My One Word: Embrace

Two years ago I made my “One Word” for the year “Fearless”. I had no idea at the time that the ramifications of that choice would stretch into every area of my life as God challenged me to lean into Him and let go of the hand of fear.

Fear had a firm grasp and after a year of “Fearless” it was still gripping my hand and pulling me along as I scraped to get away. I tried to choose another word. I wanted “Love” or “Joy” or another sunny sounding word to be my mantra for the year. Instead I found myself scrawling a new notecard with “Fearless” and pinning it over my desk.


I felt like a failure. I felt like there must be something I missed that was keeping me bound by fear.

The truth was that I had missed something. I had missed Jesus.

A year later and I’ve seen God take my second year of fear fighting and reveal to me His heart. You see, you can’t be brave enough. We are flung across the globe and our work is hard and lonely and often dangerous and we stuff our feelings and cry into our pillows, and often fail to lean into Jesus. We fail to live into Jesus with all of our fears and failures and we try to go it alone.

Fear isn’t something we can conquer. You can’t just “be” brave enough. All that striving to be the perfect wife, the model mama, the superhero servant is just that; striving. It can nearly kill you or at the very least leave you burned out and broken.

Fearlessness is an understanding.

It is an understanding that our God is big enough, Jesus blood rich enough and worthy enough to wipe out all death forever. Forever. He conquered so that we could be more than conquerors. Did you catch that? We are more than conquerors. We don’t even have to try to be brave enough because in Him we just are.

Here I stand on the brink of this third year. I’m not looking for fearless anymore. I’m done trying to conjure bravery. I know that in Jesus I am. It is an inheritance that I have as a daughter of the King. Now my job is to just walk with grace under that knowledge.

Confident. Unflinching. Whole.

This year my one word is “Embrace”

If you know that you have nothing to fear then you can embrace anything that comes at you. 

That new ministry opportunity?

That new team member?

The conflict you are having with your husband?

The way your heart keeps wishing you were anywhere but right where you are?

Stop. Remember who Jesus you made by His blood and completed work. Rejoice. Embrace.

I plan to do so all year long and hopefully well beyond.


What are you seeking or struggling to embrace in the New Year?  And get ready to come share your own One Word with us tomorrow at The Grove!  


  1. Danielle Wheeler January 2, 2014

    Oh, girl.  You’ll have to see my post tomorrow.  But I’ll just say the fact that we share these words just further confirms we were meant to know each other. Grateful for you…

  2. Morielle January 2, 2014

    This is so wonderful, Jessica. I love the multiple layers of meaning in that one word for you. I think also that embrace is not only what we are able to do when we live fearlessly, but it is also the thing that strengthens us so that we can become more fearless. In my life, I’ve been so strengthened by the embrace of the Holy Spirit in little moments when I needed it, and by the embraces of Jesus’ body, the church. I love your sentence, “We fail to live into Jesus with all of our fears and failures and we try to go it alone.” That sentence is painfully true to me.

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