Well, here we are once again. . .another year has come to an end and a new year has begun! Was the past year what you wanted it to be? Did you accomplish your goals or fall short? What happened that brought you joy or pain? Are you glad to see 2019 come to an end? Are you looking forward to a new year? A new decade even? Have you been thinking about what your new year’s resolutions will be?
A few years ago, I decided to stop looking at a new year coming up with resolutions to set. The time had come to try something different because resolutions were just not cutting it for me. After only getting so far in the year, I would eventually quit.
I started coming up with a WORD FOCUS for each year. A WORD that would challenge me, change me, push me, and grow me. Some examples of WORDS I have used in the past have been: OVERCOMER, FEARLESS, CONFIDENT, BELIEVE, PURPOSE, FORWARD, and NEW.
Why pick a WORD FOCUS?
Why a WORD you may ask? It’s very simple…there is power in the WORDS we think, say, and read. Take the Bible for instance. Look at all the powerful WORDS God has given us. He tells us His Word is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword in Hebrews 4:12. Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue.
WORDS can build faith or build fear.
By choosing a WORD for the year to focus on, it makes me focus on building my faith and suffocating my fear.
Maybe you are ready to suffocate fear and stop listening to doubt. I would challenge you to give this a try for 2020 and pick a WORD.
How should you pick?
PRAY. Ask God to give you guidance on what He wants you to focus on this year. Ask Him to show you areas in your life you need to grow.
BE CHALLENGED. Don’t pick a WORD you are already doing well at in your life. For example, if you are already great at being on time and organized in your life, TIME MANAGEMENT is not something you need to work on. What is an area in your life you want to see change? Your work ethic? Finances? Confidence? Faith?
BE A LITTLE SCARED ABOUT YOUR WORD. I know this sounds crazy, but if the WORD you choose doesn’t make you feel like you may throw up a little inside, it isn’t the right one. When I picked BEYOND for 2018, I had no idea what God was up to and I was scared out of my mind y’all! He pushed me into trying things BEYOND my own abilities. I had to trust completely in God and allow new people into my life that could do things I could not. Because of that, I wrote a 31 day devotional on overcoming anxiety called Anxiety Elephants, and it has been purchased literally all across the world! He encouraged me along the way to keep walking in things BEYOND my own ability and to trust He would do immeasurably more than I could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
BE GRACIOUS. This is not a New Year’s Resolution guys. If you mess up or have a bad day, or even week, give yourself grace. When choosing a WORD, it is all about a year long process of growing and changing. You are not going to get it right by the end of February! It will take time. . .there will even be bumps in the road, but the journey to your new destination will be worth it!
So, what’s my WORD for 2020?
It’s funny you should ask that question, HA! It normally takes me all of January to know what my WORD FOCUS is for the year, but God revealed it to me just a little after Christmas. I won’t lie…He scared me with it because it means bigger faith from me and bigger faith steps. It also means continuing to release control and I am a confessed CONTROL FREAK!
Before I tell you this WORD, I do want you to know something. I know a lot of people reflect in December and hit the ground running in January with all their visions, goals, dreams, and WORDS. It is OK friend if you don’t! It is OK if it takes you all of January just to get your house back in order from all you had going on in December. And. . .it is totally OK if you need to take the entire month of January to do your reflection, goal setting, vision writing, and WORD FOCUS. Don’t let social media tell you otherwise. Take your time so you can be ready and focused to slay this new year.
Ok, enough stalling. . .my WORD FOCUS for this year is. . .
To expand something means it is stretching out, extending in more than one direction, enlarging, or broadening reach.
After digging in over the last six months to statistics and numbers of adults and teenagers battling mental health struggles with anxiety and depression, it really hit me just how many people are struggling in silence alone. There are 264 million adults world-wide battling some form of anxiety. This does not take into account those younger than 18 or those also battling depression.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, we are called to share His Light, Love, and Hope with a world who feels lost and hopeless. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
The time is now
It is time we expand our reach into this world so they no longer slip away into the darkness.
The time has come for us to expand our knowledge on mental health and stop putting our heads in the sand when the subject comes up.
Now, it is our turn to expand our influence to show there is real hope and real help out there for everyone.
Now, your moment has come. . .what will your WORD FOCUS be? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
I am excited to walk 2020 with you friends!