One Word 365: Love

When I saw my friend write a blog post about One Word 365, I recalled hearing about it several years earlier. It sounded like fun, but I didn’t have a blog and forgot about it as the New Year picked up. This year, I wanted to join in on the fun. The interesting thing is that God told me my ‘word’ before I was reminded about One Word 365. I was at a friend’s house to celebrate the coming of 2014, and was happily catching up with one of my oldest and dearest friends. She mentioned that at the start of 2013 God gave her a word that would be her ‘theme word’ for the New Year. She challenged me to do the same, and I quietly thought on it for the rest of the evening.

We rang the new year in by spending the last moments of 2013 singing worship songs and praising God for all He did for us that year, and will do for us this year. As everyone sang around me, I quietly asked God what word He wanted to give me for 2014. What word needed to be the focal point of this coming year? Without hesitation, God told me ‘Love’ was to be my theme word for 2014. At first I balked at that idea because I thought that meant He wanted me to get married this year. I’m happy being single and have no desire to settle down and get married before I graduate college and get a job. So, I politely told God, “No, that’s not my word. Let’s pick a different one!” He didn’t change His mind, and continued to tell me that He wanted 2014 to be marked by Love. I knew I wouldn’t win and accepted it, though I still was unsure and not very thrilled about it.

Today was the first day I spent thinking about why God gave me the word ‘Love.’ I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Love. To help, I tried writing down everything I thought knew about it. I assumed I was going to write down things related to the romantic type of love, but I didn’t. I started to write down a paraphrased version 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. While I was thinking about the love between couples, something inside me was thinking about the true meaning of Love. It went something like this:

Love is patient, Love is kind, it is not boastful or envious, it is not proud. It does not keep a record of past wrongs, but forgives and moves joyfully on.

As I looked down at the list, I was humbled and ashamed to realize that I do not always live out this type of Love. I like to keep track of past wrongs done to me, I am proud, and do envy other people’s accomplishments instead of celebrating with them, and I’m not always patient with others. I also learned that Love is not just the romantic love, it is more than that. The Love described in the Bible can and should apply to everyone I already know, such as my friends and family. They are not excluded from this definition of Love, even if most people (like me) apply it to the couple getting married. Already, the concept of Love blows my mind, and I still have so much yet to learn.

Even though I now know it doesn’t mean what I originally thought, it’s going to take time for my mindset and heart to change and adjust to this new definition. As I learn more, I’ll share it here with you all. I encourage you to ask God for your own word for 2014. It’s not too late to join One Word 365, and you can find more information here. I’m looking forward to see what God will teach me this year. I know it will be a year unlike the ones I’ve had before.

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