One Word


January 8, 2013 by A Girl Like Me

If there is one thing I can say to be true of myself it’s that I’m snob when it comes to being in control. I like to get things done, and there is a very particular way I like to see it happen. I like to have a plan, a schedule, a list and  an organized binder with all of the above. I thrive on taking chaos and making it orderly. I have even joked that being in control is one of my spiritual gifts. So when faced with the idea of relinquishing control, I fight tooth and nail to not see it happen.

This iron clad grip I have to being in control is something I have had for my whole life. In a lot of ways, it had become such a strong part of who I was, it started to destroy my life and relationship with God. So, on a whim with a bunch of crazy band dudes one night many years ago, I got a tattoo. Forever etched on my wrist in black and white is the Hebrew word for surrender. I got it to remind myself that my life is not my own and that I must daily open up my hands from the tight grip of control I have and surrender it back to the true Giver of Life.


Time passes, and like a lot of things, you forget. For a while, seeing my tatto every time I did my hair or washed my hands led me to a prayer for surrender and a giving of myself. But eventually it became commonplace and I quickly fell right back into my old habits of control.

Now I’m not one to do New Years resolutions. I actually hate them. I find them to be a set up for failure and despair. So when people talk about them, I tend to stick up my nose and look the other way. There is, however, this new movement I have been seeing pop up all over twitter. It’s called One Word 365. The idea is to take one word, any word, and make that your focus for the year. One word to sum up who you want to be or how you want to live. I was a little hesitant at first about the whole thing til I saw a blog post by a girl named Alison, one of our lovely friends and AGLM readers. Her description of her one word and what she was going to do with it this year sent a spark of inspiration through me. And just as quickly as the idea for my tattoo came to me that warm spring night six years ago, my one word flashed in my brain in a millisecond.


This year, I really want to know what it means to surrender myself to the Lord. And not just the obligatory “Thy will be done” kind of stuff, I mean the every day, simple, ordinary things. I want to live in the hope of Proverbs 23:26 that says “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.” so that in my act of surrender, I may see and know him more. Even if it hurts, I want to surrender. Even if it means a year wrought with more pain than joy, so be it. So this year, I want to seek to surrender:

-My time: Allowing God to use it to it’s fullest and for His glory

-My speech: To be kind and gracious and uplifting

-My home: To be a place of refuge and respite

-My money: To give it away and not on myself

-My family: To go and be and do whatever Christ demands of them

-My insecurity: Seeing myself through His validating eyes

And so on and so on and so on….

So here is my challenge to you my lovelies….what is your ONE word? What is your word that you need to offer up to Christ and make your anthem for this year? There is nothing to resolve. Nothing of our own doing to make ourselves better. Our one word is about HIM changing US to make US more like HIM. And I am calling you out to take up this challenge, name your one word, and for the next year, ask God to take that word and do with it what he will.

Let’s make this year not about bettering ourselves, or for me, holding on to everything so that it fits into our plans. Let’s make this year really about allowing Jesus to make us into who he longs for us to be. Really giving the Father our hearts and letting our eyes be open to all of his wonderful ways.

Are you in? If so, what’s your one word?

** Read about the One Word 365 challenge at **

**Read Alison’s amazing post on her one word right here **

68 thoughts on “One Word

  1. Georgie says:

    My one word is: LOVE!!!! I want to love EVERYONE and EVERYONE and not hate anyone or be jealous or feel lower than anyone anymore… :D

  2. Lisa says:

    I love it..I have been doing this the last 3 years (but with My past words have been courage and committed..this year I picked HUMILITY. (def have my work cut out for me!) I want to be more like Jesus in how He was the picture of humility. Hope many readers do will be AMAZED at how much your word comes up in the following yeawr!!

  3. confidentinchrist says:

    Thanks so much for this post! And for what you are doing to help and encourage girls to grow closer in their relationship with Jesus! This blog has been very encouraging for me and my life! Thank you!

  4. Kristen says:

    My word is: Trust – This year I’m going to trust that God will be faithful. He is Good! and His Love endures forever. Thank you for writing this blog!

  5. Linda says:

    Such a great inspiration to start the new year. I am struggling with control and things not going my way, so I will join you to do “surrender”. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Michelle says:

    My one word is persevere! This year will bring many changes but with God’s help and guidance I know he’ll help me through. I, actually, took this a step further and choose a verse to go along with my word and to help me stay focused on Him. Mark 10:27 is my verse and I have it taped on my lap top as a frequent reminder.

  7. Emily says:

    My word is TRUST. I just have to tell you the timing of me reading this post is nothing but God’s timing, perfect. He very recently (like last week) revealed to me that I do not trust Him with the things in my life that I hold dear. I knew last week that this year He was going to refine my heart and shape me to really trust Him more than I’ve ever done before. But praise be to God that through this little post He has smashed the enemy’s lie that I’m alone in this.

  8. Sarah says:

    I think my word is “hope.” I’m 28, single, in a job I don’t like, trying to be content and struggle through. So often I reduce things down to a pragmatic step-by-step guide to survive and weather the storm. I thought of the words; wait, trust, abide… but hope to me is more expectant and positive. It’s semantics but I think I need a focus that’s more than just getting by this year. 2013, I’m going to HOPE in the Lord.

  9. Dancergirl says:

    I want to do this but I don’t know what word I should choose. I guess I should pray about it.

    • mermaidgirl45 says:

      Hey, I’m exactly where you are! When I pray for guidance with my word, I’ll remember and pray for you too. :) Best of luck, sister!

  10. Rebekah W. says:


    Last year it was the same. I hadn’t heard of One Word, but I hold the same disdain for New Year’s Resolutions. However, each new year I find myself looking into the new year and desprately wanting to be better, to love more. So last year I purposed to make it a habit to love more. To let Jesus love me more. I wish I could say that by Dec. 31 I was just overflowing with love, but that’s not true. I still want to love and be loved more. My one word is love. To recieve it, give, and to pour it out.

  11. My one word would definitely have to be HEART. I want to give my whole heart to Him, instead of just giving some and keeping the rest locked away. Jesus, You can have my whole heart. :)

  12. Carrie says:

    beautiful. rest and trust that I am beautiful in God’s eyes and be open to seeing that beauty in everyone and everything around me.

  13. Jayne says:

    REAL….what more is there to say.

  14. Nicolene Sterling says:

    My one Word would be GRACE. I need to accept God’s grace and be willing to give it others.

  15. Ruth says:


    Before I actually could decide if I was going to do this,
    this word popped up, so I am going to dedicate me life to
    the one and only God this year and the rest of my life..

  16. Emily :) says:

    My word is LOVE. I actually made this my focus of 2013 before I even heard of the One Word 365 concept, so this is perfect. I want my speech, actions, priorities, money decisions, and focus to reflect the love of Christ to others. Admittedly I can be very selfish sometimes, so this is something I need to do. And I love Michelle’s idea of choosing a vese and placing it in a visible location, so I chose 1 John 3:18:
    “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

  17. Love this! Such a beautifully challenging word: surrender

    Thank you for sharing One Word 365 with your community! We’d love for you (and everyone else participating) to link up your blog post with us:

  18. Holly says:

    My word is Remember! I always get caught up in life and never truly remember everything God has done for me.. So I’m going to try and always remember and thank Him every day:)

  19. Annika says:

    This is absolutely perfect. As soon as I read this, I knew that my word is going to be Surrender. I am so tightly holding to so many things in my life right now. I’m a planer and an organizer too… I always want to be in control. This year, I pray that I will let go of the people, the things, the places, the experiences I’m trying so hard to hold onto, and that I would relax into His plan for me. That I would let Him write my story instead of trying to do it myself. It is so hard, but I know that is going to be my goal for this year. I am going to Surrender.

  20. Christi says:

    I’ve struggled all day trying to find “the perfect word.” But the one word/phrase that keeps coming to my mind is “be still and LISTEN.” I have never been good at sitting and just listening for God’s voice and guidance–i tend to want to follow whatever i think is best, which does not usually pan out well. In 2013, I feel like God is telling me to be still and LISTEN, which is why my one word is “listen!”

  21. Rachel says:

    My word is passion. Not the kind of spiritual high that leaves after a few days but a passion for God that will endure.

  22. Joy Comes in the Morning says:

    I absolutely love this idea. My word is TIME – to keep my focus on spending my time properly, gift people in my life with my time, and most importantly spend time with God.

  23. Janette Peggins says:

    My word is also surrender. I hold on so tight to many things and I’m worried if I give it to God something might happen that I don’t want to happen. I’m so afraid to do it, but if I want a better relationship, I’ve gotta do what it takes even if it hurts. And God will be there even when I fall.

  24. Anna says:

    I think my word will be “recovery.” I’m finally in recovery for my eating disorder, and now that I’m in recovery, staying in recovery is even harder. Throughout this time, I’ve learned how my ED negatively affects my relationship with God, with my family, and with my friends. Besides the normal parts of ED recovery (that I expected), I know that I will have to work to restore and improve my relationships. Staying in recovery is essential for me to have an improved year.

    • Juliet Roberto says:

      i’m going through the exact same thing :) i know what it feels like. sometimes for me it’s like each day is harder, and i ‘m sure you know how that is. it affects (like you said) every part of my life. But it’s made me so strong, and i know it is (or will be) the same for you. Stay strong, have faith, and know that you’re never alone. xoxo.

  25. Seun says:

    OMG my one word for this year his love, have been hesitant to share this on my social network pages but its been my screen saver and dp on my phone since the first day of this year but am so encouraged to live this out and share it so much more!!! Yes to his love

  26. Beth says:

    My word is “trust.” I just finished school, moved away from everything I know, started a “real” job, and I’m getting married in a few months. It’s a whole lot of change and growing up all at once, and some days I don’t know if I can handle it, but I know God has brought me here for a reason. I just need to trust that he will make his plans and purpose known to me at the right time.

  27. Chau says:

    I’ve always struggled with liking my own people, and I am very judgmental towards their every single action, although it is only known within the boundaries of my mind. I want to get past this barrier and see them as God sees them: His beloved. My word for this year is love, not just with my mind and words, but also with my actions. I want to learn and show my love not only on special occasions, but remain constant with it for the rest of my life.

  28. Mackenzie says:

    I was thinking about this whole ‘one word’ thing, and I was thinking about the word ‘release’, since I tend to hold tight to things like self-image, the plans I want for my life, unforgiveness, etc. but honestly I think ‘surrender’ is a better one! Release would mean I was letting go of those things, which I’ve already been working on, but surrender would go a step further, saying ‘I’m trusting God, I want what He wants’. So I’m joining you guys, my one word is ‘surrender’.
    Thanks for laying that all out, and for sparking inspiration in me as well!!

    • Janette Peggins says:

      I’m the same way! I think about all those things way to much. Since it’s all I ever think about, I’ve pushed God out of my life. I pray that I’ll surrender everything to him. Although it will be hard. I’ll be praying for you too. God Bless!

  29. Beth says:

    My Word: TAKEN. Taken by God in his plan for me. Moved by him alone. Taken in the sense of being captivated by Him and Him alone and realizing that He is also captivated by me. Taken in the sense that I am his!

  30. Savannah says:

    Afew years ago i died this. I too slacked off. this year i am going back to the word i picked 3 years ago. “Able” i am able to do anything with the help from my Lord and Saviour. I am able to pass my courses with all A’s. i am able to stand strong in the word of God. I am able to stay on track with my everyday bible reading all with a little help from my friend up stairs. :) thanks for your posts!

  31. Cynthia says:

    My one word is TRUST – I trust in Him in every area of my life. I give everything to HIM and put my life and trust in Him. This is big as I have to let go of my desires and focus on the Lord but I pray that He will give me strength to walk this path ; )

  32. Jessica says:

    Grace. It affects everything. It is freeing, perfection-shattering, life-altering, relationship-focused. It’s so much bigger than what I know it is. It’s huge. I want to understand it better. I think it will blow me away.

  33. Brittany says:


    Focus on what’s important.

  34. Carolina says:

    I think my one word would be FAITH. Having the faith and Trust in God to believe that he will be FAITHFUL to do a work, his will in my life.

  35. Rachel says:

    My word is FORGET. I need to forget my past so I can move on into God’s promise.

  36. Juliet Roberto says:

    My one word is definitely love. My heart is completely on fire for Christ, but without love what does that mean? My mantra has become the song “Proof Of Your Love” by For King & Country.

    “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love,
    I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
    If I speak God’s Word with power,
    revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day,
    and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps,
    but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
    If I give everything I own to the poor
    and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr,
    but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.
    So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do,
    I’m bankrupt without love.”

    I need to show love in my life. I need to prove to the world Christ’s love through the way I live my life. My one word is love. My life will be love.

  37. Elicia says:

    My word is GIVE. I have been praying lately for a heart that is willing to give. Nothing that I “own” is actually mine anyway. Eph 4:28 says “…let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” God has been repeatedly putting that verse in my heart (or maybe He’s beating me over the head with it!). The finances and resources God blesses us with are not ours! They are not so we can have better cars or bigger homes. He blesses us with excess sometimes so that we can help others who are struggling. I pray that your 2013 will be a year of surrender. I love your blog!

  38. Move.

    At the moment, I am struggling with staying at the university I attend or transferring to a college where Christ is the head of the school’s body. Regarding that, “move” reminds me that sometimes God wants us to make the first move and not always sit around and wait for Him to tell us what to do. “Move” also reminds me to take action and to move when he tells me to, such as against injustices like slavery. At Passion 2013 I realized that we CAN end this. God wants His people to take action and MOVE. I’m really good at saying “Oh! Great idea God! Now let me finish reading tweets.” What? How does that make sense? God wants me to move! I will move.

    I didn’t know what I wanted to claim as my word at first, so if you are in that struggle, mull it over and pray about it. Really think about how God has been speaking to you and choose a word. It might take a few seconds, a few minutes, or maybe even a few days! Be patient, but, well, move. ;)

  39. confidentinchrist says:

    So yesterday I read this post, left a comment because I felt so encouraged by aglm throughout these last months. It was a struggle to pick a word, but alas humility is the word for me this year. Let’s grow closer to God no matter what! :-)

  40. Jaz says:

    I think I’ll choose the (hyphenated) word SELF-DISCOVERY. I have spent so much of my life worrying about other people and their problems that I have nearly forgotten to worry about myself and my faith in God. I think it’s time for a change.

  41. Joyce says:

    My word is believe. I am going to believe that God has a plan for me and believe “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength!”

  42. Laurie says:

    My word is Mercy……. That I will learn and experience His true unconditional mercy in my life but also extend mercy to people without judging. Neither is easy

  43. Natalie says:


  44. Vicky says:

    I just finished a year of “today”. I spent the year working on being present in each day rather than worrying about the future or focusing on the past. 2013 is the year of “delight”. I’ve gotten in a rut with focusing on “getting by” or “making it through” that I’m missing what it means to delight; delight in the Lord, delight in my relationships and job etc.

  45. Audrey says:

    This is inspiring!! I think maybe my one word is: OTHERS
    so that I remember to think of others besides myself.

  46. JP says:

    Hmmm, at first I didn’t know what word to choose, though thought it was something I should look into. I checked the web-sites provided for ideas, and one of the example words given was “discipline.” I knew it, THAT’S the word. I’m not a very disciplined person, and I feel that’s what my focus this year should be. Discipline it is. We’ll see how it goes!

  47. Gina says:

    Being a single mom and working full time often leads me to being on the go much of the time. Because of this, I feel like I expect instant results out of most everything. I will focus on patience for myself, patience for my son, patience on life, and patience while I wait to see what God has in store for my life.


    My word would have to be forgive. To forgive people from long time hurts, and small petty things. I have a bad trait to hold onto things and remember the smallest details about people. This year I want to easily forgive others, and in return maybe others will forgive me…

    Thanks so much for taking the time to blog about this! I had never heard of it, because I’m not on Twitter or Facebook!


    In Him,

  49. Weekster says:

    I will start with Surrender as well.

    There are so many things that I just do not give to God. Not that I think that I can handle it, but that I think He does not want to deal with it. Everyone has a lot going on in their lives and I think to fully experience Christ you have to give it ALL to Him. That is my goal. To completely surrender my life.

  50. Clare says:

    My One Word: Faith
    Faith in that He knows what he is doing. Faith in that he will give me the strength to further his kingdom. Faith in that he will never leave me.

  51. Reblogged this on katieislivingforjesus and commented:
    Honest. My word is Honest. In 2013, I vow to be more honest. To myself, to my friends, with God. I want to be more honest this year. No matter how much it hurts. I’m going to ask God for help to be honest, to tell the truth and to face up to whatever challenges I face, to not lie about them to myself, to my friends or to shy away from asking God for help.

  52. aluna13 says:

    ladies. seeing all these responses fills my heart with great joy. i am asking Jesus to help us see him in the midst of these words. would we see that he is more beautiful, more desireable, more worthy, more lovely than anything we could hope to achieve on our own.

    may God give us great strength this year.

  53. Julia says:

    to remind me that God’s love, grace, and forgiveness are unconditional, which means there’s nothing I can do to add to it, or to screw it up. And this unconditional everything needs to be reflected in my life with others.

  54. Susan says:

    Trust. Trusting in the Lord’s faithfulness. To trust in His plan for my life. Trust that He will take care of and provide for me.

  55. mermaidgirl45 says:

    What a wonderful idea! God’s timing is so perfect! My word for this year will be love. God recently convicted me that I tend to draw away from people and keep to myself. Love for me means constantly reaching OUT, outside myself, into other people’s lives to share the grace that I’ve been given. :) Thank you for sharing this challenge!

  56. Rebekah Z says:

    Trust, in provision, in God’s faithfulness, in love, in hope. Trust
    And not just God, but people too; which in many ways is even harder. at least for me.

  57. Stef says:

    my word for the year is definitely PERSEVERE. i always have a tendency to give up half way through because i don’t see things going anywhere. but with God’s help, i am going to learn tackle things and stick on to it till the end!! :)

  58. tina says:

    My word came to me as I was typing that I had no idea what it would be. Serve – to work for and obey (Websters dictionary). This year I will work to serve and obey God in all parts of life. Thank you AGLM for this inspiration.

  59. Hannah says:

    My one word is Trust. Trusting in God that he will always be there for me no matter what happens. This has been hard for me this past year, so I’m looking forward to starting off this new year trusting God with all my heart. Thanks AGLM for this idea:)

  60. Sarah says:

    My one word is Enough- That God is enough for every area of my life. That He is enough for every hurt I feel to every joyful moment. He is all I need and HE is Enough!

  61. Valerie says:

    TRUST ,- i think last year was such a difficult year for me and I kinda felt, the more I lost or felt “let down” by God, the more i held on tightly to my own strength which was totally not sufficient. By the end of the year I knew i was in trouble and I had absolutely nothing to do but trust God, and he came through in ways I can only call miraculous. They also came with a conviction of trust – as I was relating to a friend how I was feeling a bit miffed that i felt that God had taken me through so much (worrying) when it would all work out in the end, she said a very simple yet poignant phrase that I’ll never forget ” you worried on your own accord” God always has a plan, I just need to learn to trust him and always remember those book of Jeremiah verses

  62. Amy Ricker says:

    My One Word is without question, FAITH! This has been on my mind for a few weeks. I am struggling with thoughts of bad things happening (like to my children) right now. I believe God is guiding me through my doubts and greatest fears. I realize He is in control and “if” anything ever did happen He would never leave me. This is just an example of how I am putting my Word to use. I will constantly be seeking Gods help to put my Faith in Him and let go of my worries. Whatever happens in my life, GOD will see me through. Thank you Ladies. Amy

  63. Dani says:

    So many words to choose from. So many… I think my word is Commitment. I have a nasty habit of letting my commitments fall by the wayside. There are so many things I know God would love to bring me in on, if I would just remain committed.

  64. Ang says:

    My Word is Reflect! And if I’m honest, I haven’t been doing such a great job of it this week…

  65. Stephanie says:

    My word is TRUST. I want to be at peace with uncertainty, because God knows what is best for me and my family. Instead of taking charge, and trying to control everything, I want to trust in God. I want to believe with my whole heart that God has everything under control, and is on my side. I want to replace a fearful heart with one that joyfully and thankfully trusts Jesus, despite what’s going on around me.

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