New Year – New Word – New Surprises

PerseveranceI Love my Abba!  I love that He stands by– even when I’m disconnected (see last post)– ready to jump in with new teaching and direction!  I love that He has plans for me for the New Year and beyond! (Jer 29:11)

In the last few years, instead of making New Year’s resolutions based on my own agenda, I’ve asked for God’s overall theme or Word for me to help focus my year.  Those of you who have been reading awhile will know that much of my learning/sharing in 2013 circled around the idea of “Abundance”.   A couple of weeks ago I had a very strong impression that my new Word would be “Perseverance”.  UGGHH. To be honest, this was not something I wanted to hear; wouldn’t that mean I would be in for a year of struggles and trials? Maybe, this was just my own thinking– influenced by my lingering cough and fatigue, right?  Nope.  Several confirmations later showed me this was indeed God’s design for the next stage of my spiritual growth.  But here’s the thing: with Abba at the center, there was no need for me to be concerned… (funny how our imaginations can run wild 🙂 )

On Dec. 30th, as I began an early exploration of scripture that related to “Perseverance”,  God gave me a second Word for the year– “Hope”.  Of course!  In the same way I came to understand the unmistakable link between “Freedom” and “Peace” a few years back, this next year will provide a much deeper understanding of the intermarriage of “Perseverance” and “Hope”.  In fact, it may sound silly, but my hopes  have been raised already.  I learned so many unexpected spiritual and practical lessons having to do with “Abundance”, and I can already see the same will be no less true for this new focus.

On the first day of 2014, I turned to God in my quiet time, expecting to dig in to scripture and begin a Word study, but He had a different lesson.  While I visualized the three persons of the trinity, the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of the true state of my heart, and a couple of areas in which I had hidden and harbored old unhealthy feelings, even from myself.  With time in prayer and repentance I was reminded of a very important element of all of the training to come:  We can’t truly persevere, or move forward in our development, until we deal with old hurts.  Wow…

I started working on these areas and then two nights ago, I was given an elaborate dream that the Lord knew I would instantly recognize.  In it, I was blessed beyond measure with not only a huge, estate home, but the previous owner left us expensive art work, a pantry full of food, and the latest high-end appliances!  I was teary-eyed with gratitude and then almost as suddenly, anxious about how much there was to manage.  Here was a new realization I didn’t see coming: Perseverance, for me, could be linked to trials of abundance, of being overwhelmed by too much– not just by the more anticipated negative circumstances.  It was like when I learned I could limit God’s abundance by my own predisposition towards lack!!  If I could be overwhelmed by God’s blessing, then I’m not trusting Him enough!  Double wow…

This is going to be quite a year! One thing I know for sure, after a time of exploring the deeper things of God’s “Perseverance” and “Hope”, I’ll never be the same. 🙂 Do you have a Word for 2014?