When God Gives You a Word for the Year: Deeper

Nothing can separate us from God's loveI’ve gone deeper than I ever desired.

When God gives you a word for the year, and you decide to accept it, you never know what will happen and how you’ll stretch and grow. I could almost write a version of When You Give a Moose a Muffin based on my experience so far with the word ‘deeper.’

When I publically proclaimed that my word for the year would be deeper, I didn’t expect to have to work through my pretty prejudices and judgmental jaundice in a publically painful way.

One of the most difficult experiences I’ve gone through since my husband’s cancer has brought me to my knees multiple times over the last few months—I’ve had to pull over as I drove to sob (and I’m not a sobber—I’m more of a snot-nose, red-faced crier). But in the depths of my despair, I’ve found that God sends his people at just the right moment. A text of encouragement would pop up on my phone. A friend would call. Their words blessed me, encouraged me, and gave me the ability to continue driving, continue teaching, continue breathing.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to every hurting parent that I’ve secretly judged and lukewarmly loved. Forgive me for not coming alongside you in a consistent and brave way. Forgive me for not seeing the pain behind your smile and your, “I’m doing fine.”

God has ripped the scales off my eyes and given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be a parent, to support a parent and to show love to people who hurt. I also understand a little better God’s passionate pursuit of each and every sinner. Each one of us holds a special place in God’s heart, and when we sin or reject him, he doesn’t give up on us.

Not what I expected at all. I expected to dig deeper into my Bible from the comfort of my rocking chair whilst sipping my sinless latte (non-fat and decaf). I suppose I have dug deeper into the word, but I’m reading it more as a love story than a guidebook for proper behavior and repository for responsibilities and dos and don’ts.

Have you ever read the Bible as a love story rather than a guidebook? Click To Tweet

What about you? Did you have a word for 2015? How is God using that word to work in you and through you and teach you?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Well, deeper might be mine…my health went sideways and I’m in deeper kimchee than ever. Literally surviving last week was kind of cool.

    But it could be worse. I could have over-50 acne and bad hair.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Why Marriage Is ImportantMy Profile

    • Donne

      Andrew – I like how you are approaching things in a positive manner! I have a friend who is at Stage 4+ and has been going through drug trial after drug trial in an effort to lend some additional meaning to her life as she contributes to cancer research. She amazes me daily with her continued zest for life. She is celebrating her 6th birthday since her initial diagnosis tomorrow.

      I hope that you keep your head above the kimchee. 🙂

    • I love your sense of humor, Andrew! I’m so glad you made it through the week and were able to share the wisdom God has given you for another week!

  • Tara

    It is amazing how our words change and shape us. I’ve been so amazed at how much braver I am than I ever thought I was. Blessings as you go “deeper” friend!

    • I’m so glad that God is using your word to shape and grow you, Tara!

  • I love how you relate your growing “deeper” to giving a moose a muffin. All of those stories are just great and are how we often go from one to the next to the next with a leash that we did not know we had on. God grows us in ways that He knows and wants for us. It is through our surrender that He can lead us deeper and deeper, from one page to the next.
    Thank you for visiting me and commenting, Anita. You bless me so.
    Visiting from #TellHisStory
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Am I an Easter Child?My Profile

    • Amen–God weaves our learning into bit-sized chunks that we can handle with him–I’m learning to look at each seemingly insurmountable challenge as simply another ‘chunk of learning’ that God will help me through.

  • Praying for you. I love your openness and honesty. I think back to how hard it was for me to transition from working to staying at home and how I had so misjudged what being a stay at home mom was and is. It is amazing how you picked the word deeper without knowing what was coming and God used it.
    Amanda recently posted…Day Trip Tips for DisneylandMy Profile

    • There’s nothing about parenting that is easy, that’s for sure! I, too, remember how hard the transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom was! God will give you the grace and the strength that you need for each adjustment!

  • Anita, I’m sorry for whatever is causing you to go “deeper” through pain. Our children are the most precious thing in our lives, so I can only imagine. Grace to you friend, as you continue your journey deeper. I pray that God will give you abundant JOY, deeper joy. (And yes, I’ve read the Bible as a love letter.) 🙂
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…More Spring in our Step and in our HeartsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Betsy. One of these days, maybe I’ll be able to write about it in greater depth–when the time is right and God says ‘Go ahead so that your story can help someone else.’

  • Dear Anita — Blessings in your caregiver role with prayers for you and your precious husband as you walk in the valley. God’s grace will supply all you need as He takes you ever DEEPER. And thanks for your humility which merits God’s grace, too.

    I had planned NOT to do a One Word this year. But then I thought ‘let me ask Dad.” And He whispered to my heart: FREEDOM. And the first three months have been a freedom ride in many ways — and so NEEDED — and I still haven’t publicly written it all out, these lessons He is teaching, but I have journaled them and plan to soon. xxoo Linking from Holley’s.
    Sheila Kimball recently posted…Pay attention to your spouse today — before someone else does — 3 tips to make your marriage safe and strong…My Profile

    • Thank you, Sheila. I look forward to reading what God has taught you about FREEDOM! May he continue to share with you what he knows you need to learn.

  • I am sorry that your journey has been so hard, but so glad that God is guiding you with the ultimate love story. He does always seem to find a way to make OUR words into His plan, doesn’t he. Strength, sister. Parenting is hard stuff, but we got you.
    Colleen MItchell recently posted…The One Woman I Want to Be Better ThanMy Profile

    • Thank you, friend! It’s wonderful to know I have a community who gets me and has me ;).

  • Anita,

    Thank you for your brave honesty…and I’m so glad God sent people to comfort and encourage you when you needed it…and yes, it is during our times of deepest despair we can experience God and His love in deeper ways if we’re willing and you’ve shown this so beautifully in your post…may God continue to shower His peace and grace on you and your family…((hugs))
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…Ten Tips for cultivating simplicity (& Grace)My Profile

    • Thank you for the hugs and the kind words :). Each day gets better–and the prayers of friends have helped us through.

  • Anita,
    My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing this journey so that we can all go deeper into our faith. I know that lately I have hung on by a thread and have been the sobbing person on the side of the road. You are so right that God sends us his love through other people, or a pet, an various other ways. I have not always been open to seeing them. But I am learning.
    I loved you post and the title of your blog! You and your family are in my prayers.

    • Thank you so much much for your prayers, Kathleen. God is always with us and sends us love ‘tweets’ all the time–but you’re right, we have to be open to seeing them!

  • Anita, I just love how you described your experience with going deeper. I feel like my eyes have been opened a little, as well. “Deeper” isn’t my word of the year, but it certain seems to walk hand in hand with the experiences I’ve been having over the last (not quite) two years. I know you visited my blog today and read about how He’s been calling me to cast my nets out into the deep. All of this is coming full circle very soon and I will love being able to share it online. However, I am going to make sure that my eyes are alert to what other opportunities I have to go deeper with Him. Not just in my own experiences…but to make certain that I don’t miss being involved in depth in sooooo many other ways.

    Visiting today from Holley’s place! 🙂
    Jennifer Frisbie recently posted…The thing about nets…My Profile

    • May God be with you as you make decisions and write :). Deeper is a lot harder than I expected–but God promises not to give us more than we can handle with him, so I’m trying to lean in and learn.

  • Someone asked me one time after I described crying deeply to the depths of my soul toes if I had ever experienced travail (this was after I had lost a little girl half way through a pregnancy). They explained travail to be when the Holy Spirit grieves/mourns through you. I think, for me, there have been moments in these boys growing up, when a boy chose to walk through tough places, where I experienced that, too. During that time, I created my Unconditional Love Rules – to keep encouraging me to keep choosing love. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I’m praying for you – got you on a post-it to remind me:)

    BTW – God gave me a word at the beginning of the year – and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. I haven’t written on it yet, but soon. Praying God’s sweet shalom surround you!
    Maryleigh

    • I’m so glad that you told me about travail. And yes, we have to love unconditionally, no matter how hard it hurts! Thank you for your prayers–I treasure the knowledge that my sisters hold me up as I pass through this rough spot. Thank you for your friendship, Maryleigh.

  • “Each one of us holds a special place in God’s heart, and when we sin or reject him, he doesn’t give up on us.” It’s one of those statements that I know to be true but continue to stand in awe of…the depth of His love is just so overwhelming. But then, I never want that to become ordinary for me. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Anita. Your honest courage is inspiring.
    Tiffany recently posted…Regrets and AmendsMy Profile

    • And thank you for stopping by, Tiffany. I stand in awe of His amazing grace.

  • Love story than a guidebook – yes and amen to this! “Deeper” is a brave word. I’m glad God knows what he’s doing when he connects us with our One Words. Blessings to you!

    • 🙂 Little did I realize how brave the word was…But yes, I’m glad God knows what he’s doing!

  • I do love how God comes to us in our despair and gives us just what we need. Those texts and phone calls at the right moment make such a difference and will hopefully remind us to do what God asks when prompted!
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Forgive the Small StuffMy Profile

  • Anita, I’m so sorry to hear about your husbands cancer and the unknown depths it has plunged you in. I had to chuckle a bit at the close of your post when you said what you thought the word deeper would mean. Isn’t that like God? I’m glad the Lord has surrounded you with loving support and pray that through every word spoken, prayed and hugged you will know it’s coming straight from the heart of God.
    Debby recently posted…Five-Minute Friday {break}My Profile

    • It’s crazy how something that happened 12 years ago (the cancer) can take me so long to ‘recover’ from–I didn’t even have it! But the entire process has made my husband and I stronger and we work better together as a team…which is a good thing for helping us negotiate the present crisis that calls us deeper and closer to God and each other.

  • “I didn’t expect to have to work through my pretty prejudices and judgmental jaundice in a publically painful way” You have perfectly described the feelings and thoughts that I have fought with sorting through and tearing down over the last few months. Thank you for showing that not only is it okay to go deeper, but we need – we must- go there.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Peel Away the LayersMy Profile

    • I think we need to chat a bit, Amy, because I suspect that you and I have been walking parallel paths. Hugs to you, my friend!

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