I have a word of the year once again! This is usually one of my favorite processes at the end of a year and beginning of the new year. However, it has taken me longer than usual to wrap my head around the word that came to me, but it feels so right. By feeling, I mean an overwhelming peace that rushes over me when I think about it. I sense God is in this word because it seems to have very little to do with me and my aspirations but more about Him. 2022 was a tough one to be honest. We have had many major changes in our lives and the transitions and trials have been hard. We are learning how to lean more on God and less on the control we think we have in certain situations. 2023 has started out just as tough, but we are counting our blessings because God feels so close to us through all of it. He is showing himself in our lives more and more as we try to understand how this life has very little to offer us that is lasting or as good as He is. The word God has given me is steadfast. When I looked up the meaning to this word, its definition is resolutely or dutifully firm; unwavering. Synonyms for this word are loyal, faithful, devoted, constant.
When I spent time thinking about this word, I remembered a psalm I read last year. In Psalm 136, the same line is repeated over and over, his steadfast love endures forever. I remember I read it on a day that it was hard to focus. Hard to see the good, even. Repeating that line over and over brought me to a place of peace and contemplation of how His steadfast love endures even when mine doesn’t. I find that the more focused I am on a situation or something in the world, the more in the world I become. Dissatisfied with my situation, my finances, my choices, many things. But when I take a step back and look up, I bring my attention to the steadfastness of my God and all that he has done for me until this point and I begin to notice how entitled I have become.
An example of the steadfastness that he so sweetly gives occurred one evening when we were in the thick of trials it seemed, at every angle in our lives. I felt weighed down by it at the dinner table. I glanced at my son’s response to something my husband said and the Holy Spirit spoke something into my heart about my son. Your son’s heart is ready for you to ask him about me. Honestly it surprised me a bit. And right after that was spoken into my heart, my son, Abe said he needed to pray for his sister in such a confident way and prayed for her on the spot because she wasn’t feeling well. That was confirmation as if the Holy Spirit was leading the way. So I asked.
“Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart?”
And he answered so clearly and definitely, as if he was waiting for us to ask. “Yes.”
My husband and I walked him through a prayer that would begin the most important relationship of his life. I was enamored by God and so honored that I could be a part of this important moment in Abraham’s life. Our situations we currently faced did not change but this special and eternal moment was evidence that he never left us in the hard times and trials and how God can use them for something that is so good. His steadfast love endures forever.
Perhaps the word steadfast is truly for me too. Will I still stand for my God through the trials and the hard parts of life? Will I continue to give him glory when it is hard to lift my hands and sing out from my heart? He desires that for me if I am created in his image. I was made to belong to him and nothing else will satisfy this longing. It makes sense that there is mystery surrounding the word steadfast for me this year. He is safe because he wants all things good for me but He is unpredictable in that He only reveals a little at a time for me to trust and follow Him. This can be exciting and also lead to anxiety at times. I have a lot to learn to remain steadfast but I have a great Teacher. Steadfast.
“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!” -Psalm 57:7
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” -Psalm 63:3
“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.” -Psalm 94:18
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58