I have seen this trend popping up where people like to have a word for the new year. I have read stuff of people bashing it. I have read stuff of many believers who support it. Honestly, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal either way.
I haven’t gone into a new year with a word of the year, but I feel that God is giving me a word for this coming new year. I do not believe it’s weird. I do believe, however, that God loves to encourage us. He wants to give us hope…and sometimes, having that word to think about is what gives us hope.
From Lost to A Spirit of Peace
I started this year feeling lost. All of the plans I had, all of my dreams, they all centered around my dad. So, when he was suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with end-stage cancer, I felt like a vulnerable little kitten. Everything I planned on had been stripped from me and I had no idea what to do.
About 6 or 7 months before my dad got sick, I wrote this verse on my chalkboard, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” Isaiah 26:3
Usually, I leave a verse on my chalkboard for a week or sometimes longer until I feel led to write another verse on there. However, this time, I felt compelled to leave it up there. And, it stayed right there for months and months. In fact, the only reason it came down was because my chalkboard fell off the wall and my girls erased it/drew all over it.
There have been many times in my life that I have felt peace but shortly after my dad’s diagnosis I got to see what perfect peace is. It was the middle of the night when my entire family was calling me because my dad had been rushed to the hospital and wasn’t doing well. It was determined that he had sepsis.
Now, sepsis for anyone can be lethal. But, for someone with absolutely no immune system and who already has a body riddled with cancer cells, sepsis is deadly. I knew this yet I felt as if my family just blew up my phone to tell me that the sky was blue. To accurately describe the level of peace I had is insurmountable. This peace I felt was different than peace I have felt before. I thought something was mentally wrong with me because I not only didn’t have any worry over this diagnosis, I would have bet 10 million dollars that he would pull through.
I didn’t know why my siblings were making it such a big deal. I just kept thinking, why do you keep calling me for something so little? I want to sleep!
The second time I experienced perfect peace was about 2 weeks before my dad died. I remember driving home late at night from the hospital to my parents’ house. God was telling me that I needed to pray over my dad for peace.
I kept thinking about this on the drive to the hospital the next day, hoping the stirring would go away because I don’t really like to pray in front of people. Plus, I am not the type of person that can just walk up to someone and say, “I want to pray over you”.
I walked into the hospital so nervous to pray over my dad but willing to do what God asked of me and I prayed for God to show me how.
The first thing my dad said to me when I walked into that hospital room was, “My missy is here. I want her to pray over me”.
I only said a few sentences, asking God to send His comforter and to fill that room with peace and to make Jesus’ presence known. I also cried the entire prayer and I am pretty sure no one understood what I said, but you know what? The way my dad described how he felt was how I felt that night when I got to experience perfect peace.
The entire day, everyone was saying how good my dad looked, how he seemed different. My dad felt perfect peace that day and so did I.
I may have lost my dad but I now get to experience what perfect peace is.
New Year Words of Wisdom
This year has been tough for my family. It has been traumatic. There have been feeling of hopelessness, feelings that God has abandoned me, feelings that nothing would ever work out so I may as well give up. (you can read about some of our other struggles here)
But now, I feel that God is giving me a word for this new year, “New Beginnings”. He hasn’t given me a word before but I think He has put this on my heart to give me hope. And hope it has given me…because when things get tough or when I am starting to feel hopeless, I think about this word (or rather, words) God has given me and I feel hope. I feel like things will get better. I feel like this year will be a year of new beginnings for me and for my family. After all the loss, new things will spring up. He is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
How Do I Know If A Word Is from the Lord?
Anytime God gives you a revelation, it is vitally important that you compare it with scriptures. If God’s word supports what God has put in your heart then it’s from Him. It will also glorify Jesus. “However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you”. John 16 13-14 (You can read more about how to test the spirits here)
Pray About Your Word for the New Year
I do believe that God wants you to be encouraged. It’s the enemy that wants us to be discouraged…so discouraged that we feel like giving up. If you need encouragement after a tough year, ask God to send you encouragement. Ask Him to give you a word, a verse, a picture, or even a person that can encourage you every time you feel like giving up.
The last time I truly felt like giving up, God immediately put this verse on my heart, “…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9b)
Maybe this verse can encourage you too!