God really does work in amazing ways. I’m learning the truth of that more and more as He works His healing in my life.
My challenges haven’t changed. My husband is still dealing with multiple disabilities. My pesky illness is exactly the same. I still have the same symptoms, and the same things triggering worsened symptoms. But I recently took over a month off all social media, and spent the time I’d been using on Facebook and Twitter with God, instead.
He is so good – I just had to stay still long enough to see that! God used that time to draw me nearer Him, once I stopped fighting Him enough to discover His will for me. It’s made a huge difference.
The healing He’s worked isn’t physical, but emotional and spiritual, Way more important! Though on the surface it looks like nothing has changed, I know for sure a lot has changed. I’m feeling more peace and contentment, and far more trust in whatever God’s will for me might be. It feels like I’ve finally let go of those last remnants of anger with Him over the things that haven’t gone the way I wanted in my life.
That’s a relief!
It also flowed into the heroine’s spiritual change in my most recent story, Midnight Clear, Huckleberry Lake book #3, and part of the Snowflakes & Snuggles boxed set. God snuck that one up on me! I didn’t expect to discover in Chapter 7 that Claire’s issues with Him and the reason she couldn’t let a romantic relationship develop with Ryan were way more complicated than I imagined.
This might be my most personal book yet, as it touches on some of my own past challenges, both as a nurse and as a woman. God always teaches me the same lessons my characters need to learn, so there were a lot of tears as I wrote, but good tears, healing tears.
Claire began fighting God when tragedy tore her life and her hopes apart. Leaving everyone who knows her behind, she started over in the remote lakeside community of Sunset Point, Huckleberry Lake, Idaho. Here, she can get on with life. Pretend the bad things never happened. Teach in the one-room schoolhouse and forget the dreams of marriage and a family she once had. But when her best friends there keep trying to matchmake her, and good-guy carpenter Ryan Connor seems happy to play along, it gets harder to keep her past safely buried. Could it be time to stop fighting, and to trust God instead?
As all my books have a happy ending, you’ve probably guessed Claire, like me, does stop fighting God and find the true peace His grace gives, the calm and comfort of surrendering to Him. I’m praying I can hold onto this sense of what Paul’s “content in all circumstances” (Philippians 4:11) really means. I’m praying you do, too!
God has already given me my One Word for 2018. This year’s word was “flow”. Both letting His love flow through me, and a meaning I didn’t anticipate, learning to let go of my own plans and flow with His will more. My word for 2018 is “still”. It’s time to slow down and stop fighting, To be still and quiet with Him, and let His love and peace flow into my heart, mind, and soul.
Do you choose one word to be the theme for your year to come? If so, how did it work out in 2017? If not, what do you think your word for the year might have been?
One comment made before December 16 will be chosen at random to win an ebook copy of Midnight Clear.
And everybody can get Calm & Bright, Book 1 in the Huckleberry Lake series, free on Amazon from December 8 to 12. I’m hoping so, anyway! If the ebook isn’t free on the Amazon site you use, or if you don’t get your ebooks from Amazon, just let me know by December 12 and I’ll send you a review copy instead.
Plus, fellow Inspy Romance author Janet Ferguson put together a list of free, 99c, and discounted Christian romances, especially for Christmas! You can see all the books on my website, but be sure to visit by December 12 as some of the books are only available at the special prices until then.
For 2018, it is humility. For 2017 it must have been chaos. Thanks for the opportunity.
Humility is a gift that brings blessings, which I guess is why Jesus mentioned it in the Beatitudes. Too many of us need to learn that the hard way, so I’m praying all your lessons in 2018 are easy ones.
Oh my on 2017! Sounds like hugs may be needed there.
HI Autumn, while I am sad to hear that health issues and the like have not eased, I am blessed to read how God has and is working in your life. My constant word is trust- that we are where God wants us, that He has a plan for our boys and will use us for His will and that we will trust in His plan for us. It is so easy to be critical and focus on the negative…harder still to remember to trust and focus on the blessings that surround each day.
That is so true, Wendy! Trust surely needs to be our constant. It’s certainly the underlying lesson for me, this year and every year. Hoping 2018 is a wonderfully blessed year for you.
Jill Weatherholt says
Hi Autumn! I always ch0ose one word each year. “Still” is a perfect pick. I’m still praying about mine for 2018. More of us need to spend our time with God, rather than Facebook…go you!
I’m sure when it comes, it will be the right word for you. God always has perfect timing! I don’t usually ask for mine till nearer December 31, but it simply came to me one day in my prayer journal.
FB has it’s blessings – I love the ease of connecting with people there, including some true friends I would never have met in real life. But it can be a time suck too. It’s all about finding balance.
LOL, I guess if I had a second word for 2018, it would be balance!
I should have finished reading this collection, but have had several big interruptions.
I’m still praying about my word for the next year, but I felt led to keep my word “Delight” for the past 2 years. Psalm 119:16 “I shall delight in Thy statutes; I shall not forget Thy Word.” When David wrote this, he only had the books of the law, and he chose to delight in them! This is a constant reminder to me when I’m reading the parts of the Bible that seem dry, or the list of all the laws, to pray that God would help me to delight in them because they are His Words.
That’s a wonderful verse and a wonderful word, Becky! Oh, I know what you mean about those “dry” parts. I recently finished reading the entire Bible for the first time. It was supposed to be in 12 months, well, it ended up a lot nearer 20! I’m now doing the same again, but reading slower this time and a lot more prayerfully. But I admit to problems finding what God is truly saying to me in some of the books David would be referring to. I will need to reflect on that verse first when I go back to the OT again
Hi Autumn! Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite verses. The verse helped me survive the sandwich years. Working full time as a high school English teacher, being a pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, while caring for my aging parents with cancer and heart issue and a devastating house fire where I needed to replace everything we owned after 25 years of marriage with three children the youngest being 7. BE STILL – taking a deep breath and seeing the beauty of God’s creation got me through! Even today when the 10 month old toddler granddaughter is wearing her beloved OMA out, BE STILL. Will be praying that the word helps you in 2018 and help heal and strengthen your body, mind and spirit. Please do not include be in the drawing. I have read 3/6 selections in Snowflakes and Snuggles. I also enjoyed reading Calm and Bright. Merry Christmas and may God grant you his calming spirit and health. Best wishes.
Renate, you are such a shining light for God! We all need to take more time to be still with God, and that may well be one of the gifts in my illness – it’s forced me to slow down and refocus.
Hi Autumn! I don’t usually pick a word for the year to come, I usually think of a challenge to the next year, which involves more than one word.
Your post was very inspiring, I’ve read the verse you’ve mentioned last year on a framed picture and have been willing to do one myself with a picture my husband took, just never took the time.. maybe this year I will!
Praying your challenge for the year is a good one, Laura, and that you feel God’s love and support every step of the way!
LLOL, living out the one word seems to involve plenty of challenges, too!
Great post! 2017 was transformation. 2018 is abide. Looking forward to God’s plans for all of us!
Wonderful words, Julie! Yes, it’s an amazing process seeing His plans unfold in our lives, and discovering the blessings hidden in things that seemed like frustrations.
Margaret Nelson says
I don’t pick a word for the year, but enjoy reading about others who do. I don’t need to be entered in the drawing, since I’ve got the book in the boxed set (still working my way through that). I am sorry about the continued physical challenges, but was glad to read about the emotional and spiritual healing. I’ve been led to pray for that kind of healing recently for several people on my prayer list.
By the way, which set is Huckleberry Lake #2 in? I know I’ve read it, but can’t remember… I may re-read #1 and #2 before I read #3 :-)
Of all the ways God can heal us, the emotional and spiritual healing is by far the most important. I never realised how much more, until discovering how much I needed it. I’m hoping the physical healing will follow, but if not, the healing of my heart and mind will help me to be content in Him.
Imperfectly Proverbs 31 is in the Picnics & Promises boxed set. God willing, #4 will be in our summer over-60s boxed set, with all stories featuring an older hero and heroine! I do hope you enjoy them all!
I always mean well and plan to pick a word, but then I forget or get busy. I love the idea of it and during the month of November, God placed on me the word, HOPE. It was really sweet to search for that word in the Bible. I made graphics each day. It was great to focus on it.
Now for this next year, God has given me the word, ENCOURAGEMENT.
Webster’s Definition is:
1. the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
2. persuasion to do or to continue something.
3. the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.
That’s what I want to strive to be for others this year.
To be an encourager is a gift that blesses everyone around you, Marylin. What a perfect choice!
Robin E. Mason says
i had never thought of or heard of a word for the year until late in 2014. i saw / read a post about it and in that twinkling moment, Holy Spirit gave me “FORWARD” for 2015. in the years since, He has quickened in my spirit what my word would be, 2016 was “INHABIT,” this year has been “EXPECTATION,” and the tenderest, sweetest one yet, 2018 is “RESTORATION!”
Hugs, dear friend! I’m praying that in 2018 God does indeed bring about complete restoration for you.
Robin E. Mason says
and you as well!!
Pat Moore says
I downloaded Midnight Clear. Looking forward to reading. WOW!!!! Already rated 5 stars on Amazon. Thank you for sharing your personal story. God be with you and your husband & family.
I do hope you enjoy the book, Pat. And thank you for your prayers. They are so appreciated!
Sherri G says
I think my word for last year was focus, but unfortunately I soon lost my focus. I thank God He is patient or I would be in serious trouble! I can’t decide whether to try again next year or not.
LOL, SherrI! Yes, I’m glad He is patient, too. The first year I got given a word for the year, I couldn’t even remember what the word was after a few months and had to go look it up! I’m pretty sure He will gently remind us of the word at the times we need to be reminded.
I don’t usually pick one word for the year. If I were to pick one for 2018, it would be…..patience.
Wise choice! That’s one we all need, especially me. God’s timing is always perfect, but not always the timing we hoped for. And life is so full of circumstances to try our patience, too. Praying 2018 is a year of blessings for you!
Jessica B. says
I didn’t choose a word for 2017 but looking at the past year it would be “change”, although that’s not what I would have chosen. ☺ Maybe it’s what I needed though.
Autumn Macarthur says
God always knows better than we do what we need! Glad it’s all working out okay, Jessica. :)
I don’t generally pick a word for the year, but a goal in which to better myself. And for me God is always a part of my thoughts. Happy Holidays
Autumn Macarthur says
That sounds a wonderful way to do it! Hope 2018 is a lovely year for you.
Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. Last year I thought for the first time of a word and it really helped me make decisions this year and refocus on my life. This year I’m having a really hard time getting into the feel of the season and planning next year. We’re moving soon (I certainly hope so, since this move was originally planned for october) and my life seems to only have enough room to accomodate thinking about my son and my husband, my new home, and my job…
I hope things will slow down soon, and maybe this should be my plan for next year.. although, job-wise, I should probably be more productive (way more productive) than I’ve been, since it’s taking 3rd place in the things I’ve carred about and certainly I need to do more in order to keep a good standing position.
Merry Christmas and thank you for continuing to write great books even though the conditions are not ideal. ;)
Autumn Macarthur says
Not surprising you don’t have a sense of next year’s word yet, when you have so much going on this year still! When it’s time, God will reveal His word for you.
Praying the move goes smoothly. <3
Alexa Verde says
What a wonderful, beautiful post! My heart goes out to you, Autumn! I didn’t have a word for 2018 yet, but it just appeared in my mind as was typing it. Peace.
Autumn Macarthur says
That’s such a good word, Alexa! I meditated today in my prayer journal on all the different ways God might want “Still” to apply in my life. Peace is a similar word- so many areas of our lives it could apply to. Praying 2018 is a wonderful year for you!