I first want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2019 be the best year yet! I cannot believe it was one year ago today I shared my 2018 word of the year on my blog. For those of you who do not know what the word of the year is, below is a short excerpt from my Word of the Year post last year:
What is word of the year?
Don’t you ever tired of going through the same new years cycle each year? We all do it. We tell ourselves that we are going to resolve a specific thing, and about 2 weeks to maybe even a month in life gets too busy and that resolution gets pushed aside. According to Healthy Living, only about 8% of us actually keep our resolutions. (Source: Healthy Living) ) To the 92% of people who don’t keep up with their resolutions, I’m bringing a new perspective to the table.
Instead of setting up resolutions, I choose a word each year to focus on. Last year my word of the year was joy. I started this tradition four years ago in a bible study that I still meet with. I really like the reasoning behind choosing a word. We often don’t follow through with resolutions because it is the cause of a deeper root issue and that root issue usually boils down to a heart issue…a word. My words for the last four years were present, heart, hope, joy, and I will be sharing my new word of the year shortly. I also back each word up with scripture and memorize that verse. I recite this verse during the ups, the downs, and the norms.
Recap of my word of the year from 2018: JOY
As I sit and reflect this past year, it was definitely one of the craziest, busiest, life changing years in my life. (Besides the year I got married). I started getting more serious into blogging, traveled out of state every month, left my full time job of teaching and made the decision to blog full time, went to my first NYFW, traveled overseas for the first time, landed some amazing partnerships with brands that I never thought in a million years I would partner with, met some amazing people inside and outside of the blogging community, and I got closer with the friends that I already had. This year was incredible!
However, it was one of the most challenging years in my life: one of my best friends mom’s passed away from cancer, my sister in law’s mom got diagnosed with cancer, I lost a life long friendship and I still to this day don’t know why it happened, my family went through a ton of trials, my Instagram got hacked while on a 10 hour flight from Paris to the US and I didn’t know until I landed what had happened (praising God that I was able to get it back), and I went through periods of nights where I would have night terrors and struggled with high anxiety.
I made a promise in January 2018 to choose joy regardless of my circumstances and let me tell you: I FAILED MISERABLY. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep, mornings where I didn’t want to get out of bed, days where I would literally get sick from being over-stressed, and times I wanted to just scream out of anger. (I sound like a pleasant person don’t I. haha).
Just like what I said in the first few paragraphs of this post: We often don’t follow through with resolutions because it is the cause of a deeper root issue and that root issue usually boils down to a heart issue…a word. After this year of telling myself to “choose joy” and yet still wasn’t experiencing that everlasting joy I knew something was missing.The last few weeks I prayed for God to show me a new word for 2019, a word that can help me conquer finding joy. I thought of love, trust, courage, etc, but none seemed to stick out. When I sat down at church this past Sunday God clearly showed up. Our paster read to us John 15: 1-11 and abiding in Christ. Guys, this was one of those moments where you get chills. Everything in this sermon was on point. So my word of the year for 2019 is to ABIDE.
First: I highly recommend listening to the Harvest Indy South sermon I listened to sometime this week. (Click HERE to listen) This is the sermon that breaks down why we should abide in Christ. Brock could not have said it any better, other than the Bible of course. I am about to tell you is such a small snippet of the reason why I am choosing the word Abide for 2019.
If you look at the definition of “abide” there are many definitions: some of my favorites are the following:
- “to wait for”
- “to accept without rejection”
- “to remain stable or fixed in a state”
If you read John 15:1-11 In the Bible, Christ compares our relationship with him like a grape vine. He is the vine and we are the branches. Just like any grapevine, the branch needs to be 100% dependent on the vine to bear fruit (grapes). Without leaning on the vine we will wither away and later be pruned. Getting pruned sounds so terrible! and it may seem like it at first, but God made a promise to us that he will protect us and let us stay with him eternally in heaven (see John 3:16). The purpose of pruning a plant is to get rid of all of the dead or toxic parts so that new brands can grow that will product beautiful fruit. How cool is that! That is a story of hope and restoration. I don’t care WHO YOU ARE. There is hope to be restored and made new in Christ.
So what does this have to do with my problem of choosing joy?? Everything. God promises us in verses 1-11 is that if we abide in Him we will see more fruit produced in our lives, more answered prayers in our lives (v. 7), will avoid God’s judgement on each of us (v. 6), and will have Christ’s JOY in us (v. 11). Verse 11 stuck out to me:
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Maybe that is why every time I would “choose joy” in 2018 it wouldn’t last for more than a few days or even hours. Maybe it was because I wasn’t truly trusting in and surrendering to God’s plan for me. It was one of those ah-ha moments for me. I was choosing joy without the foundation on why I should choose joy in the first place. Jesus died on the cross for every person on this earth (yes, even criminals and that annoying person at work) because he loves us unconditionally and so that we can live eternally with Him in heaven instead of getting what we deserve.. death in hell.
Gosh we are so loved and we have so much to be thankful for! It is so encouraging to me to know that I am not in charge of my plans. This year I want to work on abiding in Christ. Trusting his plan for me and to surrender my plans, my agenda, my desires to him.
Happy 2019 everyone!
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