At the end of last year, I spent quite a bit of time seeking direction for the upcoming year. As well as prayer, I read about goal setting and other motivational "tricks" used for achieving your dreams. One of the most popular ones I ran across was choosing a word for the year. Having one word rather than a whole list of resolutions and goals appealed to me. One word that helps focus your thinking, unify your goals and keep them in front of you. A theme for the year, a word that you go back to for every decision. One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.
There are many worksheets and articles on how to find your word, but for me, I asked the Lord for my word. Immediately I had an answer and a scripture verse. Now, immediate answers do not happen to me very often, they usually come over time, a little bit here and a little bit there until I have the whole picture. And in a way that is what happened in the situation, except I had received the "bits" before I asked the question!
One bit was a sign I had purchased. I was browsing though the clearance section at Hobby Lobby, looking for something to put on the wall of my office. I liked the look of this sign and thought it would fit nicely in the corner, plus it was 80% off! I brought it home, set it on the floor of the office and there it stayed, gradually becoming covered up with boxes of stuff that accumulates in my office. When I received my word for the year and scripture, I uncovered this sign and it was the exact verse the Lord had given me as my guiding verse for the year. It now hangs directly above my desk as a reminder of that word and that the Lord is directing my footsteps.
Another bit was a dream I had last spring. I usually don't remember my dreams but I did this one. I shared it in my blog last June, but here it is again. For three nights I had a dream where I was driving and could not open my eyes. I knew I was on a winding road with trees and deep ditches on each side. I couldn't stop for fear of someone coming up behind me and hitting me. So I kept going, trying to open my eyes. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not open my eyes. I even tried prying them open with my fingers, but I still could not see! The last time I had this dream, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to relax, stop trying to see and just listen to His directions. So in my dream, I took a deep breath, released my fear and concentrated on His directions. I was able to navigate the road until He led me to a place where I was to pull off to the side. When the car was parked, I could see again. I looked back and saw the winding road, going up a slight incline, with trees and the deep ditches along the sides, I had been on. I was parked in a clearing at the top of that hill, amazed at how I had got there. From this dream, I knew to get to where the Lord wanted me to be, I would have to learn to trust and blindly follow the leading of Holy Spirit.
And another bit came from a prayer that was prayed over me. That in front of me was a dense forest, so dense I couldn't see which way to go or how to find my way through it. But the Lord was cutting a path through that forest. He was clearing a path, making it easy to travel and lighting it with dappled sunlight so it would be plain to see. I was to trust the path was there and keep looking for the opening.
As Christians "Trust in the Lord" is our go to piece of advice when we don't have an answer to a particular situation. We know we are supposed to trust in Him, but what does trusting in the Lord actually look like? How do we get to that place where we "trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not to our own understanding"? There seems to be a lot of "just do it" and very little on "how to do it" when it comes to trusting in the Lord.
Over the next few weeks, I'm intend to explore this topic of trusting in the Lord. I invite you to come along with me and share your thoughts, ideas and any insights Holy Spirit reveals.
Oh and in case you missed it, my word for 2018:
Do you have a word for 2018? What is it and why? I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.