the secret is this

I’ve learned about it from other women; I don’t know where it came from…

But there’s this tradition for a person to choose with the Lord for themselves a word for the year. The word acts as a charge and reminder, as a motivation and a banner for the year.

Soon after Christmas, I went on an afternoon walk in the winter sunshine with a friend. She’s one of those women from whom I learned this tradition.

She was talking about how she wasn’t sure what her word for this year – 2016 – would be… and we were talking through all that the Lord was doing in our lives.

For her, I choose “favor.” Or perhaps “rest.” But the thing is – it comes down to the Lord and her.

That’s how it is for everyone, with their word. The word is a between-you-and-the-Lord thing.

So, we were talking and I was mentioning how one of the other women who taught me this tradition had chosen hers… and how I haven’t every tightly held to this tradition…

And then over the course of our light-filled walk, the Lord gave me a word.

For the year. My word. For my year. How unexpected!

And I have been turning it over in my heart and wondering about it, sort of saying it out loud in a “I’ve learned a new word and I am trying it out way”…

Through quiet times with the Lord, through other conversations with friends, through Elisabeth Elliot’s gracious words in her book, Keep a Quiet Heart, He has confirmed it. He has illuminated the word on pages and highlighted it in conversations until I am quite.sure. this is my word.


The minute He first gave me “my word” I knew it was mine, for me, for this year.

It’s much more of a promise, much more like a security blanket…

Last year’s days were filled with much prayer, many tears, and every day – waiting. Each time I would pray, “Lord, You” I would pray twice “Lord, this, please.”

And this year’s days may be too. I don’t know. But this year I desire to pray “Lord, You” You are enough – You are my satisfaction – You are my All in All.

The Lord has whispered to me – “It’s good to ask me for my plan. But I may not share it with you. I always give you Me.” … and how much better it is to have Him than to know His plan. How much better – better than life. To know Him. To follow in His way. To be His friend. To gain His life.

So in contentment I wait and walk through and worship on into the new year. Into this year, into each day the Lord gives me. Please, Lord, give me You.

Elisabeth writes, “The secret is Christ in me, not a different set of circumstances.”

The secret of contentment . Christ in me, the Hope of Glory


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