Before I succumbed to the nasty flu bug that will take down even the strongest among us, God began stirring together a list of possible words for this year. He always does it in the gentlest of ways and never allows the word to shine brightly in neon for me to see. I believe God enjoys the process of watching me discover my one word as much as He does in leaving a trail for me to follow.
As I began hearing the whisper of possible words, one of the ways God gets my attention is for me to read it in Scripture and other books or even in prayer. My first thoughts leaned toward the word “release” and then “let go”. I must say I am a rule follower so “let go” was scratched off the list. Eventually, I landed on surrender.
[Tweet “God loves the task of seeing me discover my one word as much as He loves leaving a trail to follow.”]
I played with each of the words and did a little word study. Google tells me release means to “set free”. It also says surrender means “to submit to authority or abandon oneself entirely to”. The word surrender pops up as a synonym for release. But in digging deeper, I knew that surrender is the word that God wants me to focus on for 2018. Release feels like a one and done action while surrender feels like a process. I have a year to dig deep, allow God to teach me how to repent and surrender every part of who I am and learn how to be whole in Him.
I furiously began typing all the reasons God chose the word surrender. At the same time, I chided myself inside because what God is saying right now will grow and expand as I surrender or abandon myself to Him. There is no need for me to lay everything on the table in the second week of January. God’s work will unfold as He wills and my heart will become God’s in this process.
What God is beginning to show me right now is:
Surrender is about obedience.
The process of letting go is not about me, but all about God.
When I feel the need to grab control is the exact moment that I need to release the control to God.
Surrender involves craving order and space – a way to simplify the abundance in your life.
I am already floored by God’s goodness in giving me the word surrender this year. If I learn how to do any of the four things I listed above even a little bit better, I will know success. God wants all of me and ultimately I desire all of Him. It sounds like a win-win to me.
I want to leave you with several Scriptures as I wrap up. I believe without a doubt that in the process of surrendering to God, He will make all things new. The old is gone and the new will take its place.
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
As we lay it all down with a humble heart, God says:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Today I am praying for all of you as we begin a new year full of expectant hope. May God do the work for you that He is capable of doing. He desires to see the smile on your faces as you surrender control to Him.
You may find me linking up at these lovely blogs this week.
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Even your title speaks to me today, Mary! Someone I love decided to leave our church this week, and letting go is hard, but your word “surrender” is a good reminder.
And about planning a new year, this brings a sigh of relief to me: “There is no need for me to lay everything on the table in the second week of January. God’s work will unfold as He wills.”
I finally made it over here to read! I’ve been seeing this door everywhere I look. 😉 Isn’t it interesting that ‘surrender’ has submitting to authority in its definition whereas let go doesn’t. That “S” word…so easy to do YET our rebellious nature wants to rear back and kick!!! Great word, Mary, I pray it is everything you hope it will be this year and beyond!
I’m glad you made it here. And yes, it is easy to surrender but I am one to grab it right back. Oh to lose control and let Jesus take charge. Thank you for your prayers and I’m praying for the same thing.
Well, you sure have shown us what BRAVE looks like, so I have no doubt that we’re going to be learning how to SURRENDER more gracefully this year as we follow your lead, Mary.
Thanks for the wisdom you share, for the prompts and guidance that come from your experiences and writing.
Weekend joys, friend …
Thank you, Linda! Brave is my lifelong word because I realize how it is part of everything I do. Now as this new year begins I understand how God needs me to embrace brave even more in order to learn how to surrender.
I appreciate you reading my words and sharing your own insight each time you stop by. You make this little community better. Happy weekend!
What a powerful word for this year, Mary. There are a few who are feeling led this way specifically. We all must do it though! I am grateful for your brave words and bold faith, even when it feels scary.
Mary, it sounds like we go about discovering our word for the year in a similar way. I love how God keeps bringing up the same word in scripture when I am reading. 🙂 Also, like you, I anticipate God revealing more about my One Word though the course of the year. I know I have lots to learn.
Surrender is a beautiful, hard (sometimes) word to learn. I look forward to hearing all that God teaches, reveals, uncovers for you during this year!
It is just affirmation that God makes no mistakes in choosing how He wants us to go deeper each year. We are going to both enjoy a beautiful and hard journey this year. The thought of already fully surrendering has me shaking a bit in my boots.
I agree that surrender will wreck me in a good way. It will be interesting to check in with each other to see how God is teaching us. Thank you for being here and I look forward to your insight.
I think my “one word”–“grace”–is a lot like surrender, Mary. And I agree, we don’t do this one time like releasing, but over and over and deeper and deeper to the Lord. Thanks for your inspiring thoughts and I pray that this next year of surrender results in huge blessings for you, my friend! Happy New Year too!
I agree that grace is a lot like surrender. The more we remove ourselves out of a situation and invite God to be present, we make room for the grace of God to get us through. I imagine that God is going to work deeply in both of us this year. I am looking forward to this journey and your insight along the way.
What a beautiful word, Mary! I need to do a lot more surrendering in my life. Thank you for making me think.
Thank you, Anita! I am sure we all need more surrendering in our lives. I need to learn how to let it go and not be so quick to grab it back again. Thank you for being here.
I had a bad case of the flu last year so I was first in line for my flu shot…so what do I get instead?? Pneumonia….can’t win 🙁 Anyway, love your word, and like you said “release” sounds like a once and done, whereas “surrender” is a journey. It’s also something I have to repeat every day – every day I have to surrender my will to His….my desires for His desires. Definitely a word about obedience. Cheering you on sweet friend.
The interesting thing is that I have not gotten the flu shot this year and got sick. I have read that the shot this year is only about 10% effective because there are so many different flu strains.
I love my word too and believe God makes no mistakes in choosing what we need. I am realizing how surrender is about so much more than I even thought at first. Praying we learn to release control to God even when its hard.
I hope you are feeling so much better. And surrender..
What a great word for 2018. I love finding out what God chose for each of our words for the year. God is so smart!
Thank you! I love how God helped me to surrender right away by providing me with forced rest because of the flu! 😉 God is definitely smart. He knows what we need and I am sure your word #Hygge will be challenging for you. I’m looking forward to learning more about hygge.
Glad you’re on the mend! Ohhhh…surrender. That’s a good one! I love your plan for discovering as you go! May God bless you as you surrender more and more to His will!
I am glad to be on the mend too. As for my word-I already feel like I need to hang on tight because God is going to wreck me in a good way. I pray that God unfolds things slowly so I can keep up. Blessed you joined me here today. Liz.
Welcome back, Mary! I’m sorry you had to deal with a flu bug. Not fun! I love your word. Like you, I want to surrender every part of who I am to God. Yes, His grace is sufficient! In Him, all things are possible. Love and hugs to you!
Thank you! I am so glad to be back. I love my word too. I know it is going to be challenging. I pray we find our strength in God and as we do we learn to release all and in the process surrender to Him. Thank you for being such a faithful friend here each week. Love and hugs!
I hope this means you’re on the mend, Mary! The last time I had the flu was late January 2014 and my dad died two weeks later. I could not visit him in the nursing home while I was sick. It was, quite literally, the worst time of my life. I love your focus word for 2018! From your words of wisdom in this post, you are clearly already benefiting from God’s teaching! As I was reading your words it occurred to me that unlike common goal setting, those of us who choose a focus word or phrase that leads us toward the Father cannot fail because we have already received everything in Him. Wishing you a year blessed with good health and sweet communion with Him.
I am on the mend. I imagine that your bout with the flu was much worse for many different reasons. Thank you for sharing your own wisdom here, my friend. I agree that choosing a focus word leads us toward Christ in a way that is fulfilling because we are His. I pray you have a beautiful year too.
Oh, there are so many good things in this post! I am thankful that the Lord brought healing to you so that you could share again with us all here. I especially am clinging to this: “There is no need for me to lay everything on the table in the second week of January. God’s work will unfold as He wills and my heart will become God’s in this process.” What a comfort to realize that, He will bring His purpose to us, step by step when we do surrender ourselves to Him. Blessings to you in this New Year!
I am thrilled to be feeling better. I am also glad that you are too. I love the beginning of new things and find I am full of energy and ready to go at the start but not always good at sustaining the momentum. It’s nice to know that God will patiently walk me through this year of surrender as I continue to release it all to Him. I am so blessed to have you here!
“Surrender involves craving order and space – a way to simplify the abundance in your life.” What a valid and inspiring definition of surrender Mary! In our breathing spaces, order flows naturally and organically when we let go. Lovely! Happy New Year!
Thank you, Lynn! You are right that when we give ourself space, we have room for the order we actually crave. I love that God is already teaching me and providing me with wise people such as yourself to guide me along the way. Blessings and happy new year.
It sounds like God has been speaking to you loud and clear, my friend. What a perfect word for the year. I completely agree that surrender is definitely a process. Releasing control is something I could use a lot of work in as well ;). Praying for a beautiful journey for you in this venture through 2018, Mary!
I believe in the process of surrendering we are releasing bits of control to Jesus. But the whole journey is the surrendering. Does that make sense? God has such a beautiful plan and I need to be faithful in listening and letting Him lead the way. I cherish your prayers and am praying for you in your year of consistency.
Love your word and this post, yay for feeling better too!!
Yes, yay for feeling better. Thank you for being here and your kind words. I know it will be a challenging but amazing year.
I’m glad you’re feeling better. My word this year is also surrender, but I know your journey will be different than mine. I love how God gives us our word and then cultivates it individually.
This is what I love about a one word for the year. God has a journey for each of us and it will not look the same. I cannot wait to read what God teaches you about surrendering this year.
Sorry you were ambushed by the scourge of 2018! It’s run its course through our home as well.
And “surrender” is a huge word. Such a great follow up to your year of brave faith in 2017. Blessings to you!
The scourge is a good way to describe it. Glad I am at the other end of it. Surrender is a huge word but I know this process is going to help me release parts of me to God that I still hold onto. Brave will always be my word year after year. I know it is not going away. I certainly will need it for this year of surrender.
I love this, Mary! Surrender was my first word of the year in 2016. It wasn’t a word I wanted but I grew to love it and God used it in ways I’d never have expected. I look forward to following your journey this year!
I know this word is going to change me. It’s exactly what I need and I am sure when you claimed surrender it was the same way. God makes no mistakes in teaching us and giving us what we need. I am looking forward to having you here and reading your insight.