In 2014, my little family and I faced quite a difficult circumstance which compelled us to make a very tough decision. My husband resigned from his job. He had worked there for 16 long years. We went to the US to "look for greener pasture", believing that this was God's will for us. We chose to traverse the long and winding path without really seeing what was ahead of us. At that time, I felt like we were defeated and without direction.
Then I remembered my one word for that year: HOPE.
Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, it struck me: there is hope for me and my family! Yes, we were like walking in an extremely long and dark tunnel, but we didn't give up. I was hopeful. We were hopeful, that after that seemingly prolonged and extended journey in that tunnel, we were not staying there. We were going to see the light at the end of it. And we did! We came back to the Philippines and after almost a year of praying and waiting, he found a new job!
Why have a "word for the year"?
It has been three years now I am in the habit of creating my ONE WORD for the year. This one word has served as my guide or North Star for every year that has come. It somehow helps me focused on where I would like to see myself and my family headed. It reminds me of my purpose, gives meaning and richness and points me to the course that I must take. And for this year, it will not be different. I am ready to establish and live my one word for the coming year.
It was last October when the word "FAITHFUL" kept showing; in my quiet times with the Lord, in the preacher's sermons, and even in chatting with my friends. I don't know why but every time I hear it, it's like it's being stamped in my heart. The more I hear it, the more it is stamped and becomes indelible in my heart. Then one night last week, in the most undramatic scene (while brushing my teeth), I asked the Lord, "Lord, you have been and are so faithful to me. I want to be faithful to you as well. In what area of my life do you want me to be faithful to you?" Instantly, the Lord impressed in my heart where He wants me to be faithful to Him.
I believe everyone is gifted and talented. It could be one, two or even hundreds. I may just have one but that is not the question. The question is, do I use that talent to glorify God and bless other people? I remember the Parable of the Bags of Gold Jesus told His disciples. A man entrusted his wealth to his servants because he was going on a long journey. One of them received five bags of gold, the other, two bags and to another, one bag. After a long time the man returned and called his servants to give account. The servant who had received five bags of gold returned the five bags of gold with five more, while the servant who received two, gained two more. However, the servant who got one buried the master's gold in the ground. Who got the master's commendation and praise? The servants who traded their golds and earned from them. But the one who hid his was reprimanded and was even called "wicked and lazy servant". So, it's not really how many talents and gifts I've got. It's how faithful I am in using them to bless others and honour my Master.
As a stay-at-home wife and mom, I thought I always have all the time in the world. But I'm mistaken. I don't have time if I'm not using it wisely and productively. There was a time before when a day would pass and I felt like I have not done anything worthwhile; that I just lived for the sake of existence. I felt so purposeless and unfaithful. Each one of us is given the same number of hours in a day, whether we're working in the office or staying at home or working from home.
We all have 24 hours. How we use this precious time is important as well. For this coming year, I would like to be more mindful of the time I am entrusted with. I want to live each day with a sense of purpose and accomplishment; making each day count, making a difference to my daughter, my husband and to every living individual I come in contact with, and being the best person I can be. I believe that's what's being faithful to the Lord for the time He has lent me, means.
"Those who can be trusted with small things, can be trusted with big things." I would like to rephrase it and say it in my own words: those who are faithful in big things have been faithful even in small things. I am not rich but I would like to be more faithful in the area of giving to the Lord. I am sure that God is not really after my riches and wealth when He tells me to give to His ministry and share what I have to the people in need. I believe that He is after the condition of my heart. He is training me to trust Him more. He is providing me an avenue to show my faithfulness to Him. Just like the parable I have mentioned above, it's not actually what I have but who I am becoming that He is after. And I firmly believe that that's what matters most.
There you have it, my one word for 2017. I am hopeful that being faithful to the Lord in the talent/s, time and treasure I am entrusted with, I will also become a blessing to others and be blessed.
How about you? Do you also use "one word" for a year? How does it help you? Please feel free to share your thoughts.