Updated: Dec 19, 2019
A Word of the Year can be a personal mantra, a goal toward a change, a journey to bring clarity and focus to our lives. Last year around this time, we challenged you to choose a Word of the Year for 2019. If you missed it, take a look through the blog archives - in December 2018, we laid out tips and ideas to choose and apply your own Word, and how to connect through the BTF Sisterhood in this challenge.
If you look back, you will see that Sharon and I shared with you our Words for 2019, and checked in a few times to let you know how the results of our choices were impacting us over the year.
At this time, we would love to share some inspiration from two of our Better Than Fine Sisters, Essra and Alli. They took the time to write a bit and share with you about their Words of the Year for 2019.
"I knew as soon as I saw the Better Than Fine blog post in 2018 about the 2019 Word of the Year, I had to find one! It came to me pretty quickly, too - TRANSFORMATION. I got out my notebook and transformed it into my "Transformation Journal."
As I walked through 2019, I saw God transforming me all over the place. I had an accountability partner to walk with me and some pretty tough challenges to work through. I remember one day I was sitting on my porch, and I prayed to God that He would show me butterflies whenever I needed reminding that He was with me. I saw them ALL THE TIME after that. Many live ones around my house daily.
The one thing I think that stands out the most was a change I experienced on the BTF retreat. I've never liked being alone, it makes me very anxious. On the retreat, I had some time to be alone, and I really found it peaceful for the first time ever! I leaned into that feeling knowing that God was showing me that I needed that to be poured into sometimes."
I've never had a "Word of the Year" before. I was introduced to the idea last year through reading this blog, Better than Fine. I don't know if it was because I was actively listening for a word, but God quickly spoke my word for 2019 to me, and it was "obedience." We are called to be obedient, but as the year has progressed, I've learned that the Lord had some special refining in store for me. 2019 included a mission's trip, a call back into leadership, and the continuation of leading a small group.
The first quarter of 2019 included a mission trip to El Salvador. It wasn't our first choice of trips, and we spent a good deal of time discussing with God why we weren't going to go, but as we spent time at each of our church campuses sharing the upcoming trip, it became apparent to both my husband and myself that it would be disobedient not to go. Three days before we were due to leave for El Salvador, we were contacted by family members, and as best as we could tell, our oldest son had taken his own life. In obedience, we got on the plane that Saturday morning. A week later, I came home angry and disappointed with God for what appeared to be his lack of care for our son and our family. It was only due to our obedience to be a part of that mission trip that I reconnected with a friend who gave me permission to feel and speak out all that was grieving my soul. That was a gift that there are no words for. Then for several weeks, I sat in a bible study with the beautiful women I met on that trip, and they became a lifeline for me as I walked through the relief that although our son was mercifully spared and admitted to a psychiatric hospital, he was indeed very ill and would require long term care.
God continued to care for me as I began co-leading a team at my local campus. Let me perfectly honest... I argued with God about the position as well. But it was like a bouncing ball that no matter how many times I dropped it, it bounced back up at me — I reconnected with another friend and Sister in Christ who is also walking through a difficult season. She proved to be a light for me, praying for our family and our son, a great encourager, and so we have led a team together while also ministering to each other.
And finally, our small group. I have to be honest; it is challenging to lead and love others well when your heart hurts. I stayed obedient to the call, and out of the group has come another relationship with a dear Sister in Christ who I would have missed out on knowing had we disbanded the group.
This call to obedience is so tough, but I hope through the good and bad I've learned to trust the Lord a little more, love him a lot more, and that my spiritual muscles have been strengthened for the next time. It would have been so easy to throw in the towel. Which I believe is why the Lord chose the word he did. He placed it at the forefront of my mind and thoughts, and in hindsight, I can clearly see all I would have missed out left to my devices. However, I'm ready for 2019 to end. I'm ready for a new word!! Strangely enough, not too long ago, a wise friend commented to us that this call to faith is not about results but obedience. I believe that was the Lord's exclamation point for me! Here's to 2020!!
This year, you get to choose a word for 2020, which begins a new DECADE!!! We'd like to call it our "Decade of Destiny" as Better Than Fine sisters. We have had a year together to connect and kick off this inspiring group, and now God is going to get to work with us for even more impact! We are so excited to see what 2020 will bring!
There you go, FINE Sisters! Have fun! We can't wait to continue this call to battle with you! Head over to our private Facebook page "Better Than Fine Women Private Group". If you are new to the group, please considering joining. Share your new Word for the kickoff of the new decade!
We love you and can't wait to share 2020 with you!