I have been praying over what word God would speak over me for 2018. Or if He would give me a word at all. Is it that important to focus so much on a word? Nevertheless there were three words that came to me…trust, forgive and unplug.

I dissected each word and why it would be important for my life in 2018. Trust is something I struggle with and it has affected my relationships over the years, especially with other women. I find it hard to open up and share the sacred pieces of my heart. But God has put a few women in my life over the last year that He has entrusted to me. Not all of them have blossomed the way I envisioned but one has and I am very grateful for His favor.

Forgiveness has been hard. My husband and I have been hurt over the last few years by someone in a leadership position in our church. Oh don’t get me wrong…we share in some of the blame but the relationship is superficially reconciled, but not what it used to be. I’m not sure it ever will be. It has affected our ministry but I’m tired of the bitterness in my heart and am ready to trust God with that person.

Unplug refers to how much time I spend on social media. And while much of who I follow and much of what I read is on spiritual things, it is still a distraction from my relationship with Jesus, my family and friends.

I came across this quiz by Dayspring to help determine your one word for the new year. You answer a few questions about what you want in 2018 and it spits out a word. I took the quiz hoping it would confirm one of the three words above. But it didn’t. It brought back “simplify.”

I pondered on that word most of yesterday. It wasn’t what I was thinking of at all. But then it started to make some sense. My life has been complicated by unforgiveness, bitterness, social media and a fear of going deeper in my relationships. Simplifying, decluttering my life, could help with all three areas.

Opening up my home more often and inviting others in, not only for dinner or dessert, but for meaningful conversation and building life long friendships. Of course this means decluttering my house to be able to invite others in so they have a place to sit down.

Simplifying my heart or uncluttering it will be more difficult. It will take effort and a lot of prayer for God to “create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10 CSB). I will be reading through the Bible this year. I’ve read through the Bible before but this will be the first time reading it in chronological order. Focusing on the Word, I know my heart will be softened and I will be able to hear from Him more clearly. Simplifying social media (or reducing it significantly) will help to make more time for more important things.

So my one word for 2018 will be simplify. Happy New Year!