Prayerfully choosing one word that embodies the promise of the upcoming year is a discipline we’ve shared  with you for many years. This practice of asking God for His yearly theme in our lives endows us with strength in the tough times. It renews the spirit and imbues us with purpose.
Whenever you receive or choose your one word, please share with us what God lays on your heart for 2014. Let’s put all our words together and read the story God is writing in our lives.
Words. They surround me, swirl across the wind, sweep my hair and give me courage in the crisp night where stars wink above. They are in me, letters lining my veins and joining my bloodstream. Streaming through me, bringing life to my lungs. I am wrapped in words and swaddled in their comfort.
But to choose one word? Just one that hangs as my guiding light, a glimmer of God that leads my steps throughout 2014, throughout my life? It’s as insurmountable as scaling the pyramids, inconceivable as seeing the world with my eyes closed.
I can think of many single words that hold tightly to my soul, that dangle on the precipice of my deepest parts, words that stitch me together.
Broken. A tearing of my aorta to expose raw, red, steaming pulses of blood that swell and recede within me. Hopes that shatter, fall to a thousand pieces around my legs. Pooling possibilities, eroding away with a shifting tide I cannot grasp in my fingers.
Beauty. Heart-stopping sunsets, sweet droplets of rain on a spring afternoon, sweep of eyelashes against skin, brushing a loved one’s world into my own. Beauty in the blatant, beauty in the microscopic, seeing the Master’s handiwork around me.
Thankful. Immeasurable gratitude for the puffs of air exhaled from my lungs that tell me I am alive. Worn patches of ground, knees familiar with the space, a second skin for my prayers. Deep, conscious realization of all I am given by the One who loves to give with overwhelming abandon.
Connection. Hearing heartbeats in a velvet silence, drinking in the secrets of eyes, reaching beyond the veil that curtains off stories. Eye to eye, soul to soul. Woven with strands of familiarity, taking each thread and pressing them into a loom of love.
Words crash and course through my world, through hearts and sinews and deepest dreams. They take shape and build bridges between the mundane and miraculous. But do they breathe on their own? Do they give the power to transform and teach?
Maybe it isn’t all words. Maybe it isn’t the meaning, the spelling, the way they sound when spoken in the ink of imagination.
Maybe it’s word itself. Word Himself.
Word in the beginning. When the universe was shapeless and hovering in wait. With potent voice, light sparked to existence, oceans poured into bowls of God’s hands and covered the earth. Our heartbeats began, songs of praise thumping in our chest. And He was there, looking upon the bend of bark and dress of leaves, shadows and sun and the first footfall of man. And He saw that it was good. Because through this Word, all others were formed and danced to life.
One word. The Word. Root of all language. Imagery of all story. From the Word, I must unlock the others that swim through me, slip onto paper and into the hearts of family and friends. This is my word. My Word that makes my heart beat, my writing, my life, breathe.
Listen to the strains of your own story, softly rippling through your soul. Search the pages, scratch your pencil on the lines and uncover which word radiates within you and calls you to a deeper drenching of God’s heart upon yours.
What is your word for 2014?