For the past several years, choosing a Word for the Year has become a trendy activity. The concept is that instead of looking at all the lack in your life—with all your doubts and shortcomings, or coming up with a exhaustive list of resolutions (aka rules to break)—you choose to focus on one word that will serve as your guiding word for the year. And I'll be honest, trendy or not, it's not as simple as it may seem.
Choosing, and executing, your word requires you to be both intentional and diligent. And if that wasn't enough, it also takes a ton of commitment, especially in those rough moments when the reality of "I'm not my word" sets in.
Still the great thing is, if you let it, that one word can not only shape your year, but every moment and decision of your life.
This year, the Holy Spirit lead me to my word, and for me, it's a biggie..... SURRENDER.
By definition, surrender is to give oneself up and to be under the influence or the possession or power of another. And just so we're clear, surrender doesn't travel alone. Nope, it has friends—submission, succumbing, and yielding; they all hang out with surrender. Talk about tough pills to swallow! And I know,
I know surrendering to God shouldn't be difficult. But it's still something I struggle with.
Our society teaches us that surrendering is almost always equated with failure. For many of us, to surrender is to admit that we're not savvy enough, strong enough, or witty enough to win at whatever it is we're dealing with. To us, surrender translates to defeat.
I felt like surrender meant giving up control of the outcome, which sounded like a foolish thing to do. Who voluntarily gives up control?
But while studying about how the precious gift of the Holy Spirit guides and teaches us, I realized that surrendering to God is not weakness. It is actually quite the opposite.
In Christ, to surrender is to be wise.
All throughout scripture we see how when God calls us into relationship with Him, He requires surrender because the constant battles we face require something and Someone stronger than us to fight and win.
Surrendering empowers us to succeed in what God has called us to do.
After all, we can't do it with our own strength anyway (See: Zechariah 4:6).
And so, like a soldier at war who realizes there is no victory insight without immediate intervention,
I raised my white flag to God.
I exchanged my weakness for the cross. I exchanged my weakness for His strength. I accepted that His grace is enough for my dreams, my plans, my relationships, my career, and all of the other many pieces of my life. (See: 2 Corinthians 12:9).
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
My focus in this season of my life is to be surrendered to the will of God and to be under His power and influence in every area of my life. It's totally counter-cultural, and could be labeled as slightly "insane," but I'm finally okay with that.
I surrender my will for His will. I surrender my thoughts for His thoughts. I surrender my way for His way.
Much more important than a trend, a Word of the Year should be one word that you can focus on everyday, all year long. It's one word that sums up who you want to be, how you want to live, and what you desire to accomplish in this season of your life. The word you choose, usually has tremendous meaning to you because it meets you right where you are.
What's the one word that can anchor and help you to refocus in every area of your life?
When life gets tough - go to your word.
When you feel overwhelmed - go to your word.
When you feel weak, allow the promise of your word to strengthen you.
And in all areas of your life surrender to Christ!