Jesus said, “This [blindness] happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” — John 9:3
From January 1, 2017, to today, this has been one of the most difficult years of my life. I know. Tough times are going to come. Troubles are going to terrorize us. And sometimes they appear like legions of Klingons (to borrow an image from “Star Trek”), mounting up unseen and then coming out from their cloaking device in full array.
Lest I complain too much, I want to give God the credit for guiding me to choose my One Word for 2017: VICTORY. I’ll admit it. I didn’t want that word. I tried to talk God out of that choice. I let my fear try to bargain with him.
But when I asked for God's wisdom and guidance, he spoke my One Word for 2017 clearly to me. Several times. VICTORY.
Now I understand why. He knew what was coming. He knew I would need to trust him like I never had before. He knew that the VICTORY was already his. I just had to see it, acknowledge it, trust it, and claim it in my life.
I believe all this happened in 2017 so all of us could see the power of God at work in me.
You may think this sounds selfish or self-centered. You may think I wasn’t vocal enough or specific enough about what God was doing as he was doing it. You may think I’m trying to sound like some kind of super-Christian.
The reality is that because of this year, I now know the true meaning of VICTORY. For me, it isn’t winning a contest or completing a marathon or claiming a sports title.
This year, God taught me that VICTORY means:
Standing tall when I want to crawl in a hole.
Taking the train when I want to be driving a new car.
Using travel money to sustain a house.
Doing what I know is right even when others are doing what I know is wrong.
Loving others through my actions, even when that seems inconvenient or painful for me.
Being bolder in my admiration of, love for, and trust of others.
Believing that God is bigger, even bigger than the internet.
And so much more.
As 2017 comes to a close, I decided to make two lists, side by side: Heartbreaks and Highlights. Looking back at the events of this year, I was sure that the Heartbreaks list would be at least four times longer than the Highlights list.
You’ve probably already guessed how God surprised me. The Highlights list is much longer than the Heartbreaks list. Granted, the Heartbreaks are harder to handle. But the Highlights are what make life worthwhile.
Yes, 2017 was a year of VICTORY for me! Not in the ways I wanted or expected. But definitely in the ways that mattered most in my faith and personal growth.
The man replied, “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” — John 9:25
To read more about my VICTORY journey this year, click on the link below each photo.
Choosing One Word as your focus for an entire year will definitely make a difference in your life. I’ve been doing this since 2015, and I highly recommend the discipline and the adventures waiting for you! And oh, yes, the many discoveries about who you are and who you will become.
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel