God's Plan in My One Word

Originally published Saturday, 02 February 2019.

When the founder of Anchored Voices, Chara Donahue, encouraged a few of us friends to think and pray about #oneword365, I didn’t realize the story that God would start to unfold slowly over the years.

In 2016, when Chara asked us for our words, I prayed and the word that kept coming up repeatedly was “YES“. What would God ask me to say yes to? Big yeses? Little yeses?

In 2017, my word after several weeks of prayer and contemplation was “RISK“. That word kept me on my toes all year long, and I didn’t know what all it would entail. Risking isn’t for the fainthearted.

In 2018, my heart was drawn to the word “HOPE”. Here’s what I learned in 2018 about hope: Hope propels us forward. It drives us to our knees and asks us to submit our fears and desires, laying out everything before our mighty God.

When I felt pangs of loneliness, Hope whispered to my heart, “I’m here with you now.” When my stress level was through the roof, and I started to display physical symptoms in my health, Hope anchored my anxieties. Whatever the outcome, Hope knew my trepidation and called the fear out loud through wise voices. Recognizing and calling my fear by name helped me move forward to healing. When I decided to stop pursuing a particular career path due to a change of heart, Hope affirmed my decision to head in a new direction.

In The Allure of Hope: God’s Pursuit of a Woman’s Heart, Jan Meyers states, “I am beginning to understand that our yearning for heaven, the deepest hope we have in our expanding hearts, begins with wanting what is out of reach.”

Hope, as I realized, was God showing up, time after time. He was tethering me to Himself, propelling me toward Him. Hope saw the overarching story of mine in 2018, when all I could see at times was tunneled vision, like a horse wearing blinders. It kept my heart raw, and tender, and open.

As 2018 began its final descent into December, I had a thought. Three years of words with intentional meaning, each one prayed over. What if God was telling me something over time?


God was, and is, writing my story through this process, year by year. He’s building upon each year with a message just for me.

And my 2019 word, as I began asking God at the beginning of December for, just made me chuckle: NOW.

Yes, risk hope, now.

What a wild and adventurous ride I’ve been on the past three years. 2019, my year of “NOW”, is going to be good. I know this to be true because God is good, and He’s going to show up for me again with intention, wonder, and splendor. Because that’s who He was, and is, and will be: a God of yeses, a God of risk, a God of hope, and the God of now.

Sarah Dohman is a nurse, kayak enthusiast, coffee addict, microbrew lover, globetrotter, adorer of friends and family. She has a weakness for donuts, runs in 5K races, and cannot get enough tea and books. She loves writing more than talking (and she talks a lot), can be seen at Target frequently, and is loving life in her thirties. She believes God has called her to this space to bring joy and encouragement through words to friends and family, near and far. You can find more from Sarah on her blog or on Instagram

Sarah Dohman