AUTHENTIC [Word of the Year: 2013]

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

2012: The Year of Change

My one word for 2012 was change. And, boy, was it ever filled with all sorts of change, inwardly and externally.  And to be quite honest, although some of the change was welcomed, most of it was not. In fact, this year could have just as easily been named the “Year of Loss”. It was filled with letting go of and relinquishing many things that were near and dear to me. 

I wish I could say that I accepted these changes graciously, but that wasn’t always the case. As the changes were taking place, leaving me revealed and exposed, I wondered if anything would be left.

So much was being stripped away.





And much of it, I didn’t understand (and, honestly, still don’t.)

The reality of the change I experienced was not what I had anticipated at the beginning of 2012. And as the closing of the year neared, I was quite happy to see the “Year of Change” come to an end. I wasn’t sure how much more change I could endure. Yet, in those final days of a roller coaster year, I realized the Year of Change was giving way to the Year of Authenticity.

2013: The Year of Authenticity

Being one who doesn’t feel the need to follow the crowd, I had decided I wasn’t going to choose a word for 2013. I had no desire to be trendy or hip. But darn it all, I kept coming back to the word authentic. It perplexed me a bit A LOT.

And, then, it hit me.

Amidst the loss of 2012, I had learned much. I had gained a newfound understanding of what it means to be my true self. [Click on link, I highly recommend this book.]  Leaning into and operating from that place. Being okay with me, even if others weren’t.  Discovering my passions, values, non-negotiables & ideals. That has a bit to do with authenticity, doesn’t it? DUH!

Remember Dr. Seuss?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

So, here it is, my word for 2013:

true to one’s own personality,
spirit, or character.    

Syns: genuine – true – real – original

I earnestly desire to be authentic in all my relationships: with myself, my God, family, friends, and all who come into my sphere of influence. Living authentically. Free to be me. All of me. Even the parts that are still “in process”.

Authentic in how I express my dreams, needs, thoughts, feelings and opinions. In God-honoring ways, of course, but being true to who He created me to be and what He has called me to do. Not conforming to status-quo, or to other people’s ideas for or expectations of me.

Simply being authentically me

no masks,

no pretense,

no fear,

because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Psalm 139)


2 responses to “AUTHENTIC [Word of the Year: 2013]

  1. I hear you! My word last year and my word this year were not what I would have picked from myself. But as the year goes on it is interesting to see how God works within the context of my word. Although I have to admit, pretty much everyone else’s word seems better than my own. But I guess that is where I am at…

  2. Beautiful! Excited to see what lays ahead for you, Jada!

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