The Christian New Years Resolution
It’s a common practice amongst certain Christians to choose a word for the year, instead of New Year’s Resolutions. The idea behind it is that, with prayer, you and God decide on a word that is meant to grow you in a specific way. It’s something my church back home in Vegas does every year, and it’s something I’ve continued to do as well.
I’ve found it extremely helpful—like when my word for 2020 was ‘steadfast’. In Jan. 2020, I’d thought it was such a unique and spiritually driven word… Flash forward to March 2020. I did a little bit more research and stumbled on James 1:2-4 and immediately asked God for a new word. (He didn’t give me a new one and I ended up learning some very valuable lessons).
My new word…
This past year, however, God’s been doing things a little differently than most. I mean, for starters, He did something crazy and brought me three thousand miles away from my family to Ohio of all places. I’ll be the first to admit, I was feeling anxious as December (2022) rolled around and it was time to start looking for a new word. My word for 2022 was ‘care,’ (perhaps that’ll be a separate blog at some point), and if God was able to use that to bring me pretty much across the country, what would He do with my next word?
I was sitting on one of the last days of school before break—desperately missing my family, cold as heck, and listening to my mentor speak when it hit me like lightening. I don’t even remember what my mentor was talking about, but suddenly he said the word ‘conqueror’, and like lightening from the sky, I felt electricity shoot through my entire body… and I knew. That was the word God had for me.
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but ‘conqueror’ is a much bigger and scarier word than ‘care’ ever could be. We prayed, ended the meeting, and I ran to the student offices for space. My classmates followed and began chatting, and it happened a second time. I heard someone say the word ‘courageous,’ and more lightening shot through my body.
I stopped and looked up at God.
“Well, which is it?” I asked. I felt God smile and present the phrase ‘courageous conqueror’. I stopped and looked at him again. “Nuh-huh,” I whispered. “It’s a one-word a year, not two words a year. That’s two words, sir! It’s not happening.”
Obviously, if you get into a verbal altercation with the Lord, we all know who’s going to win. I sucked it up and focused on those two words, together, as God intended… We’re almost halfway through the year now, and while it’s not over and I definitely have a long way to go, allow me to share what I’ve learned so far, with these two words.
1. Self Talk
I don’t think I’ve ever used the words ‘courageous’ or ‘conqueror’ to describe myself, in the entire 24 years that I’ve been alive. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone use those words to describe me either. Instead, I find I use words like ‘weak’ or ‘incapable’ or ‘coward’. All of those are complete opposites of being a Courageous Conqueror, and, now that I’ve said it out loud, obviously and completely untrue. If God sees me as a Courageous Conqueror, then I should probably start telling myself I am one.
2. A Light of Christ
I hate sharing my opinion and experiences. If it’s something I haven’t been validated for by my closest friends, or haven’t had time to think about yet, I won’t share it. Simply as that. The problem? It means if I have an experience with God I’ve never had before, I won’t share it, even if it could help someone else. If I discover something new and exciting, I’ll shy away from others and keep it to myself.
But that’s not how God wants me to be. It takes courage to share what God is doing in your life. Lots of vulnerability too. God did not create me to hide me away. As a Christian, I’m a light, whether I like it or not. Each light is unique, but by nature, it dispels and chases out darkness. God didn’t create me to hide away and keep my mouth pressed shut.
If you have Christ in you, you’re going to shine.
So, that’s my word for 2023… What’s yours and what has God taught you so far?
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