It was my “one word” for 2018. Not as part of a trendy fad, but as a gift from Jesus, the Living Word. It entered my life through Scripture-soaked encouragement from a friend. The Holy Spirit entwined the word into my heart. He helped it take root in the depths of my soul until it sprouted into anticipation of a generous harvest. I worked it, watered it, and tilled it with prayer, meditation, and expectancy.
I believed I was cultivating a lush garden where I could rest in tranquil shade. That’s when the storms arose. When we closed the calendar of 2018, I looked back on a year of overflow that was a sharp contrast to what I expected. I was still numb and slightly nauseous from twelve months of turbulence.
The Power of a Single Word
Throughout the year, our family enjoyed mountaintop highs. First came the glorious news of our daughter-in-law’s pregnancy. Then my daughter surprised us with victory over a lengthy struggle with infertility. Our first two grandchildren were miraculously born four weeks apart, bringing an overflow of indescribable gifts. We saw the Lord’s astonishing provision and relished in our resulting exhilaration.
But there were devastating lows, too. We plummeted when a colleague’s life was taken from him in an instant. Later in the year, my husband faced forced retirement from his job after three decades of faithful service. These events, steeped in loss and grief, brought overflowing confusion, sorrow, and brokenness.
It was a blustery season of rejoicing and despairing, of celebrating and mourning. The storm monopolized my focus until it was all I could see. Jesus seemed more distant than I could recall in recent memory. Even worship—when I’m usually most connected to Him—felt superficial at best. While my lips sang lyrics like “Yes, I will sing for joy when my heart is heavy,” my heart expressed fear and doubt to God. Read more. . .
I wrote this article for The Joyful Life Magazine where it is featured in its entirety. I invite you to join me there to read the full article and discover how the Lord used a year of turbulence to draw me closer to Him and envelop me in His unshakable joy.Read the full article here