A year ago, I did something I've never done. I, along with a group of women that congregate on an online message board, chose a word to be our individual theme for the year.
Last year I chose motivation. While I still need loads of work in this area, I do feel it made a difference to actively focus on one particular area of weakness.
2008 was a big year in our family. Three of my children were diagnosed with either Asthma, ADHD or Autism. After a lifetime of learning at home, two of my boys went to public school for the first time. My youngest began a myriad of home therapies and will be going to a public special needs preschool beginning next week.
In retrospect, my word for 2008 probably should have been change. Motivation was my word, though, as I needed a lot of motivation to make these huge changes and keep going!
Now it is 2009 and time for a new word, a new theme.
A reminder was posted on the FIAR boards a few weeks ago and I began to ponder.
Almost immediately, the word believe was everywhere. I even posted about how kids 'believe' on this very blog. As I shopped for Christmas gifts, I came across a wooden plaque that screamed 'believe'.
It couldn't be that, could it? I mean, I believe.
I dismissed this word and began searching for my real word. At every turn, the same thoughts came back to me. Hope, faith, trust, believe...
So, I began to study these words. I looked up definitions. I did concordance searches, I looked for quotes. And I soon discovered a real pattern was emerging.
Hope-To have confidence; trust. To expect.
Faith-Confident belief; trusting acceptance.
Trust-To confidently expect. To hope. To believe.
Believe-To accept as true. To expect. To have faith. To trust.
Wow. I've had my word all along. It really hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, I do believe in God. But what about me? Do I truly believe in myself? What about the people around me? Not just my family, but people? Do I believe in the good of mankind, or do I place too much focus on the indifference of others? Does my belief, my faith, my trust, my hope show? Do others see these qualities when they see me? The real me? God, help me to believe!
2009 will be my year to BELIEVE:
-In myself and my ability to do the things God has planned
-In the people around me
-In faith,in trust, and in hope in all situations
Here are a couple of quotes that jumped out at me during my word study:
*Faith is believing when there is nothing else you can do.*
*Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.*
Both were listed giving credit to "unknown".
I also came across a great devotional. In part it says,
Our fears keep us from the peace God wants to give us. Because we fear, we don't believe. And because we don't believe, we fear.
Fear is unfaith. It's seeing only what makes human sense in a given situation. The way out of fear is faith. Where do we need to believe God, and what he is saying to us? Where do we need to give up our fear and replace it with faith?
Will we be fearful or faithful as we face whatever the future brings? When we fear, we don't believe and when we don't believe, we fear.
And finally, my verse for the year. It's a simple one, and the content doesn't directly address believing. It just spoke to my heart and sums up nicely what I've needed to hear and feel in my personal life.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
If you don't fully believe (trust, have faith, hope), this verse is empty.
Happy New Year!