Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Word for 2017 ~ Die

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  Word for 2017

Cheerful huh? But totally appropriate considering the 3 previous words that God gave to me.

Past Words

So, before I can jump into this year's word, I must go back and review the other words in order for die to make perfect sense.


Believe was the first word that God impressed upon my heart back in 2012. I prayed about receiving a specific word from the Lord because I didn't want it to just be the thing to do. I truly wanted the word to be from God and not drummed up from my own imagination. I wanted God to speak to me personally, but I also asked Him to help me to know for sure.
I thought maybe that I had heard wrong because I already believed and had since I was a child. He confirmed it, though, so I accepted it. Through reading the story of Peter faltering in the waves, I realized that even though I believed, I still struggled to believe, to trust, to have faith on a daily basis. I'm sure we all do to a point.

 The story from Mark chapter 9 came to mind during this time. A father who had a demon possessed child desperately wanted his son to be healed. After Jesus said, "Everything is possible for one who believes," The boy's father exclaimed - and I just love his response - "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" That was my prayer then and still my prayer now.

Believing in God isn't just a one time occurrence to mark the day of salvation. Belief is continuous and active and living. Belief is like the basic foundation on which the stairs of sanctification can be built one step at a time. I guess my first word needed to be a basic building block, a firm foundation, for the words yet to be revealed.


My word for 2013. Tough one. Who hasn't struggled with pride, right?

First of all, one can't even come to God in belief without a big ol' fat dose of humility, but then remaining humble on a daily basis? (Hear my big SIGH) Almost impossible. At least for a girl like me. I don't think belief/faith can be active and thriving without humility, though. So, a perfectly appropriate second word. :)

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”  ~ 1 Peter 5:5b-6


My word for 2014. When God gifts us with the faith to humbly repent and believe, he also calls us to follow Him. For me it was a constant reminder to continue to follow Him no matter what. One of my favorite verses - I'd probably even go as far as calling it my life verse - is Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

Follow had a twofold meaning for me. On one hand I did believe God wanted me to focus on following Him, but I also felt that He wanted me to focus on following my husband as well.

I'm still in complete awe of this word God gave to me because shortly after He revealed it, our lives took quite a turn. A turn toward full-time ministry - something my husband wanted more than me. A lot more. Like I didn't want it at all. Follow was the PERFECT word to help me with the "S" word . . . submission. ;)

I wish I could say that my act of submission was as easy and breezy as a butterfly fluttering on the wind and gracefully landing on a picture-perfect, desert bloom. But it wasn't. It looked more like trying to give a cat a bath. After a few private, yet shameful tantrums I was totally on board with not my will but Yours, Lord. On September 2, 2014, my husband officially became an assistant pastor. (More on my journey to pastor's wife here.)

Putting the Words Together

As 2015 dawned, instead of impressing one word upon my heart, I felt as if God wanted me to put the previous 3 words together like this:

Believe in humility and follow.

A phrase to start life as a Christian. A phrase to continue life as a Christian. And, goodness, I had no idea that 2015 would prove to be a most challenging year in my walk of faith.

God tested my faith in a way it hadn't been tested before, at least not within the boundaries of "church." Due to unfortunate circumstances, not only did my husband step down from full-time ministry, but we left the church at which we were serving. Though necessary, it wasn't easy.

I followed my husband into ministry and followed him right back out 8 months later. We became church orphans overnight.

It was a very confusing and emotionally painful time. It was especially difficult to avoid the questions, why and what in the world was that for, God? It was tough getting up on Sunday mornings to visit new churches. It was tough feeling like we didn't belong anywhere and wondering if we ever would.

Whispers of believe in humility and follow ushered me along and helped me to not give up.

A Word of Encouragement

I've heard that sometimes major issues within the church cause people to fall away and give up on meeting together with other believers. Though tempting at times, I didn't want this to be me. So, I just want to take a moment to encourage anyone who has ever gone through or is going through a difficult church situation. Even if you need to leave your current church, don't leave church altogether. Only Christ is perfect. Christians will let us down as some point in our lives. It's so important that our trust be in Christ not Christians. Part of trusting Christ is following His will for our lives, and He wants us meeting together with other believers.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:23

Take it from someone who's gone through it. Don't give up! I'm so glad that phase of life is behind my family. We've finally found a place to call home, and slowly but surely, we are getting involved and meeting new people. Though the road seemed long, we are experiencing healing and restoration. Praise be to God!


My word for 2017. I didn't claim a specific word for 2016. I spent that January packing and moving to a new neighborhood, plus I was still drained from 2015, not thinking much on new words. However, for a few years, death, die, deny . . . those types of words  . . . had been floating around in the back of my mind not quite ready to come front and center.

I spent time thinking about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. What it truly means to believe in humility and follow. 

It means die.

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" Luke 9:23

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:24

Dying's Not Easy

Look, I'm human, and this word isn't exactly the most exciting word. It's certainly not the type of word you plaster on your living room wall in some whimsical, welcoming font. 

I mean you'd probably think I was super weird if you came over and saw that word in my house. Be a little scared, even. And want to get out as fast as possible! 

Die is a word better suited for a movie like Harry Potter, don't you think? Like written in blood on a wall or something. 

But it is my word, and I must accept it. One problem: I hate pain. And there's pain and suffering in death. Pain and suffering in denying my flesh the very breath it needs to survive. And it doesn't give up without a heartfelt fight. Make no mistake, dying isn't easy, but as Christians, we don't have a choice. We are called to put to death our earthly nature in order to be able to live for Christ. 

And there's the beauty in this word, die. Death to self = life in Christ, life abundantly and eternally.


A Fitting Song

One of my newest favorite female Christian artists is Lauren Daigle. Just amazing. Anyway, I was listening to a Lauren Daigle YouTube mix the other day and came across this song that made me pause in the middle of my metamorphosis - aka my makeup application.

I'd never heard this particular song of hers before, but when I heard her sing, "Let this be where I die," I about died! I thought, how perfect, how fitting for my word this year. The song is absolutely beautiful. If you've never heard it before, listen and be blessed. :) It's called "Once And For All."

Oh let this be where I die
My lord with thee crucified
Be lifted high as my kingdoms fall
Once and for all, once and for all

Such powerful words. May this be my prayer, too. Do you have a word for 2017? Share in the comments; I'd love to know!

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