For several years now, I’ve selected a Word of the Year. Last year, my word was STILL. However, in reality and in practice, 2014 was more like a stand-firm-and-don’t-give-up-or-give-in sort of year. In some ways, I suppose that is a variation of the meaning of the word ‘still’. Nevertheless, it was not the connotation or the interpretation that I had expected or anticipated at the beginning of 2014.
Up until yesterday, I hadn’t really given much thought to a Word of the Year for 2015. That is until my friend, Sarah Bessey, posed a question on her Facebook page. Then, I took a few moments to ponder what it might be. As I recalled the events and experiences of 2014 and began to identify the areas where I would like to see growth, development and transformation in 2015, one specific word kept appearing before my mind’s eye.
What was the word? Well, it was…
The word free has a variety of meanings. Here are the ones that stood out to me:
-not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.
-release from captivity, confinement, or slavery.
-not controlled by obligation or the will of another: felt free to go.
-not bound, confined, or detained by force.
-not obstructed, restricted, or impeded.
-not taken up with commitments or obligations.
For me, there is so much, personally and professionally, that is wrapped up in this one word: free from fear; free to be my authentic and unique self; free to move forward in my pastoral calling; free to dream big dreams; free to make mistakes; free from perfection and control; free from other people’s opinions, unrealistic expectations, etc., etc.
So, my friends, 2015 will be a year in which I embrace freedom in all areas of my life. I am excited to see where this leads me in the coming year, what I will learn and discover about myself and how God will use all of this to transform my life and to fulfill his purposes.
In the coming months, I’ll be sharing more about what I’m learning and discovering about my 2015 Word of the Year: FREE. Already, I’ve found a few songs that relate to this word and theme (links provided, take a listen): (Come and Fill My Heart by Avalon, Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave, Free to Be Me by Francesca Battistelli, Break Every Chain by Kim Walker, Where the Spirit of the Lord Is (acoustic version) by Chris Tomlin, and Freedom Reigns by Jesus Culture.
As well, I’ve been reflecting upon various passages in the Bible along with specific verses, which I hope to memorize over the course of the next year.
It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be FREE.
But do not use your FREEDOM to indulge the flesh;
rather, serve one another humbly in love.
So if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE indeed.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is FREEDOM.
(2 Corinthians 3:17)
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.
Live as FREE people,
but do not use your FREEDOM as a cover-up for evil;
live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone,
love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
(1 Peter 2:16-17)
What about you? Do you choose a Word of the Year? If so, please share in the comment section or provide a link to your blog.
Happy New Year!