2018 is here! You can almost feel the collective desire for 2018 to be “the year”. The year that you get back into shape, or that you land that dream job, or that you finally overcome something you’ve struggled with for years. If you’re anything like me, you go into the new year with completely unrealistic expectations to accomplish an absurd amount of things in the next 365.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals & in fact, we did a whole post on goal setting resources last week. However, I think it is easy to put ourselves into a bind by trying to accomplish all of the things.
Last year was the first year that I picked a “word for the year”. I had never done this previously and was encouraged to do it through the small group that I was a part of.
The word that I selected for 2017 is “freedom”. Coming into 2017, I felt that I was walking in with chains around my ankles and wrists. I felt anxious, burdened, frustrated, stuck, disappointed, bitter, angry, shameful and I desperately needed a release from that. I mean, who wouldn’t want freedom from that? I definitely was not walking in the freedom available to me by the gospel and wanted to intentionally go into this year seeking to experience that freedom. What did that look like? I tried to set my gaze upon He who gives that freedom and to find my identity in being a daughter of the King instead of the fleeting, flimsy, and even at times, soul-crushing things I had been clinging to. Those things had me bound in ways I didn’t even know. Now that we are at the beginning of 2018, I’m sure you are wondering, did I experienced freedom every single moment of 2017? Absolutely not. To be completely honest, 2017 was a pretty hard year for me and at times I felt more captive than ever. However, because it was “my word” it was constantly on the forefront of my mind. It was a constant reminder that I am free and Who it is that sets us free. It also allowed me to frame my goals for 2017 within my word and it gave me a huge amount of perspective as I was working towards them.
Sarah selected the word “discipline” as her word of the year and I will let her tell you why...
I selected discipline because I really struggled with being disciplined in many aspects of my life. My relationship with the Lord was dry and lacking because I was not disciplined in spending time in the word and in prayer. I was also lacking discipline in relationships with my friends and family. I wasn’t making time or creating space for quality time with the people I loved. I also lacked discipline in taking care of my body. As a personal trainer it’s expected that I have a certain level of discipline to work out and to eat all the right things all the time, however I was really lacking discipline in this area of my life as well. My whole life I’ve feared discipline, not because I was disciplined poorly as a child, but because discipline wasn’t “fun.” I have always wanted to seek out only positive and pleasurable experiences rather than focus on discipline and self-control. 2017 was a year that I wanted to grow in discipline and now at the beginning of 2018, I have seen the fruit that comes from being intentional about discipline. One of the main areas I have seen the fruit of being disciplined is in the fact that it has brought me into closer relationship with those around me and more importantly with my Savior. I know that I still have a long way to go and that discipline will continue to be something I grow in. Over the course of this year, I have learned so much about how God does not discipline us to punish us, but to draw us nearer to Himself.
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12: 11
We are still processing, reflecting, and praying through what our words for 2018 will be. Honestly, we had planned to share them with you in this post, but we just didn't feel ready to do so. We encourage you to pray and think through what your word for 2018 could be. If you are struggling through that process, or just want something to help guide you through the process, Sarah and I are both going to be walking through the Word of the Year Guide and Bible study with Sacred Holidays. If you want to take part, simply subscribe to their mailing list and then e-mail Hello@SacredHolidays.com and they will send you the guide!
We would love to hear from you, what will your word be for the new year?