January 7, 2019


photo from this past summer's adventure to San Diego | photo cred: a love photography.
One of my favorite year-end traditions is to pick and pray over my word for the upcoming year. There's something almost sacred about choosing a word that I'll think about, fall back onto, and remind myself of for the next 365 days. That probably means I spend a little too much time selecting the right word (it has to be perfect, right?), but the process is still extra special to me.

2018 was my year to DISCOVER. And to be honest, it was one of the most fruitful years I've had in my entire life. Having had a year full of new adventures, new creative outlets, new community plus relationships/friendships, and new opportunities, I put extra pressure on myself to find a word that would not only feel right but that I would find to be challenging and fruitful in 2019 as well.

For a few days, I wavered between picking YES, FEARLESS, WILLING, and READY for my word of the year. I would choose one of them and then a few days later, I'd change my mind because it just wasn't "good enough" or "special enough." I put so much pressure on myself to find that perfect word (or a word that would be as good as last year's) that I changed it five times before finding peace--and finding God’s humbling message in my word for the year.

All that pressure made me realize that I need to just LET GO of it all. The pressure I was putting on just choosing a word was now more than ridiculous. It all started out with good intentions and excitement over what is to come, but the fear of not being good enough and the lofty expectations that I hoped would become of my word quickly became an idol.

And to be completely honest, I don't think God really cares which word I choose. He’s more in the business of moving and showing and growing than He is in picking the perfect word.

So more than just letting go of the word, I needed to LET GO and LET GOD move. To LET GO of my hopes and dreams for this year and LET GOD speak instead of my fears and anxieties. To let go of my expectations and my desire to control and let God control my life instead.

So my word(s!) for 2019 is to LET GO AND LET GOD. I want to release pressures, fears, shame, plans, and sin and let God move mountains. I want to surrender to what God says, not what I feel or desire (kind of like the process that went into selecting this word!). And I want to let God in every facet of my life, not just the parts I’m willing to let go of control over.

I want to LET GO of my hopes and put my hope in HIM instead. To be open and willing to follow Him and to bravely say YES to His plans and His timing, trusting that He's got it all under control. TO LET GOD BE GOD, so I can be His servant and His child. Not only will I make more of an intention to ask for His will, but I want to submit obediently to His will for my life, too.

I've got a lot of anticipation and a lot of expectation riding into 2019 and I want to make sure it's expectation that God will act according to His glory and for my good. Which, by the way, is the other phrase for the year that I'll be praying through, too! Because I know that when I let go, I'll be able to freely and confidently bring Him glory, no matter what season and circumstance He places me in.

Psst...I'm also praying for...

Open doors to new adventures, new relationships, and new experiences. 

Curious eyes to see Him working in all areas of my life. 

A brave voice that will speak with vulnerability and willingness to dig deeper in my community.

A big heart to love those around me (and love myself, too). 

A willingness to welcome failure, waiting, pain, hardship, and rejection.

And for open hands that are eager to receive, to give, and to accept whatever He provides. 

What's YOUR word for the year?

p.s. If you want to walk down memory lane, I've been choosing words for the past six years: 2013 was BOLD, 2014 was FULL, 2015 was BELIEVE, 2016 was STILL, 2017 was FAITHFUL, and 2018 was DISCOVER.

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall