Originally published Wednesday, 08 January 2014.
Every year for the past seven years I have chosen at least one word as my New Year's Resolution.
I started picking words before #OneWord365 became a cool hashtag with a cool website. I decided to start picking words as part of my life mapping process with my life coach, Vickie Brides. We met at Biola University in our Group Org & Behavior class. We were instant friends! She helped me when I was struggling to add full time school to my already full time work schedule.
2007: Straight Path, Bold, Courageous, Finish Well. I had just been officially diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and went on anxiety medication. It worked! I completed Biola University with my Bachelors of Science in Organizational Leadership while working full time. I used my words to help me finish a dream of mine to finish my education.
2008: Family, Identity, Purpose, Meaning, Significance, Longing. I picked all these words because I was really struggling with being single. I knew I wanted to be married, and I knew I needed to find my identity in Jesus first. That year I started work at my dream job. I got to book amazing speakers such as Kirk Cameron, Lee Strobel, and Josh McDowell at Outreach Events. It was an incredible year.
2009: Truth, Evangelism, Finances. I was tired of believing lies about myself such as "I'm too fat" or "I'm too much for a guy". I desperately needed a year to speak truth over my thoughts. This was a major growing year for me. I also spent the year helping many speakers spread the gospel (evangelism). Even though I wasn't the one going, I still felt part of the process. I was able to get my finances in order and paid off my credit cards and my car!!
2010 Words: Trust, Intimacy, Mindful. This was very difficult year for me. I was learning how to trust. I quit my dream job to pursue writing full time (also a dream job), but I was scared. Thankfully I had paid off all my debt, but I moved back in with my parents. I learned to develop intimacy. God was starting to teach me how to be mindful of my time with Him and to enjoy that to the fullest. Nothing else mattered! This was the year I published Faithbook of Jesus with NavPress.
2011: Fruitful, Inheritance, Glory. This was a very fruitful year, and I definitely felt like I was fulfilling my inheritance while giving God the glory. It was very humbling and encouraging. That's when I signed my books for Not Another Dating Book and Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me with Harvest House. While writing my book on dating, I met Marc and we got married. This was such an amazing surprise and blessing. God answered my prayers for a doubly-fruitful year!
2012: Intentional, Remain. I finished writing Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me and was very intentional about remaining at home. I took the year off from speaking so I could learn what it meant to be Marc's wife. I am confident that God used this first year off to help us build a great foundation for our marriage.
2013: Serve. I choose serve because I wanted to know what it felt like to serve with integrity. I recently wrote about that in this post. Looking back at this year I can truly say that I have accomplished and fulfilled everything God asked me too. I worked on staff at a large Calvary Chapel for their media/social media team. I helped launched Quarter Life Conference, released my first eBook Loves Me Not, and the book I was born to write -- Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. I launched this new website (ReneeFisher.com), and have rediscovered my passion for writing. This was definitely a busy year -- not to mention I started running. I quit taking my anxiety medication and quickly got back on my anxiety medication. I just finished reading the most amazing book which sums up the past 7 years of picking words. Wayne Jacobsen in He Loves Me said,
"I used to be driven to do something great for God. While I think God used my misguided zeal in spite of myself, nothing I did ever rose to the level of my expectations. Instead, my pursuits seemed to distract me from God, consume my life, and leave me stressed out or worn out. I'm not driven anymore...and yet I have seen him use my life in ways that always exceed my expectations. What changed? I did, by his grace."
When I started life mapping in 2007 and picking words for each year -- my goal was to change the world. Do something BIG. Now I'm learning what Phil Vischer learned (and wrote about in Me, Myself, and Bob). He said,
“It wasn’t about impact; it was about obedience. It wasn’t about making stuff up; it was about listening. Eventually it struck me that I no longer felt the need to write anything. I didn’t need to have any impact at all. Whatever needs I had were being met by the Scripture I was reading and by the life of prayer I was developing. My passion was shifting from impact to God. It took several months, but what I was starting to feel I can only describe as a sense of ‘giving up’–of ‘dying.’ It actually frightened me at first, because I wasn’t sure exactly WHAT was dying in me. And then one day it was clear. It was my ambition. It was my will. It was my hopes, my dreams. My life.”
Friends, if there's nothing else we remember from this year as we look back and pick our "one word" for 2014, let's remember this:
“God loves you. Not because of what you can do, or even because of what you can become if you work really, really hard. He loves you because he made you. He loves you just the way you are. He loves you even when you aren’t doing anything at all. We really shouldn’t attempt to do anything for God until we have learned to find our worth in him alone.”
My one word for 2014 is EXPLORE. As for what's next for me I have NO idea, but God does. I can't wait to explore the possibilities!
Question: What's your one word for 2014?
*Previously published on ReneeFisher.com.