Do you ever feel paralyzed by fear that you will fail? I do, and apparently so do my (usually confident) kids.
One night as I put my boys to bed, a blizzard was raging outside. They have a bad habit of jumping on beds, playing with toys, and tormenting each other when the lights go off.
So with a grave tone, I warned them to stay in bed. I pointed out that if they were messing around and hurt themselves it’d be hard to get to the hospital in the blizzard.
My oldest son surprised me when he teared up and said, “Mom, I’m always getting out of bed. I don’t know if I can stop myself. What if I get out of bed again, and then I get hurt, and we can’t make it to the hospital?”
I assured him, “Honey, it’s not that hard. Just stay in bed, and you will be fine.”
“But I don’t know if I can!” he cried.
Pretty soon his little brother was in hysterics. When I asked what was wrong, he sobbed, “Mom I don’t think I can make good choices!”
Their reaction was so bizarre that I had to stop myself from laughing. How hard could it be to stay in their bed? Why were they so worried they’d make the wrong choices?
But as I reassured them, I started to get it.
This time of year, I think a lot of us are feeling the weight of trying to make good choices.
We had a lot of ambition when we made those New Year’s Resolutions, but now reality is starting to hit. It’s so hard to follow through with commitments to exercise when the weather is frigid and dreary or eat better in the season of sad-looking produce. We just aren’t sure we can make the right decisions, and we start to feel defeated.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s another option when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, and women all over the world are choosing it.
You see, the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they are all wrapped around expectations and fear of failure.
And every year, when our resolve runs out and we fail, we start to feel more and more defeated. Maybe we can’t do this. Maybe we can never change.
But what if we tried a different approach? What if we joined other women who are tossing their resolutions aside and instead choosing one word?
One word that God puts on their heart. One word that summarizes how they hope to grow in their life that year.
One word that gives focus, but doesn’t have so much fear of failure attached to it.
This year, as I thought about what my one word might be, my mind went to “trust.” After all, I’d been feeling God call me to trust Him more lately. So my word must be trust, right?
So I tried it out. For a whole week, trust was my word. But, in the end, I found that I spent much of my time afraid I would fail to trust. Like my bed-bouncing boys, I was afraid I’d make the wrong choices.
That’s when I felt the word “joy” spring up everywhere – I saw “joy in the Gospel” on my calendar. Every time I picked up a Bible, the verses seemed to talk about joy or rejoicing.
Not to mention the more I thought about joy, the more I found myself laughing and feeling lighthearted.
And it made sense to me, because joy is how I feel when I remember to fully trust God. And the more joy I feel, the more I tend to fully trust God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
So this year, my word is joy.
How about you? What’s your word? Did you try it on before you chose it? If this is the first time you’ve heard of the #oneword movement, what do you think of it?
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below! If you don’t feel like commenting, consider just leaving the word you chose for this year.
This post is linked up with my friends at Good Morning Mondays, Inspire Me Monday, Purposeful Faith, Testimony Tuesday, The Loft, Coffee for Your Heart, Beloved Brews, Tell His Story, Five Minute Friday, and Friendship Friday!