By Ivy M. Bagley MSN, FNP-C, IBCLC
Last year was one of the first years I felt strongly about a specific word to “shape” my new year. I think it’s easy to become focused on one word instead of realizing God may have various areas of your life He wishes to address throughout the year.
However, as I studied my Bible at the end of 2018, it quickly became clear to me my focus for 2019 would be “Joy.”
A lot of “bad things,” for lack of a better grouping had happened since 2015. I was feeling a restoration period approaching. So, honestly, the word Joy seemed a bit out of place. I was overall happy. I didn’t seem to be struggling as much in many areas. But, every time I opened my Bible, looked at something online, or saw a card; the word JOY jumped out. So, I selected it and began studying the word. January rolled into February and I found out why “Joy” was my focus for 2019. My world became filled with people trying to steal my joy. I was attacked in an area I least expected it- Satan loves those areas we are not “on guard.” I won’t share many details as it doesn’t glorify God. But, I will say this- 2019 caused my heart to focus more and more on my God.
I focused on Paul and Philippians. He wrote this book while in prison enduring far more than I had endured in certain. Yet, he says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 CSB
Paul also recognized “our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20 CSB Often, I say “this world is not my home.” I’m truly glad of that. I long for Heaven.
Little did I know the power of one word over my year. But- God did know I would need to focus on joy and be in His armor to survive 2019. Now, don’t get me wrong- Just because the year changed, I am not hanging up His full armor to collect dust. This is when Satan will likely attack even harder. And, as a Christian, I must be ready. By studying “joy,” I will be more prepared.
This year, I feel my words are “Trust” and “Abide.”
I wish you well in 2020!