Just over a year ago, I was introduced to the idea of choosing a word at the beginning of a year that would be the focus for that next 365 days. The idea is that instead of a list of resolutions, you find one word that encompasses all of your goals for the year, and you strive to live that word for the year.
I know it’s a bit late in the month to be writing about my one word for 2015, but I have known it since before this month started. I have hesitated to write about it because it’s a bit uncomfortable to share, but I think it’s time. I will add a disclaimer, though. I tend to be a visual person, and words create pictures in my head sometimes that I wish I didn’t have. God also speaks to me through imagery a lot (which I suppose makes sense since that’s how my brain works). I promise there won’t be vivid details or descriptions, but for those whose brains also assault them with unwanted images at times, proceed with caution because my word for this year is… Birth.
No. I do not expect to physically give birth this year. There are some risk factors for that particular condition that I do not have. However, God has been developing things inside me for several years, and He has made it very clear that it’s time for those to come into the world, so to speak.
God told me repeatedly that last year was a time of transition. I’m not sure what you know about the birthing process, but the transition portion of labor is said to be the most intense. It is also the part just before the active pushing begins. (Mothers, I am writing only from a clinical knowledge, so please don’t be too harsh if I don’t describe the process or experience accurately.)
There was certainly a lot of transition in my life last year as I moved around the world, and established a new life in a different country. Now as I’m settled in, I feel like God is urging me to push forward in bringing forth the things He has put in my heart – twin dreams of ministry release and the start of a new family.
It is scary to put this out there for the world to read because if these things don’t happen this year, then I might look like a failure. I really believe, though, that this is what God is speaking to me, and I must trust His word more than what I see. My verse for this year is Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she who believed, because there will be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
That verse is in reference to Mary, and although I’m obviously not physically carrying the baby Jesus, I think it fits. I, too, am expectant with things that can change the world and bring the Kingdom of God to earth. I don’t know what these “babies” will look like, but I believe they will one day make an impact in the world.
As I meditated on this word at the start of this year, something else struck me. It seems rather obvious now, but I had this moment of revelation that birth doesn’t mean they are complete and ready to change the world. If anything, birth is when the real work begins! But it’s also when the one who has been carrying the baby no longer has to do the work on her own; it’s when others can really begin to be hands on in the process of nurturing and raising this new life.
That may seem an odd thought by which to be surprised, but in my mind these dreams have always emerged mature and ready to change the face of the planet. I have carried them for so long that certainly they must be fully developed already, right? Yes, they are fully developed in the same way that a full-term newborn is fully developed to the stage it should be at birth, but not to the point that they are ready to move out and thrive on their own with minimal assistance from me and others.
Up until now, these dreams have developed largely without much active input from me. But beginning this year, it is time to push, to birth these dreams, and then to nurture them and help them grow. Now is the time that the real work begins, and I’m so excited to see what they will look like and who God will bring to help in the process!