My One Word

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann

I’m sure that some of you have heard this idea from the internet of choosing one word for your new year.  I’ve never been especially interested in resolutions, mainly because I can not keep them to save my life.

One word…that I can do.  I have no idea where the idea originated, but a few years ago it nestled itself in my heart.

It was simple – I mean really, one word.  Not four words, not a whole Bible verse even, one word.

It was doable.  Actually, the irony was that nothing really needed to be done with this idea.  I wasn’t accosted by guilt at unfulfilled resolutions and broken promises.  All you had to do, in my understanding was pick a word for the year and see where that year led.

It was Jesus-oriented.  I’m sure people have one word for their year and it has nothing to do with Christ.  But in my mind, this was an opportunity for God to speak into my life in a new way.
Something fresh for growing in my Faith.  It allowed me to sit back and wait on Him.

FearlesslyHeidiSo here are my one word choices over the last 4 years.

2012 – less
2013 – brave
2014 – silent
2015 – grace upon grace
2016 – fearlessly wrong

(um, so maybe I’m not great at one word.  Two is ok, right?  Three?  I get to make up the rules, so it’s fine.:))

If you know us, even a little bit, you can begin to understand how God spoke into our lives with the one word each year.  Almost every year God spoke the words into my heart during the quiet of Christmas Eve candle light service.  As my husband starts to read John 1, almost universally, God begins to speak in the stillness.  The first year I had heard the idea and kept asking myself questions, “What do I want for the coming year?  What needs to change in our lives?  Where is God speaking to me?”

Sitting quietly in candlelight, I remember my confirmation verse rising up in my heart over and over again.

He must become greater, I must become less.   John 3:30

Less…I needed less.  Less stuff, less opinions, less expectations, less demands, less frustration, less hurt, less tears, less getting in the way of God’s work in my life, less selfish ambition.

More Him.

And so it went each year – brave, silent, grace upon grace – to this year…fearlessly wrong.

The thing is, I had spent the last year soaking in grace.  Seeing how God has wrapped my life and all of me up in His grace that pours out and then pours out some more.  I watched Him put more grace in my home, more grace in my heart.  I was so grateful to see clearly, as I studied the Word that year how truly filling God’s grace was in my life.

So this year, the choice was easy – it was time to be ok with being wrong.  To believe in grace in a way that wrong was ok, that it wouldn’t harm me.  That God was in my wrong, just as much as he was in the being right, saying the right thing, making the right decision.  God’s grace allows me to unwind the cords of “right” that I have tangled myself in that keep me from good relationships, Gospel sized risks, and the fullest experience of His mercy and forgiveness.

Although I treasure godly, I am beginning to understand just how much grace there is in imperfection, in trying but being ok with messing up.

Fearlessly wrong.

It’s really cool to see God’s work in this.  So far my year has brought employment changes, new endeavors, family adventures, health concerns for those I love, and deeper relationships at every turn.

What does fearlessly wrong look like in your life?  How could God be working in the places where you let imperfect be beautiful and grace be what reigns?

It’s scary for sure.  Don’t worry, I’m not running around wild, embracing sin, but being willing to put yourself out there, to say the wrong thing, to do the wrong thing, it changes the shape of life.  It makes my understanding of grace fuller and leaves me more expectant of grace from God and His people.

Always an adventure, always.  Less, brand, grace, fearlessly wrong.  I’ll be watching for His work in your life too.