My Word for 2016: WAIT

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I’ve been thinking and praying about what my word for 2016 needs to be and I’ve finally decided upon the word “wait.” The Lord has consistently brought this word into my mind and my heart over the last several weeks. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be discontent and tend to let anxiety and worry take the lead in my heart and mind when anything happens in my life, more often than not.

I had a couple of weeks recently when I was very discontent with how my life is at the time. Discontent with being single. Discontent with still being in school. Discontent with myself. Discontent with dreams and desires I have not being fulfilled yet….lots of discontentment. I also deal with anxiety and worry quite a bit in my life. I have gotten much better at coping and dealing with my anxiety over the last few years, but it is still there and it still seems to be the default mode my mind is set on.

I read a book in 2015 called Lady in Waiting. Boy, did the Lord do a lot of convicting through that one!! I realized at that time how much I look to other things and other people to find my contentment or to give me joy or strength. I went through Alyssa Bethke’s “Power of the Psalms” e-course study online a couple of weeks ago (if you don’t know about Jeff and Alyssa Bethke, you should definitely look them up and read some of their stuff! Their writing and videos have been a big source of encouragement to me in recent years!) and one of the sessions was on waiting. We read through Psalm 27 and it struck such a chord in me. Psalm 27:14 in particular pulled at my heart. It says, ” Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord” (KJVA).

That night, after reading that verse, I went and looked it up in several different versions. The wording of the KJVA just stirred in my heart something sweet.

Some of the definitions I found from Strong’s concordance are: gather together, to bind together, to expect, look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon)

Merriam-Webster defines WAIT as follows: -to remain stationary in readiness or expectation; to be ready and available; a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy. One of the synonyms it listed for WAIT is “STAY.”

Merriam-Webster defines STAY as follows: – to stick or remain with, to stand firm, to take up residence, to continue in a place or condition, and (my favorite) to fix on something as a foundation.

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord.”-Psalm 27:14

In the last few weeks, I have resolved to, by His grace, teach my heart to wait upon the Lord. To stay with Him. To watch expectantly and patiently for what He is doing and what He’s going to do next. To wait for HIM to fulfill the dreams and desires of my heart. To be ready and available for whatever He has for me. To fix my heart upon HIM as my foundation. I have no doubt that I will have bad days and days when it’s hard to keep going and days when my flesh and my heart is weak and failing. But I will wait upon my Lord and HE will strengthen my heart. I will remind myself of all the reasons why I wait upon Him. I will set Him as the first desire of my heart and let my soul be satisfied in being reconciled to it’s Creator. I will remember that no matter what 2016 throws my way, the LORD is faithful (Lam. 3:22-23). The LORD is my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 18:2). The LORD is the beginning and the end (Rev. 22:13). The LORD is with me (Ps. 118:6) and for me (Rom. 8:31). The LORD has sealed me in by His Sprit (Eph. 1:14). The LORD has inscribed me on the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). Therefore, I will wait upon Him. I will look to Him and trust that He is working all things together for my good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). I will remind myself that His will comes in His timing. I will remind myself that He knows me and loves me fully (Ps. 139, John 3:16, Rom. 8:38-39). I will remind myself that no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11). I will remind myself that the Lord is always, at all times, giving me what’s best for me in the moment. I will run to Him when I want to be discontent and when I am struggling to wait for His fulfillment of my dreams and desires.  I will not let my mind jump into anxiety and worry as much as it has; I will not let my heart dwell in envy or jealousy or bitterness. I will instead tell myself to “wait upon the Lord.” He’s got me.

And He’s got you too, friend!

My word/theme/attitude for 2016 is wait. I pray that whatever your word is for 2016, or even if you don’t have a word or theme like this, that you too will wait upon the Lord. I pray that He will draw you nearer and set a fire down in your soul. I pray that you will run to Him because His arms are open wide. He is passionately pursuing you. He DIED for you, and then rose to life again so that you could be reconciled to Him and live with Him! He is calling you. No matter who you are, where you come from, what you’ve done, the Lord Jesus Christ is beckoning you to Himself.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

-Numbers 6:24-26

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2016: New Year, Same God

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At the start of 2015 I resolved to make it a year of thankfulness. I made a jar and kept sticky notes and notepads next to it. I made it a habit to regularly write down things, moments, people that I was thankful for in hopes to develop an attitude of thankfulness. Today, on January 2, 2016 I opened that jar and read all of the things I had written, and a few little notes left by friends when they came over! 🙂 The picture above is a snippet of all the paper that was scattered in my living room floor.

God was abundantly faithful in 2015, as He always is. I got to watch Him work in the lives of close friends and family, as well as experience His work in my own life. I saw strongholds broken and dreams reborn. I experienced His grace upon grace and His lavish love. I am blessed to say that I love Him and know Him more today than I did a year ago, all thanks to His great love, grace and truth.

I had a couple of “firsts” in 2015: I got my first full-time job that I’m incredibly thankful for. I got my first apartment by myself and I’m paying bills monthly. I have started learning how to really cook meals for myself and it actually taste good! 🙂

It’s now 2016 and I have high hopes and expectations of what this year will bring! I am certain that there will be both good days and bad days, as there always are. I am certain that God’s mercies will be new with each day. I am certain that on the bad days, the dark days, His joy will come in the next morning. I am certain that His Word will be a constant source of hope, healing, wisdom, truth, love, and grace. I am certain that His love for me will continue to burn fiercely and His pursuit of me will not stop. I am certain that His Spirit will not forsake me and will continually convict me and lead me. I am certain that His faithfulness will be proved true time and again. I am certain that He will remain the same. Constant and true. Yesterday, today and forever. From the beginning, to 2016, and on into eternity. I am certain that in this ever-changing world and my ever-changing emotions and behaviors, that whatever each day of 2016 brings, the One True Mighty God of the Universe and Lover of my soul will remain the same, never-changing.

He is my hope in each new year. I have some resolutions for 2016, but I’ve actually already started working towards them a week before New Years even came. I want to give God every part of me. Total surrender. I am working on being healthier to glorify and honor God with this body He’s given me, physically, emotionally and mentally. I am also resolving to wait on the Lord–actively wait; to spend more time in prayer and journaling because I didn’t journal as much in 2015 as I would like to. And I am going to try to write on this blog more often, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, monthly…I don’t know how often yet, but I want to commit to writing more. I believe God has given me this passion for writing and this dream of someday writing a book(s), and I want to develop the habit and practice of writing regularly and honing the craft. I have been so touched by many books and blogs and articles that men and women have written in 2015. They have helped me lean into Jesus a little more with each word. I want to be that sort of encouragement and help to others as well.

So…as we enter into this new year of 2016, I hope that you are filled with all the hope of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I pray that He will draw you nearer and that you will find the One whom your soul was made by and for. I pray that He will guide you in your resolutions and goals to be better and do better. But ultimately, that you will find yourself complete in what Christ has done and find your identity in Him and who HE says you are. Goals are wonderful because we can always improve and we do have responsibility to take care of ourselves and those around us. But let’s remember to rest in the finished work of Christ and accept His gift of grace, forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation through Jesus. May we all seek Him and come to know and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

As you enter into the exhilarating journey that is 2016, may the Lord bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Love,

Anna