• Sarah

Word For The Year

Updated: Mar 10


Five years ago, I began asking God to give me a word for the year. I suppose it was right around the time that choosing a word for the New Year became trendy. But as a writer-editor, words are kind of my thing, so I liked the idea. I believe that words are powerful—that they speak life and death—and it has been interesting each year to see how the word God gives me in January is fulfilled throughout the year, often in ways I never foresaw. In that sense, my word has become prophetic. Maybe it’s because instead of making a self-focused resolution in my own strength, I set a God-focused hope rooted in His.

My word for 2019 is “Renew.” It comes from the verse Isaiah 43:19.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

2018 was a wilderness year for me. Though the turning of a new year doesn’t just magically erase the heartache and pain of the past, it does symbolically delineate between past and future. This idea of re-new-ing is about restoration—bringing brokenness back to whole, raising to life what was dead, turning pain into healing. And I need that.

In these first few weeks of the new year, I’ve already started to feel a fresh hope, and it makes me excited to see what new things God is going to do this year, both personally and professionally. I made a new editing connection this week, and the spring is shaping up quickly. I have new publication credits coming this year, and I’m tackling new challenges in my own writing. Renew means change and growth, and I know I’m not the only one who benefits from this. So, it’s your turn.

  1. Do you have a word for the year? Reflect on what you want to “speak into existence” this year or what theme can inform your future.

  2. What new thing do you want for your writing life? Don’t just set a goal for your writing—dream big. Choose one specific, tangible target and one general, ambitious aspiration.

  3. In what areas do you need some fresh inspiration? Consider what baggage you might be bringing into the new year which is hindering your creative process. If past failures, rejections, or worries are keeping you from moving forward, now is the time to address them.

Happy writing in 2019!


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© 2020 by Sarah Barnum / TrailBlaze Writing & Editing

Auburn, CA

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