At the end of every year, I pray about a word for next year. Through scripture and prayer, I find a word that speaks to my soul. I seek a word that when I pray about it I feel a stirring in my spirit. Sometimes, the word makes sense, but more often I’m surprised by the word. It’s usually not a word I considered. I also take time to reflect on how the word for this past year fit into God’s plans for the year. Looking back the word I selected always fits into what happened over the year. It’s almost like a puzzle coming together as I reflect on the ways God worked in my life. For 2018 my word was EXPECT. It was a year full of things I never expected.
I started the year by serving on a Grand Jury from February till May. My world was changed during those three months. Most people moan and complain about serving on a jury, but I’m one of the strange ones who has always wanted to serve on one but has never been selected, until this year. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to help people through the court system. It was a powerful feeling to see how I could make a difference.
I never expected to file for divorce from my husband of sixteen years. I thought we’d overcome whatever challenges laid ahead of us, but some painful moments are too difficult to overcome.
No, this year was not what I expected. But, God knew exactly what would happen. Perhaps, my word EXPECT was a reminder for me that He is in control and not me. I thought EXPECT was in reference to my writing. I started the year with a hopeful heart. I was writing my best book yet and I was full of expectation. Now, that book is sitting unfinished waiting for me to return to my story world, as I focus on my family and completing my college degree.
So, instead of writing fiction I’m writing English papers. I’ve returned to college full time at Sam Houston State University. I’m excited about finally finishing my BA in English with a minor in Professional (Technical) Writing. I put my studies on hold when Bethany was born. I always intended to go back, but the timing and finances were never right. Yes, this year was far different than I expected.
My words for 2019 are simple: Be Brave. I’m walking into this new year with a better sense of my identity in Christ. I’m a child of God and I’m secure in knowing He is walking with me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not afraid of all the changes. Be Brave is a reminder that fear is not from God. I can walk confidently knowing He is leading me.
I’d appreciate your prayers as I enter this new year. My kids and I are still adjusting to this new normal. They are doing amazingly well. I’m so proud of them. Most days, they are coping far better than me. The last seven months have very difficult as I’ve struggled with lost friendships and judgment from those I thought were friends. If I can leave one word in closing. Please show love to those around you. You don’t know what is happening in their life. You may think you know, but you can’t unless you live in their home and walk in their shoes. I could use a little more grace and a lot less judgment in my world and I’m sure someone you know is feeling the same way.
Be a blessing to someone today.