Not long ago I was talking to a friend about finding a single word to define where you are in life, or that describes what you feel the Lord is working out in your soul, or expresses a goal you have for yourself for this (still relatively new) year. She shared hers with me.

Until a few days ago, I didn’t give much thought to what that One Word might be for me. Did I really need one? Nah. I didn’t. Probably couldn’t settle on just one word anyway. Why bother trying?

But it seems that word was out there, waiting, and didn’t take kindly to my indifference, even after repeated hints as to its identity kept dropping into my lap. Yesterday it decided to insert itself into the one place I could not possibly overlook it, which is kind of ironic when it turns out that word for me is…


It all started a week or so ago with a quote I read in a post from author Kathleen Popa. It’s attributed to Adel Bestavros, and I’ve been meditating on it ever since.

Patience with others is Love.
Patience with self is Hope.
Patience with God is Faith.

Like other writers I know, my writing journey has been a long one. By December of this year it will be twenty years since I first picked up a pen with the notion of finishing a novel and seeing it published. I’ve finished quite a few novels since then, and come close to getting more than one of them published. But I’ll confess. Not every moment of the past twenty years has been spent in perfect peace. Impatience, anxiety, a sense of being left behind, of missing my chance of being published over and over again, even despair of being able to write, ever again, after a serious illness midway through this journey, have been allowed to get the upper hand from time to time.

Yet I know right where to turn when those thoughts come like fiery darts and I find my stomach coiling up and the pressure on my chest and the tightness in my brow… I look up to the verse I have taped above my desk.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3

My thoughts are fixed on His goodness.

My thoughts are fixed on His perfect timing.

My thoughts are fixed on Him. Wherever this journey takes me just might not be as important as the One I’m taking it with (can I get an Amen?).

Yesterday I was unexpectedly inspired to rewrite the opening lines of Jesse, my novel in progress. I wasn’t happy with the first sentence in particular. It seemed to me that I could have better captured the character’s voice from the very first word.

Would you like to guess what the new first word (as this draft stands presently) of Jesse turns out to be?

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:4

You may have seen this notion of One Word for a year elsewhere. I’ve seen other blog posts about it. Do you know what yours is? I invite you to share it in the comments. 

portrait: Emma Hart as Ariadne. George Romney, 1785

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