I don’t typically join in with the latest craze. The bigger the bandwagon the more likely I run in the other direction. I am not being self-righteous here, I am just stubborn. Don’t tell me what to do, who to follow, or what to watch. Ha! Most shows I watch are because I have found them enjoyable not because of their popularity at the time.
Choosing a “word of the year” was something I didn’t want to hop on the bandwagon for either, but when I actually asked God about He had a different idea. God gave me a word during my time reading in scripture. Many Christian influencers talked about their “word of the year”, but through my own time of prayer, God placed a word on my heart to be my focus. I know when God speaks and gives me a word because it won’t leave my mind. It keeps popping up throughout my day and won’t leave me alone.
Last year, my word of the year was “Pray”. Did God transform my prayer life to the point that I am praying long drawn out prayers every morning? No. Did he deepen my prayer life so that my prayers are more God led than whatever words Leah utters? Yes. Over the course of 2020, God would wake me up in the middle of the night with specific things to pray for. I prayed for people and situations that I would have never thought to pray for on my own, especially wake myself up during my precious sleeping hours to pray for them! One of those times, I wrote down a specific event involving specific people God told me to pray for. Several months later I now know exactly why God needed me to pray and I am so thankful He chose to wake me up for an entire week for that purpose.
This year I prayed for God to give me a new word if he had one for me. This year the word is “Hope”. I know God is a God of Hope, but when the world gets so loud and I allow the noise to interrupt my life, my hope gets drowned out. I am asking God for my eyes to be opened to the hope in every area of my life, but I know he will do exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
God confirms in little ways that yes, this was the word he wanted my to emphasize in my reading, studying, and prayer time. Funny enough, before I had decided on the word “hope”, our family randomly chose two movies to watch on New Year’s Eve and the lead female actress was named Hope. I had never seen these movies and had no idea what the characters names were. Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
For the first time, I have also chosen scripture that speaks to the hope I need in my life. Paul writes in Romans 8:24-28 about hope that is not seen and hope that needs patience as I wait. While I am waiting, the Holy Spirit will groan for me when my prayers are silent. These verses end with the promise that God will work all things together for good. Scripture memory is a weak area of spiritual life, but these verses say “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”!
This year, I am reading through my Bible chronologically, and each day, I ask God to show me hope within His pages of scripture. I write “hope” at the top of my journal pages as I am ready and waiting to receive the hope he has to show me.
Have you chosen a “word” for the year? Spend some time praying and ask God to confirm a word for you. If it is His will, he will show you in a variety of ways. Ask him to confirm that word over your life with eyes wide open.