In 2018, I went to a vision board party. I’d never done a vision board before, but it was easy to get into the swing of things once the guidelines were set: go through magazines and clip out words and images that define the year you want to have. Whatever we dreamed or hoped for in the year ahead belonged on the vision board, no matter how unlikely it might be.
I left that party with a small poster loaded with glossy clippings of Bible verses, natural hairstyles, writing goals, quotes on finding love, and travel destinations. I kept the vision board on my dresser for the entire year, but as each month passed, I paid less and less attention to it. This is not to say that some of the visions I had for myself weren’t met—2018 was a great year in many ways. In the end, it could easily have been labeled the year of “Growth” or “Accomplishment.” But I wasn’t actively or intentionally pursuing growth or accomplishment; I was just living life each day and letting things happen.
I’ve never been one to choose a word for the year. I’ve always liked the sentiment, but picking out a word at the start of a new year to define the year ahead has always felt presumptuous at best. To me, it’s always made more sense to sum up the year in a word at the end. But lately, I’ve been feeling like there’s something…passive about that.
When friends and colleagues mention the words they’ve chosen for their year, I feel a little left out. There’s something so hopeful about summarizing the future in a single word—a word that holds intention and expectation. I’ve never been brave enough to do it, and I think I finally understand why: I’ve been leaving someone out of the equation, someone who eradicates the feelings of anxiety, presumption, and passivity: God.
For most people, they choose their word for the year. They choose to manifest what they want for themselves. They hold their destiny in their hands and captain their ship—sometimes directly into extremely rough waters. But I’ve never lived that way because, well, I can’t. I’m too aware that I don’t know what I want. There are so many things in my recent past I thought I wanted that, today, I’m so glad didn’t happen. There are so many people, opportunities, and places I thought were good for me but actually weren’t.
There’s nothing wrong with that—it’s part of life to live and find out. But it’s become so clear to me that my anxiety came from thinking I had control while knowing, and constantly experiencing, that I don’t. To put it simply, God asks us to seek His guidance and will for our lives because we don’t know what we’re doing! He knows everything, He has control, and He always has our best in mind.
Romans 8:28 says that in all things, the Lord works for the good of those who love Him. That means no matter what happens to us, God uses it for our ultimate good and His glory. True, God has given me a sound mind and discernment to make decisions about my life, but I’m also an emotional, flawed being who does not have all the answers even when I’m operating from my very best intentions.
So, this year, I tried something new. I wanted a word, but I didn’t want to choose it (because how could I?). Instead, I prayed and asked God to give me a word—one that encompasses His will and what He wants for me this year—and He answered.
The word He gave me is “Delight.” Already I know it’s His because it’s not something I would ever have thought to speak over myself. And since I received it, it has felt…right. There’s no anxiety or presumption, planning or pursuing, just hope that delight awaits me and rest in the delight that is already happening.
Are you looking for a word for this year? It’s never too late to ask for one. And if you’ve already asked, what has God given you?Leave a Comment