My word of the year for 2017 was power. When I chose that word, I never could have imagined what God would have in store. In the past 12 months I have seen God answer prayers I never even thought to pray, defeat giants I never thought I would have to encounter, and move mountains I thought I would have to climb to get around. He has brought healing from sickness, life from death, victory from defeat – and so much more! There is so much to praise Him for, and my heart is overwhelmed even thinking about it all.
At the end of 2016, I set a goal for myself of moving out on my own in 2017. I never would have expected that on January 1st I would sign the lease on my first apartment. And I definitely never would have expected that only three months after moving out on my own, the opportunity would present itself for me to buy a house. But in April, I officially became a homeowner.
A week after closing on the house and moving in, I faced one of my biggest fears by getting on a cruise ship for the first time and spending a week on the open water.
And the day I got home from the cruise is the day my sister told me I was going to be an aunt.
In February, a vision became a reality when my roommate and I stepped out in faith and started leading a weekly Discipleship class to equip and empower people to grow deeper in their walk with Christ. Since then, we have led three different series of classes, met lots of new people, seen consistent growth, and watched God move in miraculous ways. In October, we were even invited to lead a small group for a Women’s Empowerment Conference at another local church.
In March, a close friend of mine faced an intense battle with cancer, defeated all the odds against him, and came out victorious. Six months later, he celebrated his daughter’s first birthday – a day doctor’s had previously told him he may never live to see – and even returned to active duty as a Highway Patrolman.
This year my best friend graduated nursing school, passed the NCLEX, became a registered nurse, started her dream job, bought her first car, and has seen prayers years in the making being answered.
In September, I conquered another major fear by getting on a plane for the first time – just to spend the day exploring Washington DC and marking a lot off the bucket list.
In November, I got to see one of my favorite worship bands and some of my favorite spoken word artists live – more items checked off the bucket list.
I also stopped procrastinating and finally applied to grad school.
And this past week, just five days before Christmas, I got to hold my new little niece in my arms and welcome her to the world… What a way to close out a year slam-packed with the power of God!
“How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy it gives. But greater still, the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days, because He lives.”
After all… any and all power we can possibly possess is only made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s all because of Him, and it’s only because of Him.
That’s not even all that happened this year – that’s just some of the highlights. God has revealed Himself in so many different ways, even down to the smallest details. And what I’ve learned through it all is that if you ask for the power of God to be revealed in your life – then you better buckle up and enjoy the ride. I have learned that in order to experience the power of God, you must first endure the battle of faith verses fear. This past year, I have seen my friends and family face some of their greatest fears, and celebrate some of their biggest successes. I have seen the hardest struggles transformed into the greatest stories. There have been relationships to begin, end, and be restored. There have been dreams and opportunities lost, only to be replaced by bigger dreams and better opportunities. There have been long-awaited promises fulfilled, and new promises to be revealed. This has truly been a year of breakthrough, and this is just the beginning.
I had almost forgotten why I chose “power” as my word of the year until I recently stumbled on something I wrote on January 4th. In the note, I had written, “My goal for this year is to grasp God’s power like the woman grasping for the hem of His garment.” I went on to write, “We behold His power with the eyes of our heart, but if we only ever behold Him then we will only ever watch Him pass by. To grasp His power is to take hold of it and make it ours. That requires following Him and pressing our way through the crowd.” This year, our world has been in such a chaotic state, that I’ve felt much like the woman desperately pressing her way through the crowd just to get a touch of God’s power. I’ve witnessed so many miracles and felt so much of His power this year that it’s almost as if, above all the noise, I can hear Him saying, “Who has touched me?”
A few weeks ago I began praying and seeking God’s guidance for what my word will be going into 2018, and the word He laid on my heart was peace. So when I was reflecting on this past year and decided to go back and re-read this passage of Scripture that had been so heavy on my heart this time last year, I was amazed by what I found. What stood out to me this time was not what the woman did, or what happened to her, but what Jesus told her afterwards.
What did He tell her after He healed her? After she received His power?
Go in peace.