Encouragement Ahead

I was sure she could do it, even though she felt unsure. I could see it even if she couldn’t.

Have you ever had a sense about someone else’s ability? This often occurs with our children or another loved one. Recently, our daughter started driving with her temporary license. She was initially nervous and unsure of herself. But I knew once she tried it, she would be great, and she is! I had full confidence in her, even if she didn’t.

For the last few years, I’ve picked a word(s) for the year. Initially upon hearing of others doing this, I was skeptical. Honestly, it seemed a bit self-serving. But then I tried it. I asked God for my word at the end of 2016 and sensed it was joy.

Joy became a thing for me-I found Bible verses, inspirational quotes, plaques and told many all about my word. God knew I needed joy that year and He didn’t disappoint. Not only did I find joy in the obvious, good things of life, but I also found it in the not-so-good. I learned many things that year and was able to share them here (just search joy on the blog!) and elsewhere, helping others along the way. This one word for the year thing hooked me.

Last year it was a combination word. Present Presence intrigued me as God settled it into my being at the end of 2017. I set about finding and being a present presence in the lives of those I love while also searching for God’s present presence in all things. Of course, I again was inundated with seeing this everywhere and was also reminded by others when I got distracted. Focusing on these two words last year was incredibly meaningful as I focused on being present and a presence during the last few months of my dad’s life and with my son before he left for college. I also completely felt God’s present presence with me in all my moments.

So here we are in a new year and ready for the next word. The last month or so I’ve been sensing God give me the word encourage. Years ago, I retook a Spiritual Gifts survey. I was rekindling my connection to God and wanted to make sure I’d use the gifts He gave me well as I followed. When “encouragement” came up in my top three gifts, I was surprised. I tucked it away and moved on. Shortly after, I began writing and often it was to encourage someone else. Guess God knows what He’s doing.

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. ~ Romans 12:8a


But when encourage came up as my word for this year, I hesitated. Wasn’t I already doing this? Yet, there was no other word I sensed from Him. Then yesterday more confirmation came as I was preparing some verses for the new year to share…

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

Yes, God knows I’m already doing this as the verse describes. I realized just as I have confidence in my daughter, son, and others, God has confidence in us. He has already given us the ability to do all He has created us to do. He knows we can accomplish all He has planned but often we stop ourselves from achieving His plans with our feelings and/or lack of confidence.

So instead of hesitating, it’s time to put our faith in what God says we can do and be. It’s time to trust, and yes, encourage others and even ourselves to live out His plans. Maybe my word isn’t just about encouraging others, but also myself. Maybe He’s prompting me like Lauren Daigle does in her song You Say to see myself as He does.

There’s so much more I’m already thinking about with encourage. I’m not entirely sure where this word will lead, but that’s part of the journey. Based on experience, God has great plans for me and it together. In the meantime, as you make plans for 2019, please enjoy these 10 Verses for a New Year to encourage as you trust, plan, and follow Him.

And if you’re thinking about choosing one word for the year-let me encourage 😉you to go ahead and ask God to give you one. Really pray, listen, pay attention and then grab onto what He gives, even if it’s not what you’re expecting. You won’t regret it, in fact, it may make 2019 even more memorable.

I’m sure of it.

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6 thoughts on “Encouragement Ahead”

  1. Revolving around a word can bring focus to a season. I love hearing how this has affected you and your family. My word for this year is BOLD! It comes from knowing who I am in Christ and living it out in a bold way. Blessings to you in 2019, Jill!

    • That’s a great word for the year-so many possibilities! Blessings as you pursue it and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Hi Jill, it’s so great to read this! May the Lord bless you in this new season of “encourage”ment! My word is “Word.” As in, I want to seek God’s voice and presence through His Word.

    • Thanks Betsy-it’s definitely a word that is expanding my definition of it. Excited to see where God takes both of us this year!


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