• Dana L. Butler

My One Word for 2014

For weeks I’ve been circling, not wanting to land.  Eyeing this one word way down below.  Skeptically.

I’ve contemplated others, rolled ideas around in my heart, hoping the Lord would highlight to me a word, or even a phrase, that felt more creative or profound or artistic.

But nothing else has fully encapsulated what the Lord is up to in my heart.

I’ve returned over and over to circling this one word.  This word that’s felt too basic, too “normal.”  But when it all comes down, no other word fits the current focus of His working and moving inside me like this one.

So after all my circling, my back and forth wandering and wondering, my musing and my perusing of my mental thesaurus, I’m coming in for a landing, giving in to this word that won’t let go of my heart.  And as I humble myself and settle into it, it’s beginning to feel a little like home.

FREEDOM.


Freedom, because God has recently unearthed places in my heart where I’ve not been walking free.  Where I’ve ignored what’s held me bound and held me back — not wanted to face the reality or depth of my bondage — for years.  Places where fear has had me in its clutches and frankly, I’ve been embarrassed to admit it.

See, I know the “right” answers and I firmly believe the Gospel is big enough, powerful enough, and extravagant enough to bring freedom even to this area of my heart.  But freedom’s practical reality hasn’t yet sunk all the way in.

And keeping these chains hidden in darkness has only allowed the enemy a greater foothold.

BUT —

No more.

These days, I’m speaking aloud the things I’ve been ashamed to say:

I’m not free here, in this room of my heart.  I’m stuck in fear, and it’s painful.  It’s keeping me from freely, confidently, fully stepping out in who I know I am.

And now I’m fed up enough with this area of bondage that I’m getting over my pride, letting a few people in, and asking for help.

And I’m landing on this most basic of words for my new year, because it’s the place I know He’s fiercely committed to leading me in this season.

He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. -Psalm 18:19

Y’all, this is what Jesus purchased for me.  For all of us.

“May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering,” and may He receive it fully in my life.

May Christ receive His reward in my surrender to living in every. stinkin’. ounce. of the freedom He died to purchase for me.

Unrestrained.  No longer held back.  Into a spacious place.

In these days, I am more committed than ever to living in the fullness of what the cross of Christ accomplished for me.  Committed to learning more and more deeply who He made me to be.  Committed to becoming my deepest, truest self.  Committed to living my life authentically, out of my core.  Committed to pursuing a lifestyle of unhindered worship and wholehearted obedience to Him alone, to make Him known.

Committed to taking steps toward bold, confident, genuine, abundant, joy-empowered, purpose-filled freedom.

And I’m falling into His mercy in all of this because, lemme tell ya — in these places I’m still broken?  I don’t know how to fix myself.

I’ve tried, y’all.  For years.  And I’m not trying to force my way into freedom and wholeness on my own any longer.

I’m learning to rest in His desire and plan to heal me and move me forward into all He’s won for me.  Because it’s Who He is.  And He who began a good work in me WILL BE FAITHFUL to complete it, y’all (Phil. 1:6).  He will.  

So for 2014, I’m standing on His fierce commitment to lead me into freedom.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 ____________________

PS. Have you chosen one word to mark your 2014?  If so, I’d love to hear.

PPS. My word for 2013 was “Presence” and the Lord emphasized various facets of it to me as I walked with Him through the year.  Having chosen that word for my 2013, and having the Lord continually draw my attention back to it, have been really impactful for me.  And I’m by no means ready to let go of deepening my awareness of His presence, or of focusing on offering my authentic presence to others, in the coming months.  “Freedom” is an addition, not a replacement.

PPPS. I’m linking this post up with the community over at One Word 365.  If you’re interested in learning more about the One Word concept and even maybe choosing your own word for 2014, please check it out.

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