I did not know about “One Word” until January, 2013. However, if I had to choose “One Word” for 2012, it would be suffering! For most of the year I struggled with a debilitating pain on the left side of my head. This suffering left me side-lined from my normal life and ministry for many months.
No one wants suffering to be their “One Word” for the year, but as the pain began, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me, “I am going to allow you a season of suffering…” How do you respond to something like that . . . “Um, thank you, but I rather not?” *smile*
2012 was the most difficult year I have ever experienced on many different levels. It was a year of suffering. Suffering physically, suffering mentally & emotionally, suffering relationally, and yes, even suffering spiritually. The good news is that God is faithful, especially in the midst of great suffering!! He got me through that year and did such a deep work in me that I still (to this day) have a hard time articulating it. All I can say is that He changed me through my suffering.
As that season of my life came to a close in the late fall of 2012, I wanted to forget it. However, in January, 2013, I came across the “One Word” concept. As I began prayerfully considering what my “One Word” should be, imagine my surprise (and reluctance) when I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking the word “Remember” to my heart and soul. Remember, really?? Why would I want to remember that painful year? Yet that was the word He confirmed to me.
I reluctantly got on board with remember. As I did, I realized that all too often we want to forget the difficult things we go through, but when we do we also forget:
- How God showed up
- The specific things He did
- The ways He changed us
Then we fall back into old patterns and ways of life in an effort to “get back to normal”. Yet, when He brings us through something difficult and painful why would we want all that hard work to be wasted by going back to the normalcy of our old life?
These were the specific things God wanted me to remember from what I went through in 2012:
- Remember how God got me through 2012
- Remember His faithfulness no matter happens in 2013
- Remember my priorities – God, my husband, my kids, then other relationships & ministry
- Remember to remain humbly dependent upon God when I’m well and have strength of my own
- Remember I am deeply loved and valuable enough to be inconvenienced for
- Remember God has a good plan for my life, He used that season of suffering to birth something new in me – this website/blog is the fruit of that
- Remember how my family & friends stood by me, praying, encouraging, helping me the many months I was sick
My Scripture for the year was Deuteronomy chapter eight. Verses 2-3 were especially meaningful, 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
I spent 2013 remembering. As I did, it brought closure and value to the year of suffering in 2012. If I hadn’t spent the year remembering I wouldn’t have been ready for the “One Word” God has for me in 2014. I will be sharing that in a post to come!
Your Friend in Ministry,