Purposeful Faith

Is Your 1-Word Resolution Holding You Back? (Linkup)

Resolution holding you back

When I found myself getting irritated at the wide pronouncements of one-word resolutions, I started to wonder, “What’s my issue?”

How can someone not like words like:

Why am I so frustrated as others passionately pursue the Lord?

Sure, I picked a word – it’s “patience.” It was wisely given to my by a friend.

Patience in writing.
Patience with my husband.
Patience with my kids.
Patience in growth.
Patience in relationships.

Yes, I see the value.

But, what I can’t handle seeing – at the end of my year – is failure. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see the shame, regret, fear and embarrassment tied into that. Why should I set myself up for this?

So I find, it’s simpler to get annoyed and to avoid.
It’s easier to hate than to embrace.
It’s safer to go protected than to become dejected.

So, I push goals, dreams and hopes out of the way to protect a heart that could break along the way.

Truth is, I know I will fail in many ways.

I won’t be patient. I will get irritated. I will blow up at my kids and probably my husband. I will drop the ball. I will mess up. I just know it – and I hate that.

I hate that I can’t reach out to all I want to be – and grab hold of it.

And, underneath it all, I guess this is what really aggravates me about 1-word resolutions.  We will all fail in our own way.  We will all do the exact opposite of what our 1-word is.

Good luck on that 1-word friends!

For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)

And, he is not content with stagnant hearts that hide from his life-giving, love-producing, purpose-provoking truth.

So he says to me, “Kelly, running from failure is running from me.”

And, who can argue with that?

Failure is the beginning of something new.

Failure is the meeting point of love.
Failure is the hidden treasure – we let go of self and grab hold of Christ.
Failure is the heart of growth.
And the starting point of hope.

Jesus doesn’t stand as a judge of 1-word resolutions.
He doesn’t demand a 1-year illusion – here today and gone tomorrow.
He is not a master of confusion.
Ready to throw us into seclusion.

This is not our Lord. He never withholds love –
and he doesn’t shame us based on failures.

In this, I realize our resolutions don’t stand as a barrier to his love –
but as a conduit for it. 

I realize if I stop aiming to please him, I can start aiming to just behold him.
Because a student best receives, when she isn’t trying to do things her own way.

failed resolutions

Deeply, so deeply, I want to remember:

  • We are safe in his sacrifice. Held tightly, cupped in his loving hands.
  • Secure. So secure in our position as children of the most high King.
  • In the safety of his love – and the finality of his sacrifice – we can embrace grace and all the gifts extended through it.

A grace that doesn’t stop at our failings.
A love that is never given to be taken away.
An eternal position that can never be snatched.
A God that doesn’t give to steal away.

What kind of God would that be?

Truly, all wrath is gone.
All that remains is love.

Because of Jesus, I am safe – safe to move forward in perfect love. Love that casts out all my fear. Love that conquers all.  Love that makes me an overcomer. Love that let’s the Spirit of God pour out from me. I can’t even comprehend the start and end of this grace.

So, the Lord just says to me…

Patience, Kelly. Patience.
You are my work in progress.
It is not you that is at work – but it is me.
At the proper time, you will be exalted.
Do you trust me?
In my good time (which may well be more than a year), you will be patient.
You are my work, my craftsmanship, my love.”

And, in these truths, I can rest. I can rest because there is no condemnation left for me. It’s gone. It is gone for me and it is gone for you.

So for now, it just becomes a journey to his destination. In his timing. In his way. Until the day until he flings open the gate to welcome in his new creation – that he made me to be.

Until then, I will rely on him during the process of being patient.

And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 JB)

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts via email. Click Here.
***Blogger friends, join the Facebook Prayer Group (I am so excited about it!).

 Loading InLinkz ...


About author View all posts Author website


Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

Read more about Kelly

51 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Fear of failure can hold us back from growing, from taking risks, can’t it? Making goals toward growth, or choosing one area to grow in, make us more aware than ever of our failure, doesn’t it? Thanks for your words of encouragement today, friend.

  • Kelly I used to shrug the one-word because to be it was just a fancy way of saying without for those who claim they don’t make resolutions. But last year this one word kept haunting me and wouldn’t let me go. And sure enough God had it manifest in my life in ways I hadn’t imagined. I did nothing to pursue living out the word. Christ revealed himself in new ways to me through that word. And again this year he has whispered a word to my heart, a word I’d rather run from but I stand waiting to see how it will present itself because my flesh will surely want to do the opposite. Praying that you rest in knowing the good work he began in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ.

  • Your post parallels mine today. I also needed to reflect on my one word which God chose for me-shine. I decided to go in full force and make it happen because I am impatient for results. Well, 20 days into January God has reigned me back in. Your words “it is not you that is at work, it is me” were the another confirmation for me that God is in charge and that is okay. Thanks for the link up! Blessings!

    • Mary, thank you so much for your comment and your words. It is interesting how we both were thinking along the same lines. Thank you Jesus that it is you at work and not us. I can’t wait to read your words, Mary.

  • Enjoyed reading this post. I have very much been blessed in focusing on the one word I felt God compelling me to focus on the last few years. Each word seemed to build on the one from the year before bringing new growth in my life. I may not have grown as fully as I would have desired but I made progress 🙂 and in that, I consider my focus to have brought some measure of success rather than failure. It truly is a process this journey with Him & I am so grateful He is more patient with us, than we are with ourselves. Glad to be here again this week!

  • “Intentional” is my one word for this year, but in choosing it I realize that I can’t be intentional using my own strength and wisdom. I know I must rely on God to guide and uphold me. And when I fail, which I know will happen sometimes, I don’t have to beat myself and feel guilty. I can learn from failures because I am safely held in the arms of Jesus. He is at work in me, for which I am so thankful. Thank you, Kelly, for this encouraging post. I really love this: “So for now, it’s just becomes a journey to his destination. In his timing. In his way. Until the day until he flings open the gate to welcome in his new creation – that he made me to be.”

  • I have chosen 1-word in years past. I was always challenged during the year. I chose a word this year (JOY), and immediately I was heavy, sad, and dragging. I felt God speaking to my heart to push through and strive to be better.
    I most likely will not MASTER joy, but I will strive daily to find Joy in Jesus. To find rest in Him in the busyness of motherhood.
    You bring up a good point of feeling like I have failed at the end of the year. Honestly, I feel like I fail daily! But God lets us have a new start every morning. I LOVE your reminder that Jesus gives “a love that doesn’t stop at our failings.” Oh, it is so beautifully true!
    It is a choice to grow. Being stagnant is easy – do nothing. But my word helps me to choose wisely.
    Thanks for your beautiful words today!

  • Kelly, be patient with yourself!

    My word was disciple, and it was definitely a word given to me by the Holy Spirit, because I wanted something fun, something that I already know how to do. Disciple? That scares me. But I’ve learned to just let it go, back into the hands of the God who gave it to me. For at the appointed time, He will show me. Meanwhile, I can learn. I’ve spoken to a woman I know who has discipled many in hopes that she can at least help me learn what to do and how to do it! The “who to disciple?” will come.

    We are so hard on ourselves, especially us cheerleaders! It’s so easy to encourage others, but there are times when we need encouragement. But when we put it out there that we’re encouragers, well, then it’s not so easy to let our guard down, and let people see that we aren’t always happy and cheerful and together…together? Ha! We’re never together are we?! Be good to yourself today, Kelly!

    • Thank you for the encouragement to be patient. I do need to do this. Your words are wise Mary and very well received. You are right about letting our guard down. We feel we are required to stand tall. I love what you wrote her. Thank you so much for this.

  • Hello Kelly — Such a great post, my friend. Your words are thoughtful and though provoking. After years of picking a word — even before I blogged or was aware of the One Word movement — at the end of last December I was thinking all this One Word hubbub is just too cliche and I don’t want to join in again. But then I thought to ask God. And He whispered the word FREEDOM and my spirit knew it was from Him. But instead of pursuing my One Word this year I have decided to RECEIVE it and let God be God in me and my husband and our marriage and all things concerning us. In the past I have so often TRIED to make things work. Exhausting! And often failing. BUT GOD and in God all our “failures” are grand lessons…in learning what we need to learn ESPECIALLY learning to LOVE God and others better…making those “failures” absolutely NEW BEGINNINGS as God is constantly beginning in us again and again as He softly calls us to come so that we may become more like Him. And always such grace in the process! Sending you blessings and hugs! XXOO

    • Sheila, I just love the idea of new beginnings. It is beautiful. A constant beginning…over and over and over. Gradually we are renewed and released by him. Love that. Thank you!

  • Kelly,
    Yes, fear of failure..I get it…So proud of you for digging deeper to find out what was underneath your reaction and then reminding yourself of how God sees you…yes, His grace makes all the difference 🙂

  • This is so heartfelt and hope-filled, Kelly. “Failure is the hidden treasure – we let go of self and grab hold of Christ.” Love the way you look at what failure can be. Thank you for this hope today.

  • Kelly, I am glad you are here today and every day that I am able to come by. Patience is either really easy or really hard for a person. I commend you for finding a word! I’ve never picked “a word” and rarely make resolutions–maybe I just want it all… But you were able to be patient enough to wait for God to put it on your heart, and faithful enough to obey. He often doesn’t ask us to do the easy things, does He? Cheering you on.

  • So glad that God loves us, despite our failures. And so thankful that He will complete the work that He has started in us, because He never fails.

  • I decided on a one-word resolution (of sorts). I don’t look at as a resolution but as a push. My word is rest. And when I feel the wrestling in my soul begin, it is the word “rest” that reminds me of where I am heading. Rest in who He is. Rest in who He says I am. It’s a reminder and a push for me. Don’t think I’ll acheive it as such, but I want to press into it. Maybe I should call it my one-word reminder for 2015. 😉

  • […] Yes! You do not even know how much I love this CS Lewis quote! “Do not shine so that others may see you. Shine so that through you others may see Him.” I am often battling myself because I don’t want to steal glory and this puts it so well. So encouraged by this. Shine Jesus. Thank you for your words. Cheering you! Kelly Balarie recently posted…Is Your 1-Word Resolution Holding You Back? […]

  • What was I thinking…I had the nerve to choose 2 words: balance & focus! 🙂

    On a serious note…I believe God wants to perfect both in my life…all for His glory. I will strive to be patient (using your word) through the process. Also, I am rallying support…asking others to pray for me along the way. Thank you for sharing this Kelly!

  • Yeah, my word can be a copout 🙂 – BUT (see how we turn positive) – it reminds me to look up for Him when I think of it. Maybe all these ideas of one words and life verses just nudge us a little closer to keeping him on the front of our minds. Blessings to you (and the practice of a word most women cringe at – patience) 😉 He can work it in you and through you!

Leave a Reply

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