to the church building, went in and put on a praise tape and began walking. Soon, I would find myself praying for the needs of the church and almost invariably toward the end of the time each day, I found myself praising and worshipping the Lord, with a sense that he was walking right beside me. That winter I experienced the intimacy I had craved with the Lord.
As 2015 dawned, I was still praying to see if the Lord had a word for me. The word that kept coming to mind was “Presence” because I am writing novel #4 about the presence of the Lord with the Israelites in the wilderness. I am in the midst of my own personal wilderness as well and think much about his presence with me. The word fit and I knew it would be my light and lifeline for this year.
On January 2nd, another friend sent me the verse found in Isaiah 52: 12. “The Lord will go ahead of you, and he, the God of Israel, will protect you from behind.” What a fitting verse to go with that one word, “Presence.” Like the Israelites, God’s presence will be with me through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. His presence will both guide and protect me as he did with the children of Israel. That verse is now framed in my writing office as a reminder of God’s “Presence” with me each day as I look forward to walking through 2015 2ith him!
What is your word or your goals for this year? If so I’d love to hear about them! Please feel free to share a comment below. And LIKE Daughters of Hope and Healing on Facebook!