Word of the Year – Adult Faith Office

Diocese of Thunder Bay Crest


“You crown the year with your bounty and your carts overflow with abundance.”Psalm 65:11

“A new beginning!  We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning,as a unique opportunity to make everything new.  Imagine that we could live each moment 
as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through a new year always listening to a voice saying to us: 
‘I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!’ Imagine.”    Henri Nouwen

These quotes remind us that we are made to be a people of hope. Our hope is in a person, the person of Jesus Christ. The beginning of the new year is a wonderful opportunity to start fresh.  God is always pursuing us.  Are we responding to that invitation?

Have you ever chosen a “Word of the Year?’  This is something I heard about several years ago and I have found it to be very effective in advancing my spiritual life.  When choosing a word for the year it is best to take it to prayer. 
It isn’t a word that should be chosen randomly.  Ask the Holy Spirit to stir something within you, to show you a word that can act as a seed that will be cultivated throughout the year to bear beautiful fruit.  God wants to share his heart with us.  He wants to reveal things to us with the hope and purpose of growing in deeper union. Seek the heart of God for you, personally, and then listen to what He whispers.  What has God been doing in this season of your life and where do you think He is leading you next?  Is there a certain scripture passage or song that keeps coming to your mind? The Lord is always speaking to us. He speaks to each one of us in a unique way. Is there something that resonates deep within you?  Once you know your word, it will be the lens through which you see the whole year.  The word is constantly unfolding. What you think it is..it is so much more.  When we listen to the Holy Spirit each year, the words are never arbitrary from year to year, they connect.  When you choose a word, you will find a theme is played out in your life. 

Several weeks ago, I began to pray about my word of the year.  God has been asking a lot of me over the past few years.  And of late there has been an overarching theme of Him asking me to trust and to surrender.  Surrender my control, and trust that He is good.  At first I thought it was obvious.  I just needed to choose.  Is my word of the year “trust” or “surrender”?  Neither word is easy to live.  However, as I sat with these words, another word came up over and over in scripture and in podcasts I was hearing.  This word was “time.”  I began to think about this.  In order to trust and surrender, I need to spend more time with the Lord…more time in silence, more time in prayer, more time growing my trust and surrender muscles. I need to spend more time getting to know His goodness by reading scripture so that I can trust and surrender more easily.  Needless to say, my “Word of the Year” is TIME.  Already this word has begun to unfold into so much more than at first glance.  I have come to realize, just two weeks into January, that “time” also means I need to be patient…His timing is not my timing.  I also need to surrender my schedule, my need to have a checklist and to have things happen in a certain order each day.  Each second of my day belongs to Him, and I need to surrender this too.  I am a person that likes to get up, pray, exercise, eat, get ready for the day, etc.  I have a to do list.  Last week I was about to finish my coffee and start the laundry according to my plan, when my husband came in and sat down to have coffee with me.  The temptation was to say, “Oh sorry, I just finished coffee.”  It was as if the pause button was hit and I thought…take the time to be with him, to have coffee…the laundry will be there in 15 minutes.  I look forward to 2021 and all that God will do within me. The potential for this year is dependent on me and my cooperation with grace.   How open is my heart and am I going to allow God to stretch me? I am confident that at this “time” next year I will not be the same person that I am today…and that is a good thing.    
God Bless
Hannah Hay