What would you like God to do in your life? How do you long to grow and develop in your faith walk? Are there habits you would like to break or make? What will it take to see change in your life in these areas? For most of us, we make lists … lists of all the things we need to work on. Sometimes we do this at the beginning of a new year – our list of resolutions – or the making of a list might be the result of feeling stuck at some other season in life.
Last year, I was challenged to read about another way to make changes with Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen’s book, My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word. Their concept is to lose all the resolutions and the long lists you struggle with, and instead of ending up procrastinating or getting frustrated, to prayerfully choose just one word that most represents what you hope God will do in you over the course of a year. They believe concentrating on just one word and making it your focus, prayerfully asking God to enable you to hear him speak into your life through that word, makes change much more realistic and achievable. And, words have power, creating movement and possibility. Throughout the book, this simple concept is illustrated with words and stories of many people who have seen their “one word” impact their lives in huge ways.
While reading the book (which gives you lots of help in how to discover that one word for yourself), I chose the word “JOY.” I really wanted to discover the deeper meaning of that word for my life, especially in light of the passage of scripture I believed was a catalyst for my choice: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” – Romans 12:12. I longed to experience joy in all circumstances – and discover more of God’s grace to me even when things are tough.
Throughout the year, it amazed me how often that word would pop up in scriptures I read or song lyrics I heard. A friend sent me a mug with Romans 12:12 printed on it – and she had no idea JOY was my word. Another friend sent me a bright little rug with the phrase “Scatter a Little Joy” that sits in front of the chair in my home office. God also used, and even transformed, that word in other ways beyond expectation. So much so, that this year, I decided to choose another word to expand on JOY … DANCE. The scripture helping me make that choice … “You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough” – Psalm 30:11-12, The Message. What one word could God use in your life transformation? – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist