Finding My One Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John1:1 NIV

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:1-4 NIV

A New Year dawns.  It started differently from last.  My friends and I don’t do resolutions. We pick #oneword #onelittleword or any other name out there for ditching resolutions we won’t keep and choosing a theme word for the year.  Most of us have been rock solid on our words. My 2017 word was the easiest, quickest and surest one I’ve ever had.  STRENGTH served me well.

This year, back in November, I was panicking.  I needed my word.  NOW.  Many of my friends were and some still are in the same state of mind. We were, wait for it, UNCERTAIN.   I, for one, was obsessed, frantic, stressed, a mess.  I was a program planner with a schedule for so many years that not knowing what is ahead, what my resources are, what challenges and obstacles may arise, well; it’s a very uncomfortable place to be.  I needed to know.

So I did what a lot of us do.

I pestered God. Praying day in and night out. Words would pop up. I would put them on my heart or taste them. Blech. Nothing stuck. Some days it was all I thought about.  I lived with not knowing. No, I lie. It wasn’t living to be that worried about what word would bring me peace, knowing God gave it to be. God wasn’t answering my prayers.  I had no peace. I was a mess.

Why did this happen?

Maybe because I needed to regain my trust in the process even as God delivered overwhelming help last year through pondering my word and leaning on God’s strength, not my own. Have you ever had that happen? God answers prayers. God gives guidance.  Still, we don’t learn to live with the uncertainty. Or maybe life goes from good to bad in an instant and we’re stuck. Afraid to move, fearing a single misstep will send us over the edge.  Life isn’t perfect or predictable.  It’s messy.

How did my word find me?

That day had been going so badly from the moment I stepped out of bed. The sky was cloudy. So was my mood. I took my puppy out for her business in our backyard and I stepped in a pile of dog poop.  I could’ve easily given up and cried when I realized lil Miss Maya left me a surprise under a pile of oak leaves.  On my good, most favorite shoes too. Instead, I laughed.  Boom! My word for the year came to me.


Dog poop equals light????  It does when you think of light as lightening of a burden out of nowhere. You know God is in it when God takes a mess and makes it a message (thanks to Robin Roberts for that). Dog poop is a literal message. I think God wanted me to get the picture VERY clearly. Just like that, my soul settled and I knew peace.

I am uncertain where the word Light will take me.

But this I know:  The Bible contains light in so many passages, Old and New Testaments.  Light has so many definitions as a noun and a verb.  Light in the darkness has been one of my favorite phrases all my adult life, especially in winter and hard times.

This year is a blank slate for all of us. In some ways, it is even more uncertain than last. But this we can rely on:  If we lean on God, truly work on that trust, we can step out into the unknown, unafraid of taking the wrong turn, stepping out in traffic or landing in dog poop.

Are you a One Word person? Has your word come to you for 2018?


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Sis Steele
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  1. Diane on January 31, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    I love the whole idea of the #oneword challenges. And have even chosen one a time or two, although like resolutions the commitment waned as fast as I wrote them at the top of each of my 12 calendar pages. But this year, I waited for God to help me out with the choosing. And I, like you Sis, was impatient in the waiting, doodling words done in my prayer journal seeing if God would bless that one or this one (kinda comical when you think about it!). But then it came to me with the same suddenness that it came to you (minus the dog poop) with no apparent connection to anything I was doing. DAILY. DAILY seek Him. DAILY trust Him. DAILY thank Him. You get the drift. And here it is the end of January and it’s still sticking. Love this practice. Love what you wrote about it!!!

  2. Jen on January 31, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    I also like the idea of the one word, but I’ve never been any good at it. I DO, however, always feel encouraged by how you live out your one word every year. So I’ll be watching. 🙂

  3. Cole // Cole Smith Writes on February 1, 2018 at 5:12 PM

    Sis, I have chills. The Lord is engaging me with your post, using what Eric Metaxas calls, “…the secret vocabulary of my heart”! Wow! I had a God-moment two weeks ago involving the word, “Shekinah”. Word+light= mind blown! I know what my #oneword will be 🙂 Thanks so much for this post!

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