Fall is upon us! With September comes the changing of seasons. For me, I am now fully in the season known as my sophomore year of college, and it has certainly been a transition! I am sure many of you are entering new seasons of your own. I’d like to share with you something that may make all of our transitions a bit easier.
This past summer I decided on two focus words. One word I would be giving up, the other I would be incorporating into my life. I knew that choosing these words didn’t mean an immediate change in my life. I knew I would fail at times, but this was something I chose to go through with God.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2
Changing our character is not something we can do by our own power. God wants this to be about how He can change us into better versions of ourselves. Choosing focus words for a season is simply a way to channel our thoughts and focus our actions toward something specific.
My Words For Last Season
This past summer I knew that God had to do some serious work on my heart if I was going to do my job as a Bible Camp counselor. I was feeling completely drained from my last semester of college and I found it hard to invest in my relationship with God. I didn’t feel like I was in a place to do God’s work. My focus words were a way that I could reconnect with God.
In a college setting, you are bound to run into people that you don’t understand. No matter what you are studying, I guarantee that you will be running into people that you don’t get along with. However, I thought that the resentment I was so ready to give out to others would suddenly go away once I got to camp. The camp community is the best community I’ve been a part of, so surely I wouldn’t resent any of my coworkers, right? Wrong.
If resentment is a problem for you, you must first realize that it is your problem and not anybody else’s. This resentment I was harboring was poisoning the relationships I was building with my coworkers. I grew continually concerned about how I was feeling towards. The reason I found it easy to resent my coworkers was because I was used to resenting others. I had allowed resentment to be a part of how I understood people, and that didn’t change just because I wasn’t at college anymore.
So resentment was the word I chose to give up to God this summer. Every time I felt annoyed with someone, I would pray for God to take this resentment away from me. Before long, I found that the familiar feeling of resentment was gone! I can vividly see how God answered my prayers and changed my heart.
Going into this season of my life, I remember believing that I was not someone that God spoke to very much. This was false thinking on my part. I now firmly believe that God speaks to everyone, we just have to learn to listen to him. This summer I wanted to learn how to listen to God.
So I prayed to become closer with the Holy Spirit, and wouldn’t you know it, it worked! I recently read that we should pray as though God has already answered our prayers. This is especially true when it comes to knowing God more. That is all He wants for us: to be continually pursuing Him! While I experienced a lot of growth in my relationship with God this summer, it doesn’t mean I won’t stop praying for the Holy Spirit in this new season. I am much more aware of how God talks to me now, and I can’t wait to see where we will go together!
My Words For This Season
Now I am in a very different season of life. Every new season deserves a new focus. For me, it seemed obvious that these are the words I am meant to focus on this season. I know it won’t be easy, and I will definitely fail at times, but with God’s help, I know anything is possible!
I think this is a more prolific word for embarrassment, or in Delaney-terms, awkwardness. I don’t want to be embarrassed about living out my faith. The challenge is that I don’t really know what that looks like. What does it look like to truly live a life without shame? I am excited to see what God does this season as I surrender this word to Him.
I am so excited that this is the word I will be taking on this school year! I have already witnessed a whirlwind of emotion and stress with me and my classmates, but I have chosen to focus on He who give us peace instead! When I feel the weight of this world (or at least the weight of my classwork) I cling to this verse-
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27
I am so excited to see what God will do in this season of my life! Is this something that you have ever done? If so, I want to hear about what it was like for you to choose focus words for a season of your life! What words have you chosen for this season?