Years ago, a wise woman told me a secret.
At the beginning of each year she asks God to give her a word for her new year. Just one word, maybe two, that gives her a heads-up for the next 12 month. And God gives it to her.
I was fascinated. I love admiring a brand new January with the promise of more brand new following close behind. What will this year hold?
What kinds of words does God give?
Are they meaningful?
How does one get one of these secret words?
Can I have one?
My friend sold me on the idea and for the past four years, I have been doing The Secret Word. Except it's not really a secret. It just feels like a secret, like something you would whisper behind open hands to your kindergarten friend.
I want you to know that YOU ARE ALL INVITED.
Not necessarily to my secret word (although if you ask, I'll tell). But to your own.
I believe in a God who knows absolutely everything about me and you and he is preparing us for the crazy ups and downs that are ready to jump into our year. When he gives us a specific word, it is for a reason.
We might think we know what our year is up to. We might have some guesses and we may be right. But the unexpected always arises and we are caught wide-eyed.
Does it bring you relief remembering that God is never surprised or unprepared?
Me? I'm the one who is mixing up my husband's birthday cake without a single egg in the house. The one caught in a quiet candle-lit service with only the loud beeping toys for my toddler. I am so unprepared. Do you feel me? Do you find yourself living impromptu too?
But not him. Never him.
And that, my friends, is the Why of the Secret Word. It's a compass and a clue.
What kinds of words does God give?
Creative ones. Personal ones. Quirky ones.
I am pretty sure we aren't making rules for him on this. He delivers as he wishes and nothing is off-limits.
If it's a word and it could be good, he might give it to you.
Meaningful? Yes, some years more than others. Some years my word has been very clear and the meaning was laid out from the beginning. Other years the interpretation clarified as the months rolled on.
This past year, my word was crystal clear from January 1: Eyes.
"I will guide you with my eye." He whispered to me from Psalm 32.
That word was a strong pull in my year and so very worthwhile.
So how does one go about getting these secret (meaningful) words?
Listening to the soft voice of God takes some practice for most of us, but it is one of the best adventures for which we will ever pull on our boots. Promise.
Most of us hear his voice daily, whether we recognize it as his or not. I have caught most of my yearly words as I sat with my journal and wrote and waited. Most of these words resonated with what I had already felt in my spirit.
Hearing God's voice is one of my favorite subjects. I have sat in on and led discussions on this subject taught by Mark Virkler. Check out this 10 minute youtube video for some great teaching on what his voice sounds like and how to hear it.
Do you want to join me?
I know which word belongs to me this brand spanking new year. I predict it will be a challenge. And I cannot wait to see how it plays out!
If you want a word for your year, I believe God is totally stoked to give you one. Get alone, get quiet and ask away. Maybe a word will bubble to the surface. Maybe there is already one word that keeps following your thoughts around. Pray and ask. And have a pen handy.
Because you can totally have one.