When Your One Word Flies Into Your Life Uninvited


I had been pondering this past month, with the coming end of 2013. Pondering that I really had not felt a nudge, or heard a word from God concerning the New Year. I let this last month drift by without much fanfare at all.

 I wrote in my journal on December 10, "Perhaps I am at a crisis of faith...but I feel nothing. No anger, no joy, no passion, no excitement, no expectation, no hope...I am in a state of limbo. A bleak existence. For further clarification, I'm not mad at God...I just no longer expect anything." 

Limbo, indeed. The past year was like a slow starting forest fire that became an incinerator for many of the hopes, dreams and goals set in my heart. One continuous stop, drop and roll of a year putting out the fires that flared up from every side. 

I had no idea of where I would end up or what was to come with a word like Release. But it left me wordless by the end of the year. From my journal, "Last year (2012) I felt like I was drowning. This year I feel like I am hanging."

So, as I considered and weighed what is to come, and what has passed, and sensing God's quietness, I assumed I had no word for the year. I mean, a word like Limbo, does not catapult one into brainstorming goals and dreams for a new year. So I accepted that God was done with parading me along with my fellow bloggers for this One Word theme for 2014. Honestly, after Less and Release...I wasn't exactly telling God to lay it on me. 

But, as I was sitting with Him one morning (or afternoon, don't really remember), I was prompted in my reading to Romans 12:1-2. I had the sense that this was God's "word" for me for this year-and for always - but it was a timely reminder. So, that's not really one word, I thought to myself. Off the hook. 

I began embracing this as my verse for the year and focus...and figured, meditating on His Word is never a bad thing, so may as well embrace this leading. Next thing I'm explaining to someone about how I am not having a "word" this year, and as I reiterated my verse, the weirdest thing happened. One Word, jumped out at me and I felt my heart do a flip up into my throat, back down to my gut and back into my chest. In a good way. 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ~ Romans 12:1-2

Yup. I tried to deny it...but it was unmistakable. And merciful. Renewal. Because after Less, and Release...I mean, one does not just WALK INTO MORDOR, willingly! Renewal, seems a tad more optimistic than my previous words. I guess God knows when we are at the end of our rope!

A beautiful confirmation....

Later that evening, while walking by the Sea Wall with our dog and a friend Saturday night, God sealed this sweet deal with me. Adjacent to us, up popped what I thought was a seagull onto the wall. I said aloud, "That is one fat Gull." But, the minute the words left my lips, my eyes and brain coordinated and I realized I was not looking at any Seagull. Before our very eyes, looking directly at us with a luminous stare, was the most beautiful White Owl. I insisted we get as close as possible. Once we approached the bird, it flew up to the streetlight. Watching it fly upward from the wall after seemingly awaiting our acknowledgement was a beautiful gift that I accepted with joy! 

Of course I went home and looked up what kind of owl that was and it happened to be a Snowy White Owl. Although I am not superstitious, I also had to look at some of the symbolism associated with owls. It made for some interesting reading, let me tell you! I will share that in another post. 

Let me just share one small word that described the symbolism of an owl:

I love my God who is master of All and all creatures great and small. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Here are a few posts on my One Word from 2013-Release:

Linking with these communities of Word Pickers: 


  1. Dawn, I love it! I can hardly wait to see how the Lord uses this in your life in 2014. I have to admit this is one of my favorite times in the blogging year . . . as we learn what we will each focus on in the days ahead.

  2. I love when God does that. I would totally be open to Word for the year if it flew into my lap. I am content with what He's given to me. Looking forward to sharing your journey of renewal this year!

  3. Dawn...all I can say is WOW!!!! Love this post, love your word for the year. And the owl...God is SO amazing. Wow again! Much love to you, my dear. <3

  4. Hi Dawn, what a great word and great confirmation. I look forward to all the blogging that one word brings for you (and us) this year.
    God bless

  5. Such a great word and post explaining how it came to you Dawn! I love it! I also thought I would let the One Word thing pass this year but a word keeps coming to me and I will probably go with it. It really doesn't work to argue with God, huh? Love you Dawn!

  6. I'm so glad you have chosen your "One Word" for 2014. After all, you are the one who inspired me to choose a one word a couple of years ago...and so I think you need to continue what you've started! :) Renewal: Oh! What a fitting word...and the Owl???? I have a special place in my heart for owls after the experience I had with a particular family of Barred Owls a few years ago. Owls are extremely interesting and somehow connected to God Himself I do believe. (Of course, aren't we all?) Yes, Renewal is something I am looking forward to experiencing with you in 2014. Thank you for surrendering!!!

  7. Goosebumps!! Still pondering my word...it'll come. Happy New Year Dawn!

  8. Dawn LOVED this post:) God is so good and faithful, isn't He? Love the word, love the confirmation and look forward to future posts about your findings. I too didn't think I had a word this year, and as I sat down to write a blog post for the end of the year - my first in about 2 months because I felt so dried up and without words - it typed itself. I saw the word I had used over and over in the post and knew...trust :)

  9. Dawn: that is is a very interesting story about you found your word for 2014. For 2013, I found my word,GRACE, in a title of a book, I was reading for review.Guess what, my word for 2014 came to me the same way. 2014's word is HOPE.

  10. Loved reading the story of your journey this past year and what led up to your One Word. The owl gives me goose bumps! Definitely a direct sign from God. That is so exciting!! I pray we all find the promise of our words this year.

  11. mmm ... I almost didn't do the whole one word thing again ... and then God sent a little video back onto my radar.


  12. What a great, great word God gave you! My word this year is faith and I know He means in action. Living, breathing, doing faith. LOVE your post girl. See...I am catching up.

  13. Dawn- I just love the way God loves us! Thanks for the encouragement that God is listening and loving us right where we are at...so glad He gave you a more positive word this year! Mine is "use" and it's kind of weird and fun at the same time :) But I know God will USE it in my life this year! Here's to the journey! Love-Kel

  14. Dawn, first of all, thank you for dropping by with an encouraging note. I love how God interjects Himself into our lives, when asked, and reveals Himself in unexpected ways that show that "this was not random". It was meant for you, from Him. How very special is that word for you. May you be renewed in every sense of that word in every cell of your being.

  15. I love the ways that God confirms His Word!
    Praying that the image of that beautiful owl remain fresh in your heart and spirit as God begins His work this year!

  16. You didn't think you could get off the hook that easily, huh? Just kidding. I love hearing the stories about how people receive their One Word. I thought I had mine all ready in early December, then Dec 29 or so, God changed it to "compassion". I'm still getting used to it.

    Renewal is a great word; I'll look forward to hearing how God will use it in your life this year!

  17. I understand these words so well, "The past year was like a slow starting forest fire that became an incinerator for many of the hopes, dreams and goals set in my heart." I know it too well. I am in limbo too. I don't even know what to hope for. My dreams that I thought were so solid melted away like sand when God washed through this year. Renewal is a beautiful word. It's a true gift, a joy gift. I pray he gives you eyes to keep seeing his simple tokens of love all through the year.

  18. Wow - that was amazing - the story, your words, your WORD, and the owl. I loved reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.


walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)