Words are interesting things. When we keep our word or are described as being a man of our word it means we are honest or follow through with our commitments. John described Jesus as the Word made flesh and the Bible as a whole is often called the Word of God or simply the Word. The Word itself has a lot to say concerning the words we speak and the power of the tongue including, “by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:37).”
Last March I wrote this post about the new word I receive and ponder through out the year. I’m now entering my fifth year of consciously connecting a word to my life for a whole year. About a week ago a friend posted about a book and CD/ROM called My One Word. Evidently, this group started the whole one word idea or at least popularized it. Check it out, if you feel so inclined. Personally, I tend to shy away from the “do it just like this” type advice unless I’m putting together a bookshelf or something. And, even then…
When I first heard about the idea, I thought “pondering a word for a year and discovering the ways the word manifests in one’s life” was a great alternative to a New Year’s Resolution list, not that I ever engaged in the New Year’s Resolution behavior, but still. I was ripe for a new spiritual adventure and the one word idea seemed harmless. Besides, I honestly felt like the word Intentional had dropped into my lap for 2010. As 2013 came to a close and 2014 dawned I began wondering what my new word would be. Confront, the word for last year, had been less than satisfying. While I did remember it some through out the year, I hadn’t really focused on it as much as I thought I might when I first received/chose it. I started to think, “perhaps this word for a year idea has run it’s course for me or maybe I just need to keep Confront for another year.”
I hesitate to say what I’m about to when I don’t actually know who might read it or what their perception of this sort of stuff might be, but I felt the Spirit download a few thoughts into my brain. A couple nights ago when my husband started talking about his new word for the year I risked mentioning those thoughts out loud, “I think my word is Release.” My husband looked at me a little funny so I went on to explain, “I actually think it’s in tandem with my word from last year. I felt like the Spirit told me I hadn’t done such a good job with the word Confront so He was going to take a different tact and see if I understood it better. Then I got the word Release.” I’m not sure the explanation clarified anything for my husband but it did help me.
So what does any of this have to do with the Word of God or being a woman of my word? Well, as I indicated earlier I believe the words I receive are given to me by the Spirit. When I meditate on them and ask the Spirit to use them to teach me and He does, I literally become a woman of my word. But, it can be a two way street. I tend to do a lot of looking back and starting thoughts with the phrase, “If I were 20 years younger…” or “If I knew then what I know now…” It ends up sounding like regret even though I might be trying to learn from a past mistake. I think we all have tendrils from our past–something a teacher said, the way our parents raised us, things we wish we hadn’t done or had done–that grab a hold of us and keep us stuck in that moment or experience of pain, shame, or regret. We play these self defeating scenarios or negative tapes over and over in our heads like a meditation. And sooner or later, we’re stuck.
I think I was supposed to confront some of that in my life this past year, wrestle with it, and learn how to get past it. Now maybe with the perspective of my new word I simply need to figure out how to let it go. Easier said than done I suspect but that’s okay; I’ve got a whole year to figure it out.