Friday, January 3, 2014

Five Minutes of Fight

Linking up with Five Minute Friday on this first Friday in a brand new year.  Here's the deal...Lisa Jo gives us a one word writing prompt and then you write. Five minutes, no editing, no overthinking, no fear! All she asks is that you visit the blogger who links above you. This little exercise is a great way to stretch your writing muscle...why not join the party?

Five Minute Friday

Today's word-fight

I don't know if history reveals that people have always chosen a word to focus on in the New Year, but it's certainly a 'band wagon' we've jumped on in recent times. In January of 2012 I chose a word.-joy. As it turned out joy was hard to find that year. It felt like something I needed to chase down and grab hold of with arms held tight, so I did.

Looking back at year's end I could so clearly see how God used that word to carry me through a hard place. Finding joy in circumstances that screamed something very different helped me discover it sometimes lies quietly waiting in the most unexpected places of our lives. This three letter word riding atop my shoulders amidst deep sorrow was not just was His grace poured out on me.

Last year my word was love. Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Well it's not, but again in hindsight I see the many people and the many ways I've been challenged to love and love well. I'll admit when I chose the word I kind of expected that, but in looking back at the year I see the unexpected too. I see  how I was loved...over and over again in ways large and small, in gestures, in words spoken and unspoken, in the Word read. In 2013 I was reminded on an almost daily basis of the very great love the Father has for his children.

So it's 2014 and I've been toying with a new word, not wanting to choose it, but unable to escape it either. It had been percolating on my brain for some time, and as the new year approached I started to see a 'slogan' in all sorts of places that said 'no fear new year'.  I decided the word has my name on it.


Why does that word feel like a dare? Am I the only one who thinks when you put these words out there God will throw all kinds of hard things in your path to make it really hit home? You're gonna live unafraid?  Let's just test that! I'm pretty certain He doesn't work that way, after all joy is always within our reach, and the hard to love cross our paths pretty regularly whether we make those our words or not.

It's the same with living unafraid. Not acknowledging our fears doesn't make them disappear. Bad things can happen whether I've purposed to be brave or not. Opportunities to be bold, to live unafraid, will cross my path all year long whether I choose this word or another.

I like having a word to consider and focus on each year. It helps me to act, and reminds me God is near.  At year's end I'm always slightly in awe of the way the word has been woven into my life over the course of 365 measly days.

So 2014 is the year I fight my natural inclination to not think about things I fear, and instead face them with confidence. To be bold. Unafraid. I have a God who knows me and loves me and wants for me more than I want or can even imagine for myself.  What is there to fear?


  1. There is nothing to truly fear when God is on your side. Truly nothing at all. Be unafraid this year... trust in your Lord God to carry you through! :)

    annette @ a net in time (

  2. With God, all things ARE possible!! You have a good goal for 2014!

  3. Isaiah 41:10
    fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    That is a GOOD word for the year! Some days you need to visualize that right hand supporting your back.
    Very good goal Joyce!

  4. Interesting that you are choosing to focus on not being fearful this year.

    I have a Bible verse focus for 2014, one that is so well known and repeated without giving it serious application. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

    I have been a born again Christian since childhood and yet I see that much of the time I have not been trusting/relying/depending on the Lord to be with me and help me through the tough spots of life. My prayers for help have been more of lip service and then holding onto the troubling issues.

    I am learning that even when He allows hard things to come to me, He has a greater purpose in mind that really is for my ultimate good. THAT is trust.

    May you and I both grow in our faith this year! Thanks for your post today.

  5. I love this post. And I totally identify with feeling that once you receive a word for the year or start to pray something into your character, it feels as though you are immediately tested. I am excited that you will be learning more about living unafraid this year and offer a prayer that you will be able to walk forward without being nervous! So glad to find you in the FMF community! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  6. Last year was the first year I had a word and I so enjoyed it and it kept before me how I should live in "expectation." I did and HE answered some big time prayers in my life. Not necessarily the way I desired but in the way HE saw fit. I haven't fully decided on my word this year but I will in the next couple of days.

    A great, great post and always a delight when I stop by.

  7. Good word. I struggle with letting fear overwhelm me. Probably half of the Bible verses I memorized last year had to do with fear. Let me know if you want me to tell you what they are. They have been a comfort to me. I've even been able to share them with friends and my mom when she started having health problems in late summer.

  8. That was a wonderful post. One trait I always wanted to instill in my kids and my students was bravery. When you are a choir teacher your kids need to be brave and trust in themselves and you. Being unafraid is a prickly slope...a little fear kept me out of all kinds of trouble :) Like my mom always warned me...never pray for patience.

    Keep us updated on your journey with your word.