Discovering My "RE" word

Midnight of New Years Eve, the ball dropping, confetti covered in wishes and aspirations filling the air and falling lightly to the ground- a renewal of ambition and a resetting of the year’s clock. This time brings forth emotional responses for me of grief for the year passed, opportunities missed and sometimes of loved ones lost, great changes to my life that are sometimes of my own doing and other times not.
However it also brings a sense of accomplishment for the great things I achieved, lessons I have learned, love I have shared, and obstacles I’ve overcome. Most importantly though, it’s a reminder that every year is a clean slate to stretch and grow in my life and to reach deeper into my relationship with God; the excitement of embracing the Lord Almighty in all of my peaks and snuggling close to Him in the depth of every valley.
 I guess that’s the main motivation of my word for the year; finding the word that will create my link of focus to God in the grand landscape of the New Year. This word is what I lean on in both times of glory and of distress- it’s the focal point of where I want to grow inwardly and outwardly, too. As tradition stands, finding my word is difficult, I just have learned to accept this.

After all, how can we pick just one part of ourselves to focus on when we are innate kaleidoscopes of feeling and shortcomings? How can we take the abundance of God’s word, all of the parables, lessons, and wisdom it holds, and summarize its meaning in one measly word? Is that even a possible feat, or are we merely setting ourselves up for failure as we do with unreasonable resolutions we seem to believe are mandatory to “cleanse ourselves” of bad habits that we’ve formed?
But maybe the process of finding a word is less about the inner noise of self-doubt and more about the process of stillness and listening.
“If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”  - Proverbs 2:1-5
As of yet, I don’t know my word for 2023. While it can be frustrating to wait for it, I also understand that I may not be ready to receive my “special” assignment just yet. I know that when the time is right, I will understand the focus of my year and I will be ready to readjust my mind to the new lessons God has in store. In the meantime, maybe the lesson is learning how to wait. Because what is our favorite, but often forgotten piece of God Wisdom? It’s not really our time at all that we operate on, it’s His.
- Guest Writer Amber Cortes
My dear friend, Amber Cortes, is teaching me how to write a blog post. In this case, one about choosing a RE:23 Word of the Year. Amber and I have shared our Word experiences over several years… so she knows me and the process of choosing a Word pretty well. She is a gifted writer, communicator, web designer, content creator, and teacher and has written a beautiful example of art in written form. No matter your talent as an artist, hopefully, you will be inspired… inspired to find your Word AND inspired to share your creative talents in whatever form you have been gifted, as well.
- Debbie Johnson (Director of Transformative Arts @ Valley Chapel)
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Ryan Rovito

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