Words Woven Into the Fabric of Our Lives

Words are like threads that tie the pieces of our lives together—they either build up or unravel in a tangled mess. When I think back on my one word for 2014, I can see it woven intricately through every moment. I wasn’t aware of it most of the time, but I can see its beautiful, bright strands peeking through the darkness and heaviness of my year.

As I sat down at the end of December last year to figure out my one word, I settled on “entrust.” I knew there were many things that God wanted me to surrender and hand over to Him, knowing that He would fully take care of all of my worries and needs. I’m thankful that we can’t see too far ahead of us; if I had known what the year would entail, I may have run away, screaming that it was too much.

Just a few short weeks after I wrote about entrusting everything to God, I had a mental breakdown. Years of trying to get by and push through caught up with me and I couldn’t take it anymore. Face to face with my frailty, my husband and I had to make the hardest of decisions—to return to the States and end our service overseas. I knew I could entrust my future to God, but could I really entrust my husband’s future? My husband who never pictured himself back in America now had to make a huge sacrifice for his wife and family. That decision lay so heavily on me.

In the coming months, as he had to transfer his leadership responsibilities over and as we wrapped up decades’ long friendships, we had to believe that God would see us through, and that He would see our team and our friends through. As the finality of our decision unfolded, we suffered with a great loss of identity and purpose.

A few weeks before leaving, doctors discovered tumors on my thyroid that they thought were cancerous. After getting my thyroid completely removed, we found that the tumors were benign (thankfully!). One week after this major surgery, we departed for the States with our three little kids—no house and no job and no idea what God wanted us to do. We were emotionally and physically depleted.

As we near the end of this year, my husband has found a job and we are now living in our own house in Minnesota. This is a world away from what I thought we’d be doing! But God has been ever near and ever present. I don’t say that tritely. We have walked through some hot fires, often screaming at how painful it was. We believe, though, that stuff had to be burned away so that we could grow.

Thinking ahead to this year, I have been pondering what word I want to see woven into the days ahead. What do I want to look back and see? I want to focus this year on the word “strengthen.” I want to bolster and enhance my relationship with my husband and my kids. I want God to restore my spirit so that I can thrive. My muscles seem so weak and it will take time to strengthen them. The rhythm of my days has to allow for the space to do this strengthening. I pray that at the end of next year, I will see myself stronger.

What word would you like to see woven through your days in this coming year? I would love to hear about your 2014. I can’t wait to hear at The Grove on Friday what your One Word for 2015 is.

Photo Credit: ginnerobot via Compfight cc


  1. Rhonda December 28, 2014

    Thanks for sharing Danielle! A great word for the journey the Father gave you for this past year. I had wondered what kind of journey the Father was going to take me on when he gave me the word “grace”. Little did I realize that this is what I would be asking for almost everyday for myself and towards others. This year has been filled with tension, stress and a heavier workload. Grace was what got me through it and grace was something that I learned to give more freely.

    Not exactly sure what word He has in store for me this year but the one word that keeps popping up so far is” trust”. If it is, I am in for one heck of a ride this up coming year. Hopefully by Firday I will truly know which word the Father will give me.


  2. Elizabeth December 29, 2014

    I never cease to be impressed at how God uses our One Words. We think those words will mean one thing (and they probably mean that, too) but God also takes us on twists and turns throughout the year. Somehow, though, when we look back, we can clearly see the thread.

    I so totally get what you’re saying about being able to trust God with yourself, but not with your husband. Why is it so much harder to trust Him with our family members?? I don’t know why, but it is. For me it’s more my kids and my parents than my husband, but the same idea. I believe I’ll be ok regarding XYZ, but can you really make it ok for them, God?? It’s hard to believe it will be.

    I’m so happy to hear you are settling in, and hope the thyroid dosages have evened out as well. I am always amazed (though not in a good way) how much my small dips and spikes in female hormones affect my attitudes, thought processes, and emotions. I can’t even imagine trying to regulate something more complicated. Kudos to you for surviving the year!

    My One Word for 2014 was Pray — specifically, I was thinking pray for Phnom Penh. It was that, yes, but it also became so much more than that, in beginning to pray more globally, and a lot of learning about prayer in my devotional life, a whole lot of practicing it more. So I got to the end of the year and realized there was a shift, but it was the same theme throughout. Which was so interesting to me. Other years’ words have been similar, like I opened up myself to God, and He took me unexpected places. I am sure it is like that with everyone. . . just another one of those things we can marvel at!

    I also find it interesting that, so far, my words have started in one year, but it’s not like they stopped at the end of that year. The words — the threads — became incorporated into my life long term. It is SO much better than New Year’s Resolutions, which I will never go back to 😉

    1. Amy Young December 30, 2014

      The same for me Elizabeth! I find these words I pick for a year have ended up becoming a part of my story … and I’ll never go back 🙂

  3. T December 30, 2014

    Wow, what a year, Danielle!  Does anyone else feel scared to ask for a one word?  eeek!  I think I’d maybe rather go thru the year blindly, rather than be freaked out about what might be coming!  😉

  4. Secondstories January 1, 2015

    Thank you for your frankness about the challenges of pursuing all He dreams for us– often in challenging and unexpected ways!  Hope this year is filled with good things for you.  Just found this site for the first time– here’s my “one word” story from 2014: http://thesecondstories.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/one-word/

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