I love this time of the year. I love celebrating with others over the blessings they’ve received, the trials they’ve endured, the laughter experienced, the places they’ve traveled and the mere fact that they’re still standing after 365 days! Oh I bless God, because whatever attempted to eradicate your purpose did not succeed! One consistency that I also see on social media timelines is the sharing of a word that will serve as a guidepost for the upcoming year. This is a bit different from a resolution because as we know resolutions are challenging to maintain, but a word has the potential to manifest no matter what. It serves as a focal point despite what is happening. When I worked at the Women’s Center at Duke, during our first staff meeting after the new year, we would each share our word for the year by which we would engage, live by, remember and purpose. This is the first time in five years that I won’t experience that ritual since transitioning to another institution, but I can’t help but adhere to the practice. As we get closer to the clock striking 12 and venturing into 2019, I began to get more concerned because I’d not determined a word by which to intention for the new year. I’ve read words determined by friends and I’ve even been apprehensive to respond to the question on friend’s timeline, because I don’t yet have a word. You may be thinking why am I exhibiting such great energy over this dilemma, but words are incredibly important to my existence. I adore them and the utility fuels my life. To not have a word that I believe will provide direction and clarity has me a bit baffled. I took this concern to God as I realized it was bigger than just giving a response to people who inquired, either directly or indirectly. In essence, I understand the power of speech, as affirmed in Proverbs 18:21: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” So, if nothing, I want to choose wisely.
Before I drove myself in a tizzy, like only I can, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said no matter what you choose your word to be, no matter what you come up against, no matter what trials present or avail themselves, you will overcome through Jesus and thus He is the word for everything you encounter and for your journey through 2019 – He is the panacea! As my Sister in Christ and Soror Verna would say, “My feet got light!” To ensure that you dance with me, allow me to expound. Panacea according to Merriam Webster is a remedy for all ills and difficulties, essentially a cure-all. Further the word panacea comes from the Greek word meaning, “all healing.” Look at God! Therefore, whatever ails us, whatever buffers us, whomever speaks against us, whomever torments us, whatsoever sickness presents itself, wherever trouble exists – Jesus is the panacea – He is the answer for all that concerns us. And because Jesus is the panacea, we can rest deep down in Him as described in John 15:7-8: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” To be sure, as we each move forward in our fruit bearing efforts in the new year, we know we will be met with opposition. Nevertheless, that is not our lane. The words that God desires for us are faithful, hopeful, prayerful, purposeful, obedient, trusting and abundance regardless of what attempts to establish itself in our way. Come what may! Let whatever our word selected to be for 2019, keep it connected to the panacea. Happy New Year!