Have you ever chosen one word to represent a single year? This year will be my sixth year in doing so, and I find it amazing how applicable to my life this little action has become. I’m always sad to say goodbye to a word but also excited to embrace a new one. My past words have included Hope, Believe, Strength, Steadfast, and, for the past year, Purposeful.
I had first heard of this from author Debbie Macomber. Since I was also an aspiring author, I thought this would help me have a focus for my writing, but I’ve found the words applicable to all aspects of my life. I always look up Bible verses related to my word so I have a verse or two to refer to throughout the year. The first year I did this, it became evident that it was intended not only for my writing, but for my life as well.
Even the process of choosing a word can be valuable and rewarding. I first select words that communicate where I am, what’s important to me, and where I want to grow. For a word girl, I love to explore different words and their meanings, and when I’ve settled on a word, it sticks more than any other. For 2020, I didn’t even gather a list of words. The word selected me – and I just knew it was the right one.
What is my word for 2020? Courage! Courage to be vulnerable. Courage to reach out and ask for help. Courage to say “No” (that was a big one for me – it’s so difficult for me to say “No”). Courage to do what God asks of me. Courage to trust Him.
When I looked up the definition of Courage, it was described as bravery in the face of danger, but digging deeper, it’s also about facing difficulties and fear. I’ve been writing and editing my first novel for the past six years and it’s been a journey. I’m afraid to put my work out there and get feedback, no matter how encouraging. It’s also daunting to know there’s more work that needs to be done, and I don’t fully know what that is yet. I want to keep working on it and not give up, even though I wonder at times why I keep trying. This is the Courage I want to have in 2020.
The main Bible verse that fits my heart with this word is Joshua 1:9: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
So, for 2020, I look forward to seeing how God will use this word to encourage me. Is it to have Courage to finish my book and pitch it for publishing? The Courage to say “No” to things so I can have the time to work on my book? Courage to listen to God when he nudges me (which is exactly how writing my novel began)? Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to this year of Courage.
And now I encourage you to choose a word for 2020. It’s never too late. Write down three or four words that first come to mind. Look up verses and quotes that include them, and see which one stands out. I hope whatever word you choose gives you infinite encouragement in all aspects of your life.
Denise M. Colby is a freelance writer who engages her readers through her articles, blogs, and marketing content. Find out more at www.denisemcolby.com.