Have you made your list of New Year’s resolutions yet? Drafted a list of goals and objectives for this next year? Reviewed your list from last year to see how you did and determine what adjustments you need to make this year? Maybe you’re already starting on something new this year – a new diet, new exercise program, taking a class to learn something new? Or, are you rolling into this new year feeling already behind and exhausted? Not sure what this year holds and not sure where you should focus?
I have to admit I’m feeling a bit behind already. Not yet ready to take on the world in this new year. Not yet ready to jump into the list of big, ambitious goals and projects I wrote down for this year. I long for a bit more holiday rest and time off from the day-to-day. Yet, we’re fully into January and time is marching on. It’s time to put away the holidays and forge ahead into the new year.
For the past several years, I’ve been choosing one word to guide my year. One special word chosen through prayer – or, more accurately, one word that God has given me, placed on my heart and set for my year. It’s become the lens through which I view the year. The filter I use as new opportunities arise, as decisions need to be made, as I make choices about what to do next. It’s a word that encourages and guides me throughout the year.
The words haven’t been easy ones – God’s guidance rarely is. They’ve each required me to grow in my faith, to take chances and trust where God is leading, and to move beyond the comfortable. Words like EXHALE, LAUNCH, and STEP. These have led me to begin writing and speaking about my faith, to start this blog, to develop and lead women’s retreats, to write and publish books, and much more. How I longed for something easier this year, something less active, something more restful… But God said, “not yet.” In fact, this year’s word may be the hardest one I’ve had and the one that will require the most of me.
The word God gave me this year is TRUST.
I didn’t want this word. I know it’ll mean big things ahead and big leaps of faith. I also know it’s exactly the word I need this year and at this point in my journey. It’s also a word I can’t escape. God’s been putting it before me everywhere I turn.
So, what does it mean to TRUST? More specifically, what does it mean to TRUST GOD?
On one hand, TRUST is passive. It’s being still and allowing God (trusting God) to work in your life and lead the way. Stop trying to find your own way, cease striving to make it on your own, stop worrying about what’s next or how it will work out. Trust God and He’ll lead the way. He will provide the answers and the resources. He will fight the battles ahead.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
“Be still” is about resting in faith and trust that God is faithful and will lead the way ahead. It’s being still, so you can fully put your trust in God.
On the other hand, TRUST is active. It’s actively stepping out into the unknown, trusting that God will be there to equip and guide you. It’s through the action of stepping forward that God guides.
It’s tempting to look at TRUST and think I can just sit back and trust that God will provide a clear roadmap and starting signal when He’s ready, but I know it’s more than that. Trust isn’t about sitting back idle, waiting for a sign from God. It’s about continuing to take the next step before me in trust that I’m on the path God has set (and trusting that He’ll move me back if I take a wrong turn). It’s continuing to move forward into new growth areas, learning new things, stepping beyond the comfortable, moving ever closer to His better future for my life, trusting fully in Him when the next steps feel overwhelming.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
What is your word for the year? How will you TRUST GOD more as you step into this new year? Will you join me in praying for this year ahead and all God has planned for you and for me?
Father Almighty, As we stand at the start of this new year, fill us with hope and expectation for all that You have planned in our lives. Renew our energy, refill our spirits, restore our hearts, and revive our faith so we might step forward into what this year holds, trusting fully in You. Help us to listen for your guidance and readily follow. Remind us to take time to be still and allow You to lead the way. Remind us to pause and pray often, tuning in to Your voice as we face each new challenge and decision. Amen.
I like your word Trust, Kathryn. And I pray that prayer at the end of your post right along with you. “Renew our energy, refill our spirits, restore our hearts, and revive our faith so we might step forward into what this year holds, trusting fully in You.” Amen to this! My Christmas break was too busy for me to make much headway on goal setting and planning. I’ve made a start, but still need to take time for that.
Blessings on you this new year, friend!
I was hoping for some rest and renewal over the break – but not so much with the kids 🙂 Excited (if a bit anxious) about all this year has in store. Praying for you, too, to find some rest and recharge as you move forward into all God has planned for you this year!
[email protected] says
Kathryn…what an amazing word for 2016! it is so neat to comes across another N. Texas blogger that shares their faith! I love your thought provoking post. Proverbs 3:5-6 has been one of my all time favorite verses and my mother quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to me when I awoke from my stroke almost 6 years ago! I am learning how awesome it is to “trust ” God. It takes the pressure off me when I trust Him. Yes I want to actively seek His direction but then like you said…we need to “rest in HIM”. I believe that is when we find the peace that He offers. Thank you for sharing what God has put on your heart and blessings to you and yours in 2016!
Horace – glad to find you and connect with another local blogger! Trusting God can be so hard, but yet so vital for aligning our lives with His better future for us.
Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk says
What a beautiful picture of trust you’ve painted! Trust is so much about still moving while you wait, and continuing to seek and pursue and grow — you’ve articulated it perfectly! I’m there right with you, trusting God for all that’s in the year ahead!
Marva @ sunSPARKLEshine says
Beautiful, Kathryn and what an amazing word. Scary and exciting all at the same time, yet with a word like TRUST you can’t go wrong. Praying blessings for you in 2016!
Yes! Scary and exciting all wrapped together is a great way to describe it. Grateful we have such a faithful God who we can put our TRUST in.
“Trust in the Lord with all you heart” is so similar to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Trust is active, as you say, and takes effort on our part. My word for this year is “worth.”
oh, I love ‘worth’ – what a great word! I think TRUST will take me on quite a journey this year – one of great growth, great risk-taking, and great adventures with God.
Trust Is a tough one, if we are honest. It is kind of linked to my word, peace. When I am not at peace, it means I am not trusting.
Let’s push through the fear and doubts this year!
Yes, Trust is hard. It’s something we like to say we have in God, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard to let go of our own control. A lesson I’m sure I’ll be learning over and over this year. Peace is a wonderful word – and also requires trust and surrender. Blessings on your year ahead with peace!
Love the word trust. It is an active word and full of so much. I feel the same way that I need some time to rest and restore some!
Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments says
Trust IS a scary word! It’s an action packed word filled with the unknown of God’s next adventure … and it requires a lot. Especially when you are already feeling a bit behind. I prayed the prayer with you and will continue to pray for you and for all of us to trust God with all that He asks of us!
Blessings and smiles,
A fellow “Word of the Year” subscriber 😉 Love this post AND your word (mine is “Endure” as in: to last!). Thanks for sharing this at Coffee & Conversation last week -we’ll be featuring it tomorrow!!
Oh, I love the “one word” for the year! It has proven such a powerful guide. Endure should be a good word, too – and a challenging one. Thanks for the feature!
Jed Jurchenko says
What an excellent word for the year!
This year, my word is “teamwork.” However, as I was reading your post, I realized that there is a lot of trust involved as well. I’m trusting God that as I step out of my comfort-zone, connect, share my story, and partner with others, God will open new doors, and lead my family and I where He wants us to go. Thank you for the insights into just how important trust is.
Wishing you an incredible 2016, on your journey of trust!