We’re entering that season again when some choose resolutions to try to keep and others choose a word to focus on for the year ahead.

Long before I began blogging, or heard of oneword365, God had already whispered a word at close of year, or just on the cusp of the new, that He wanted me to pay particular attention to.

This practice has continued and the last few years have been ones of gentle, divine invitation to ‘Come, Listen and Rest’. 

As I sit with derailed dreams and postponed plans, I’d hoped for something more dynamic to come.

[bctt tweet=”I want to witness change for the better, be given hope for the future, motivation for renewal”]

So when this word embedded itself into my consciousness, threading soft as silk but with an iron persistence, I resisted it to start with.

My spirits deflated and my heart sank in disbelief. Did I really need to revisit the basics?

Because after being a Christian for over 40 years, I’d written about and thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about ‘love’ – a given for all believers in Christ, yes?

Turns out I was wrong.

God revealed my urgent need to learn how to fully accept His love and begin to live freely as His beloved.

[bctt tweet=”I need to allow the knowledge I am loved to journey from my head to my heart.”]

Maybe you do too?

God was saying, in essence, that He required me to believe, receive and cleave to Him more than ever before.

My scarred, wounded soul was wary because being loved doesn’t come easy for me. I’ve been afraid to let love in, automatically keeping barriers up and defences ready.

heart locked up file image used on WoJ

Yes, even with friends and family, my heart has stayed locked up to some degree.

When you’ve been deeply hurt by childhood abuse, it makes trusting and loving others (or yourself) challenging at best.

I remain scared I won’t know how to change (or actually want to), because those barricades built up over time will have to be broken down in order to allow love full access.

[bctt tweet=”I need to learn to accept God’s love for me, love myself in a balanced way and freely love others”]

This feels like raking over old embers I thought had been extinguished. Who wants to revisit the past?

I panic for a few days until God reveals how it’s  actually an ongoing part of the deep inner healing work He has in mind for me, the next, necessary stage of the process.

And I breathe out again when I remember how God is Love personified; it’s His defining characteristic and should be ours too as His disciples.

[bctt tweet=”As we embrace our need of saving love, we embrace God; we embrace Love Himself”]

‘Being the beloved’

Let love become

the very essence

of my being

Let love reveal

the very need

of all receiving

I, who can hardly bear

to gaze upon

my own face

must look now

into Your own

and see somehow

what my heart

has always known

I am loved

and I am saved

I’m Your beloved

by Your grace


And as I wavered still, these reassuring words came to me:

“You are surrounded by Love. Can you not feel its tug? It’s the heartbeat of the universe. It’s the sound of My voice.”

It could be a faltering journey, my friend, as I flounder or flourish in this enterprise.

Do you have a ‘word’ to focus on for 2016? I’d love to hear about it.

**PS** ~ Ann Voskamp has an excellent free printable resource here to help us keep to our SOULutions plans for 2016 and purpose in our hearts to follow through. Do check it out. I’m purposing to give it a go and hope to share my progress with you soon.