My word for 2021 was enough. When I chose it at the end of 2020 I felt that it was going to mean a word for my confidence. God is enough, I am enough because of God, and in turn I always have everything I need. I should walk in the confidence of God - type vibe. And in many ways I did see that throughout the last year. I used it to remind myself to be confident because God enters a room with me. I used enough as a tool to remind me that we always have what we need for the moment and that God would never leave us. However, I quickly realized that enough was also going to mean something I didn't really want it to.
Last year our lease was set to end in July, we so desperately wanted to move into more space. A bigger place to be able to expand into. My husband has a lot of hobbies that require space to store things, so a garage. I love to cook and there are a lot of gadgets we just don't have space for in our current kitchen. Now these aren't bad things or end of the world things...we were just ready for more. We had so quickly outgrown our cozy little one bedroom apartment. It was great for the first year of our marriage, but we were ready to "move up in the world" so to speak. But someone wise once said "we make plans, and God laughs." So early in 2021, in the months leading up to our lease ending, I was praying about moving and finding a new place. I ever so gently heard the Holy Spirit whisper.
I remember thinking, "what do you mean Lord?" But in my heart I had a feeling I already knew what His whispers meant for us.
In my prayer I continued, as if to justify my thought process with a God who knows all, ha.
"But God, we need more space, we want a dog, a yard, a garage, more space to grow a family, and just a space to decorate and make our own." I was almost pleading. I didn't want the answer I could feel Him giving me.
All you have, is all you need. Stay.
A couple weeks went by as I continued to whine to God in my prayer life, why can't we move? Is it a bad move? Is it not smart financially? And well friends, God is so faithful to answer our questions. And He is oh, so patient with us.
If you know anything about the housing market from last summer (and still now) it was hot! It was a sellers market. My mom is a broker and there were houses that would go up for a listing and within MINUTES offers were being put down. Houses that were being bought with cash tens of thousands over asking price, site unseen!! There was no way as a new home buyer we were going to touch a house for an affordable price. Also during this time, rent everywhere was skyrocketing too.... absolutely ridiculous to witness. Even just to stay in our current 1 bedroom apartment, our rent was going to go up $100! I logically looked at this and was just thinking yikes there's no way. But spiritually I was holding hope. I was thinking but God, you could make a way, you can do anything, make a way for this, please?
But at some point during these whiny prayers, a sermon from Mike Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma came to mind clear as day. In this message he was talking about choosing between a 6 figure job in the music industry, or following God's call into ministry. He said that he had always wanted to go into music, but he knew enough at this point in his life to pray. And God answered him with:
"You could go, and you would be successful, but I'll take my hand off of whatever you're doing."
As that memory played in my mind it stopped me in my tracks. I knew what God was saying. He was giving me a choice. I could do what I wanted, I could try to move, and make things happen in MY own time and MY own strength. But I've followed God long enough to know that walking away from God's blessing and His hand of provision was never the answer. I knew it was time for the serious conversation about our plans with my husband.
So I went and told Sean, what God had shown me. And let me tell you friends, I was not excited to have this conversation, because as bad as I wanted a house...I knew my husband wanted it even more. I told him how I'd been praying about it and what I felt the Lord speaking. He didn't say much, except "okay fine, we'll stay here." I knew that he knew it was our best choice. And it was.
See in the beginning of the year we had also been able to finish paying off the credit card we used for our wedding stuff from a couple months earlier. It wasn't a ton, but it was enough to be annoying. After that, for the rest of the year we were then able to completely finish paying off my husband's truck!
Now, rolling into this new year of 2022 the only debt we have are my student loans. Granted, I have a lot of them from grad school... but now we are setting ourselves up better financially for the future. And that makes both of us really happy.
Another thing I was able to focus on was building a business. Something I have always wanted to do in the future. I always imagined it being more of a ten to fifteen year plan. Not ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine doing it my first year being a practitioner, or within my first month of having a full time job! But God did. During this time, the Lord once again was very clear on what I was to do. So In July 2021, I started The Good Good Life Occupational Therapy, LLC with a lot of faith and a little extra money. Looking back I see that because we didn't move, we felt more comfortable investing in this business. We didn't feel strapped for money or like it was "too much to spend." I can't say that would've been the case had we moved when we wanted to. I still have no idea what this new business looks like in its fullness, but it has so much room for growth. Which is exciting. For whatever is next though, I have full confidence knowing that God is enough. He always is. Just like He's been reminding me all year.
I saw my word enough show up as a beautiful reminder time and time again last year. It grew my confidence personally and spiritually. It reminded me that God really does provide and show up in ways that we don't always expect. Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music even released a song called Jireh where the chorus literally says "Jireh, you are enough." The first time I heard this song in church on a Sunday, I wept. If you are ever unsure you're going the right direction, God will always be faithful to confirm it. And in that moment I knew this was His way of confirming my word and that I did indeed have enough in that moment.
Jireh is a name for God that means provider. Essentially saying you will always have enough, because He provides for you. It's a beautiful song, and I had it on repeat all year. Here's the link if you want to give it a listen.
And now, in 2022, my word is Build. I'll admit, I had some push back with God on this word. It sounded intimidating, and frankly, like a lot of work.
I was questioning it a lot, "build what God? A family? A home? My business? My faith? All of the above? What if I can't? What if it's hard?"
I kind of laugh at that last part, even writing it now. God never promised this life would be easy. He did, however, promise that He would be with us, guiding us, and providing everything we need...enough. So after a lot of prayer and trust in His timing. It was very clear that this was supposed to be the word I embrace this year. So I am, and I'm excited to share with you how it goes next year and as the year progresses. This year we are living with a BUILD attitude, whatever that looks like. I pray if you have a word for this year that you embrace it and use it to seek God and His presence in everything you do.
And as always friends, this year I hope you live good good!