One word. The moment that I first knew the concept – choosing just a single word that describes who you want to be or achieve in the coming year – I was instantly “all in.” Why? Well, on a more humorous level, those of you who have been here long enough know that brevity is NOT my strong suit, so the thought of trying to cram a whole year’s goals into one word intrigued me. 🙂
But at a deeper level, its simplicity spoke to my heart almost instantly. My daily life is anything BUT simple these days. My life is so blessed but various demands on my time often leave me stretched to my limit. I found the thought of being able to surround the year with a single word welcoming and motivating.
Like many of you, I had a word that instantly came to me: Believe. I struggle often with having a complete faith, one that does not question and is not skeptical. I want to trust – I really do. But I’m also oh-so Type A and I want to understand, to plan, and yes, even to control the process and the outcome. And this isn’t just where my relationship with God is concerned – it’s amazing how a heart that is so trusting of everyone can simultaneously be such a skeptic.
Since I knew this is an area where I need to grow, I seized the word in midair. For weeks, I thought I was done and had it. Come January 1st, I’d share my single word for 2012 with the rest of you and forge forward.
As is often the case, God had other plans.
I was driving home from a short visit with a precious friend when God first began to stir up my discomfort with my word: Believe. I didn’t understand at first because I felt the word “fit” me. So I continued to listen to the whispers in my soul, and by the end of the year, I knew believe was not the word that God had for me, yet I didn’t know what word was. Of course, that stressed me out slightly, because of how could I share my word on January 1st if I don’t know it? I can almost picture God now – smiling and shaking his head, chuckling under His breath and saying, “My precious Sheryl. I so love you, but My time is not always your time. Just keep listening.”
So I did. And last Thursday morning as I drove to work, God opened the blinders and revealed His word for me for 2012: Depend.
God spoke this to me so clearly that it was almost shocking:
You do not believe because you do not depend.
Ouch. But it’s true. I am, and always have been, independent. Add to that the facts that I am single and a goal-driven perfectionist, and the end result is a woman who doesn’t readily depend on anyone or anything. If it needs to be done, I do it. All the times that I have asked for help and been let down have just reinforced that “do it for yourself” approach. I don’t ask for help often or easily. When I do, it is always apologetically and with difficulty. After all, I’m the one who does, who helps, who can be depended upon. When the tables are turned, I am at a loss and no longer know quite how to operate.
All this can so easily be applied to my spiritual life as well. I sense something that God wants me to do, I grab hold and take off with it – usually leaving God’s timing and guidance in my dust. Predictably, I soon find myself back humbly at the starting gates, trying again under the gentle but firm direction of our loving Father. I don’t believe that He’s going to answer my prayers or act in the way that I desire because I haven’t yet chosen to depend on Him to do it.
The life-changing power in that one little whisper is magnificent.
May I learn to depend on God and on others more, trusting that they’ll come through. It’s a scary word and it is not without a little anxiety that I share it with you here, but I’ve already gotten to see it at play in a couple of situations and what a blessing that has been!
The One who called you is completely dependable.
If he said it, he’ll do it!
1 Thessalonians 5:24