Word of the Year
Your word of the year. It’s different than a resolution. It’s not a constant reminder of what you “should be doing.” Instead, it stands as an inspiration of who you really are in Christ and how you want to live.
Who has God created you to be? Consider who you want to be and how God is shaping you. As you reflect and meditate, what’s one word, among all the others, that best captures what comes to mind?
If helpful, use the guide below. As you engage this opportunity to hear from God, invite God to guide your imagination. Then, choose a word that will help you become more and more who you are created and called to be.
A Guide: Key reminders as you step into discovering your word:
Be authentic. Your word should reflect YOU, and no one else. It’s easy to listen to others’ words and then pick one that sounds good. But you want a word that’s uniquely yours. One that resonates with you on a deep level. One that God can use to challenge you and strengthen you.
Don’t overthink it. There’s no wrong answer so just breathe and enjoy the process. There’s no need to stress or overthink it.
- Take time to reflect on what Jesus has been saying to you recently thru God’s word, music, and your life. Anything that sticks out to you? Any lessons you feel like God is trying to teach you? Jot these thoughts down.
- Write down the words that come to your heart and mind after reading through your thoughts. Review the list, and circle any words that stand out to you. Are there any common themes? Is there one word that embodies several of the words you have circled?
- Your word might come to you immediately, or it might require you to engage in more listening and processing. Know that it is okay to reflect and pray on it. Seek input from God and others. It’s not about whittling down a long list of words. Instead, it’s about identifying the word that keeps coming back to nudge your heart in a productive and invitational way.
- Continue reflecting, listening, and praying until the magical light bulb goes off and the heavens part and a dove descends with your word written on a white, gold plated letter. Just kidding. That won’t really happen. But there will come a moment, when in the stillness of your heart, you will know and then you can write in the blank below…YOUR word.
Once you have your word, the natural question arises: Now, what? What can you do with it? Every word has different actions attached to it. Every word has distinct connections to your life story. Check out some suggestions below for you can interact with your word:
- Write your word – With ink, pencil, paint, in sand, on your computer, on a typewriter, wipe off board, print a picture and frame it.
- Find your word – On billboards, in ads, in books, movies, Scripture, daily conversations. Just keep your eyes and ears open! Every time you see it, let it serve as a reminder of how God is shaping, encouraging, and challenging you.
- Journal your word- Why did you choose this word? What do you want to get from your word? How do you want to change, grow, learn?
- Wear your word – Make or buy bracelets, charms, keychains, etc with your word on it.
- Share your word – let those around you know about your word. Have them join you in the journey. Invite them to pray about your word for you and hold you accountable to living it out.
- Post your word – Around your house and around your work. Use post-its, dry erase boards, refrigerator magnets, or maybe keep a one word journal for throughout the year.
- Study your word – Find things that focus on your word. Look up the definition. Set out to learn as much as you can about your word and see how it specifically shows up for you.
- Pray your word – Specifically ask God to show up for you and to show your word to you.
- Claim your word – Own it. Live it out. Identify a daily or weekly practice you can engage to make your word your own.
- Celebrate your growth in living out your word – Celebrate the small and big wins! Celebrate getting back up after you’ve gotten knocked down! Celebrate persevering in your word! Celebrate what God is doing in and through you related to your word!
Happy New Year!
Adapted from Gateway Church Resource