My One Word: JOY

One word, just one, to encapsulate my hopes and dreams and goals for the coming year. It seems a bit ambitious. And to be honest, I’ve tried this thing before. Some years I kept momentum and some years, well, let’s just say I didn’t.

Last year, I never felt the Lord whispering a specific word to my heart. I wanted to … I mean, after all, it’s what all the cool kids do. And, if there’s anything I love, it’s being a part of what others are doing.

In 2014, the Lord led me into my second year of not attending blogging conferences, not going on all the fun trips. It was not what I had expected. And it wasn’t easy. Two years of not going means being left behind in the online, bloggery world. And, if I’m honest, it stung. It’s hard to realize life goes on without you and relationships grow and you are not a part.

I want to belong. I want to be there, experiencing All. The. Stuff.  Making the memories and building community are important to me.

And God said, “Not now.” And I said, “But why?” And He said, “Trust me.”

And because He is God and I am certainly not, I did. It wasn’t always a willing faith and there were moments when my prayers sounded more like a three-year-old stamping her foot. But He is a gentle Guide and patient Father.

Last year was hard. I felt left out, behind, even forgotten. And it wasn’t just about things happening online. It was in relationships with family as well. I learned a lot about rejection last year … and about the selfish desires of my heart. It wasn’t fun.

Oh there were amazing experiences in 2014 — the opportunity to speak at She Speaks was a dream come true. I also had the privilege of sharing at six other events in our area. I made some incredible new friends who came alongside me during the hard times and reminded me what I’m feeling isn’t always what is true.

In December I put out the decorations in our home for the holidays. We toned it down from previous years and I liked the simplicity of it all. I spent many hours reading the Gospel of Luke and wrestling with the reality God was showing me.

And then, as Christmas 2014 became history, I was taking down the decorations and my one word became clear:


my one word for 2015: JOY

Somehow all the heartache and rejection and fear and health issues and insecurities had gained a bigger place in my heart than a simple three-letter word. In 2014 I lost my joy. I can’t tell you exactly how it happened or give a precise date on when. I think it was a gradual sliding away.

It happens. And I wanted to beat myself up and heap on the guilt because I’m 43 and a Bible teacher and I ought to know better.

But see, there’s just too much grace. In John’s gospel he writes of “grace upon grace” {John 1:16}. There’s too much grace for me to wallow in guilt and despair and unforgiveness {toward others or myself}.

This year, the situations haven’t changed all that much. Life is basically the same. But I’m not. I’m choosing joy in 2015. That’s the thing, isn’t it? We have to make a choice — life with joy or without it. It’s about us and our perspective.

I’ll be writing about my joy journey this year — lessons I’m learning {or relearning}, Scriptures I’m studying, prayers I’m praying, and books I’m reading. I hope you will be encouraged to embrace joy in 2015 with me!


Teri Lynne

Do you have a “one word” for 2015? Please share yours in the comments.

image source:

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I understand those feelings of being left out, for sure! But you’re always a cool kid and you’ve got a lot of joy coming up this year–I know it! 🙂

  2. I loved this post. I fully understand what you explained. 2014 was a tough year for me, too. But I learned a lot of lessons. And this year my word for the year is : Different.
    I want to be different. I want to take all I learned in 2014 and allow God to use that to make my 2015 different. I want to take what makes up my different (what makes me, me) and make a difference. So, that is my word for this year. And it’s resonating in ways I never imagined already.

  3. My one word: completer…just need that sense of accomplishment.

    I, too, can empathize with your year…or two. One lesson the Lord has taught me? Sometimes, we have to be in a pit…to appreciate not being there. I often think I must be a slow learner, though!

    Blessings…and much joy to you!

  4. Trust is my word for 2015…trust in God’s plan, Trust in God’s timing. I have a deep need to control those things that impact our life and future. This year is about trusting God and realizing I don’t have to control everything.

  5. I had a similar experience in 2013. It was the year that my joy seemed to be replaced by fear and loss of hope. Sometimes the world seems bigger than us even when we have faith. 2014 was a much better year for me and my joy and hope were restored. Circumstances may make things hard but joy is always a choice. This year my word is Pursue. It took me a while to find a word that truly fit where I am at, but it spoke to my heart and my journey. Blessings to you this year. (I love your posts, I’ve been a quiet follower for a couple of years but I do enjoy reading them!)

  6. My word is Trust and God is already putting me to the test. A week of bad roads on in the semi and a frozen sewer line when we got home and a number of other issues. But God proves himself worth of my trust every day! I praise him for my husband and his ability to solve problems, for good neighbors, and for safe travel. My husband’s years of experience on the road make him very much the “good hands man”.
    So as I face other personal challenges this year, including eye surgery for glaucoma, I am putting my trust in God, my Abba.
    Who knows how he will take the “good, bad, and ugly” of life and work it for His glory and my good. Thank you for your encouragement all through the years!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge