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Joy – My One Word for 2018

I love having My One Word to focus on for the year. My word for 2017 was Expect. In 2016 my word was Know, in 2015 it was New, and in 2014 it was The Word. Having a word and a verse to focus on and study each year has helped me to grow closer to the Lord.
As I was praying about my one word for 2018, one word kept popping up and coming to mind.
It was not a word I would have chosen.
A few weeks ago I told the ladies at our Wednesday Night bible study that I thought I knew my word for 2018 but I wasn’t ready to share it, yet. I wanted make sure it was “the word”, and I was thinking (and hoping) it may change.
Reluctantly, I shared the word and the verse with them.  I told them about how often I was seeing, hearing and thinking about the word Joy. They thought Joy was a wonderful word!  One even said, “Michelle, next year when the chaos comes, you can cling to that word! Joy is a good word!”
I said, “Yes! But that first part – the chaos! I don’t want that! Why this word? Besides, I wanted a more challenging word!”
As soon as those words left my mouth I knew.  It was JOY.

Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

On my drive home, I realized “Joy” is truly a very ambitious word for me in so many ways.
There were several moments in 2017 where I was filled with JOY, and my Mom happened to capture a photo of this one:
I was facing the ocean and humming the words from the song Gracefully Broken by Tasha Cobbs:  “Here I am God, arms wide open. Pouring out my life, gracefully broken.”
I was so incredibly thankful that God had opened doors for me to share my story at the Hope Restored Conference. I knew with arms wide open that there was no greater JOY than following His path and being obedient. He alone can take our worst pain and turn it into purpose and passion.
It was a mountaintop moment. Pure JOY.
My passion is to inspire women who have been sexually abused or violated to find couragehope, and freedom in Jesus Christ!
And while it brings me great joy, it can also at times be very painful and triggering. It can take me back to dark places and it can feel incredibly overwhelming, especially when I feel powerless. I longed for others to share their #metoo and yet I found myself at times wishing there were a safer and easier way to come out of such a raw and lonely place.
But God.

He makes known to me the path of life;
He fills me with joy in His presence.

He is faithful to remind me that true Joy comes from Him. I have to seek Him and cling to Him. My emotions can no longer be the boss of me. Jesus longs to fill me with Joy in His presence. The key to Joy is to be in His presence.
My word for 2018 is JOY and may it be a reminder for me to seek Him and to be still in His presence because the Joy of the Lord is my strength! I look forward to seeing the paths He sets before me and the Joy He will provide along the way.

Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.
You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
I’m overwhelmed by the privileges
that come with following you,
for you have given me the best!
The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more,
for your whispers in the night give me wisdom,
showing me what to do next.
Because you are close to me and always available,
my confidence will never be shaken,
for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.
My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory!
Even my body will rest confident and secure.
For you will not abandon me to the realm of death,
nor will you allow your Holy One to experience corruption.
For you bring me a continual revelation of resurrection life,
the path to the bliss that brings me face-to-face with you.
Psalm 16:5-11 TPT

Do you have One Word for 2018?  I’d love to hear it.  Please share it in the comments!  Happy New Year!!

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  1. Michelle, you have been a joy to me. May your eyes be open to the flow of God’s favor upon you in 2018 and your joy contagious to those around you.
    Today’s message moved me to seek my word for the Holy Spirit to work through me in 2018. Therefore, the one word that will be my motivation and inspiration is perseverance. Writing skills have been my weakness and fear. For over 10 years, I’ve run away from writing my testimony even when asked for my story by publishers and film producers. Choosing “perseverance” and holding onto Ephesians 6:18-20, 2018 is the year with the help of the Spirit of God, I’ll have the first draft complete and print ready. Only prayers along with strong purpose and perseverance will see that sharing through writing how God lifted up an abandoned, abuse and rejected girl will get done.
    Thank you, Michelle, for your post today. It moved me to take action on the first day of 2018. You shine!
    Uplifting blessings.

    1. Happy New Year Carolyn! I love your word and will be praying for you as you write and I look forward to reading your powerful testimony. The Lord will go before you and will be with you. I am so excited for you, and you are a joy to me as well. My kids love to drink hot tea now, and it always reminds me of you. I will be praying for you and encouraging you throughout the year. With His help, we can do this! Blessings to you this New Year!!

  2. Happy New Year, Michelle! I love your word and pray that you have a year full of joy and know God’s presence with you each step of the way. My word for this year is focus.

    1. Thank you Leslie. Happy New Year to you!! I love your word focus and that you included the verses and songs! I’m looking forward to seeing God move in our lives. Blessings to you as you focus in 2018!

  3. Joy, my word for this year is joy… 🙂 I knew right away it’s the one when it came to me. I find it really challenging as it should be felt deep within regardless of any circumstances and I’m a bit afraid of how much challenging it could become but I can’t deny it’s “the word”. Wishing you to be guided and accompanied by this beautiful word.

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