Faith: My one word

one word

January 1 is approaching, and millions of people will make a list of resolutions for the new year.

Maybe they’ll finally lose that 10 pounds that has stuck with them for 10 years.

Or they’ll be kinder to people.

Perhaps they’ll set work goals, or family goals, or goals to do projects around the house.

I’ve made those lists. Have you? 

And within a couple of weeks, or even a month, the list becomes a source of guilt because I’m not doing all of those things.

This past year I asked God to show me ONE WORD for 2013. I was surprised when that word was “forgive”.

You see, I write about forgiveness. I teach about forgiveness.

But God took me deeper into that ONE WORD. When I encountered a hostile conversation, or felt a situation was unjust. When I wanted to lash out, isolate, or put a person in his or her place.

Did you know that we have a thousand opportunities a year to be offended? 

In the book, The Bait of Satan, author John Bevere confronts the impact of offense upon our hearts. He says:

Jesus said that, “it is impossible that no offenses should come (Luke 17:1).” It is not a question of opportunity to be offended, but what your response will be. It is an unfortunate fact that, not some, but many will be offended and held captive.

He goes on to say:

Offended people produce much fruit, such as hurt, anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred, and envy. Some of the consequences of picking up an offenses are insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal and backsliding (going away from God, rather than to Him).


No wonder my Heavenly Father wanted this to be my ONE WORD for 2013, for I can’t just talk about it and write about it, but I have the privilege of learning how to live it out in all of it’s depth.

As January approaches, I started asking God for my ONE WORD for 2014.

No lists for this girl. No long litany of resolutions. Just getting alone with God and asking Him to show me that one word.

And it came: transformation. 

Hah! What does God want to do in an ordinary girl who loves Him like crazy? What might this mean?

Continued intimacy with Him.

Journaling my heart with words on paper, yes.

Praying. . . oh, this is an area where I desire more in this aspect of my relationship with God.

But let’s be honest. Transformation can come through pain.

Transformation can arrive by peeling away layers that protect us from God’s touch.

Transformation comes through opening my heart to ALL that God has, whether it’s in my timing, or my comfort zone.

So, you see, sweet friend, asking God for ONE WORD is a little daunting, but what does God have in store for you? How will He grow you? What will He show you?

Today’s challenge (invitation) is to begin to ask God for your ONE WORD.

I’d love to pray with you over that word whispered in your heart.



  1. My One WORD for 2014 is HOPE! This word has been everywhere I am…in reading, praying and listening…”my hope is in the Lord!”

    • Hope is such a powerful word. So, how will you look for hope in the everyday, or on days when you don’t feel hopeful? It’s letting that word soak over you, define you, direct you, change from the default to the direction of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a situation, conversation, or decision. Hope is a word that can absolutely change you in 2014.

  2. Monica Cunningham says:


  3. Wholeheartedness.

    I was going to add that I am still praying about this…but that would simply prove why this is my word.

  4. The year has gone so quickly I had not thought ahead to 2014. Please pray God will give me the word that I need to focus on. I think I need to continue to work on last years word, listen. Your words on forgiveness have helped me greatly. I was able to forgive in ways I never imagined and pray for continued insight and work in that area of my spiritual growth. Thanks for the reminder to start talking with God and to listen for His Word for me for the year ahead.

    • Lord, you are taking Mary on a path of growth. Whisper that one word in her heart today. The one area you desire to take up residence. The one thing you want to shine your light on so that she finds freedom in yet one more place in her heart and thoughts. The one word that unshackles bonds and sets her free. The one word that others will see come to life in her and draw them to You. In Jesus’ name.

  5. Yes please pray that God will put it in my heart and I will listen what he hads for me.

  6. Suzie, Thank you for this wonderful inspiration. It’s my tendency to jump in with both feet and run before I even get my feet properly going the right way. So when you wrote of transformation, my brain is going, “yes! that’s it.”, Then Marilyn in East Texas talked about “surrender” and I thought, OH! That’s the one. Obviously, this needs prayer, on my part. I’m working my way through Celebrate Recovery, and found a fabulous church and am learning and growing for what seems like the 1st time in my life and it’s so exciting. I’m also going through some hard times financially that just stress me and make a daily battle with depression that much harder. I’m so grateful for this post and inspiration because God is teaching me to keep my focus on Him moment by moment and trusting He will help me through. So, a great big Thank You for this inspiration.

  7. Marilyn in East Texas says:

    Good Morning Suzie,
    I just read your message this morning and immediately started thinking about of what my one word would be for 2014-and then I was quite stopped in my thoughts-and the word was placed in my heart-a word I never would have selected or thought would apply to me since I have professed to be a christian since I was a little girl–God placed on my heart the word- SURRENDER.
    As I drove to work the tears fell and are still falling. I do not know what SURRENDER will mean for my life and I am somewhat afraid-but I am asking Jesus to hold me in His arms while I learn to SURRENDER. Please pray for me that I will be able to obey my Father in heaven.

  8. Kathi Whittamore says:

    My one word for 2014 is actually two words but they go together…Planted & Standing…2013 my word was “obedient” and this is to be continued by being planted & standing, not moving off what God is doing in my life and in the life of my family members.

    • Sounds like ROOTED to me, girl. Wow. What a beautiful word to be so deeply rooted in God that you stand strong — Ephesians 3 (the last part of the chapter) has a prayer that is for you, friend. What a beautiful thing to grow into.

  9. Dear Suzie,
    I need to ask for prayers for this one. To help me hear the one word clearly.
    I am in the midst of leaving my abusive marriage. We had a professional session yesterday, and it seems as though the legalities will be tied up by March. Needless to say, next year is going to be far different than any of the the last 15 I spent in my marriage.
    I can’t imagine a word I should focus on. I can’t really focus well right now to be honest. I know I don’t need to come up with the word, I know I just need to be open to hearing it from God, but please, could I ask for prayers for that?
    Thank you so much for your ministry. You have helped me many times during my journey this far.

    • Teresa Kuh says:

      Suzie- I am praying for you! Leaving an abusive situation is much more complicated and difficult than many people realize. I am proud of your decision to go and I pray you have support and help around you! Feeling as though you cannot focus right now is normal in your circumstance. I pray for peace for you! I pray for strength for you! I pray for His Presence to cover you! Blessings! Your sister in Christ, Teresa

    • Father, thank you for Shelly and for her desire for the ONE WORD. Speak it into her heart. Luke 4:18-19 is my prayer for Shelly today. May she be SO SET FREE by your power and your love that she senses daily that you are with her, that you are around her, over her, before her and you are walking and leading her and her precious children. In Jesus’ name.

  10. Wow Suzie… I’m blown away. From the moment I started reading the first paragraph the word transformation was in my head… When I actually read “your word” being the very word going through my head I was like, “Wow, LORD!!” It’s a continual journey to transformation. Being in God’s Word continually produces transformation. AMEN!! I’ve been praying and thinking about this for about two weeks already! Happy Monday.

    • I love that, Kimberly! Maybe He’s working in lots of us in that area. It comes in many different ways, but it’s intentional. We’ll talk more about it later, but it means that when I hit a situation, my first question is not, “How fast can I get away from this?” but “What will God do in the midst of this?” or “in the midst of me?”. Thanks, Kimberly!

  11. I have never done this before (pray for a word for the year; I generally don’t make resolutions because I know I never keep them) but it seems that my one word for at least the latter portion of 2013 has been hope. In the past 4-6 months I have learned to hope in, trust in and rely on God more than ever before. Honestly not sure what my word for 2014 will be but I will definitely pray about it! I think much of the reason that we don’t succeed with our New Year’s resolutions is that oftentimes we don’t take them seriously and more importantly, we don’t commit them to God. Just a thought.

    • This isn’t a resolution, sweet Ashley, but a focus on one area that God places on your heart. It means that we ask God to allow that one word to permeate who we are, to be a part of how we live and respond. It causes us to pause and think, “as you work in this one area in my heart this year, Lord, what might that look like today, or in this situation, or with this person?” Does that make sense? It’s not a state of “doing” but a state of being, with His help.

  12. I’ve yet to really look at 2014. My word for 2013 was ‘obey’, so I’d like to find something to follow that.
    Probably something like ‘continue’?

Speak Your Mind