My One Word for 2015: Release

My one word for 2015 is Release.

Okay, so I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve just figured out my one word for 2015, and it’s related to something I’ve been mulling over the last few weeks.

The week before Christmas, I meant to have all twelve Scripture readers I needed for Christmas Eve–six readers in English and another six to read in other languages, a mix of men and women, younger and older. But with just a few days to go, and given other ministry responsibilities, I had just a few readers confirmed and time was running out to coordinate the rest. So just three days before Christmas Eve, I made an announcement asking for volunteers.

That sounds simple enough–quite natural really–but for me it seemed last-minute and not as well planned as usual. After all, I had meant to ask each reader individually and ahead of time. I should have made time for that, I thought to myself, and only reluctantly released that ideal and gave myself permission to find the readers another way.

Happily, what I thought was last-minute turned out to be just the right time and even better than if I had planned it.

I got my twelve readers in English, Vietnamese, Urdu, German, Korean, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and low German, both women and men, young adult and older, one woman so new to the church that I likely wouldn’t have even asked her.

Everything turned out so well that now I wonder why I had ever expected myself to identify each reader and ask each one personally. Clearly I didn’t have to plan everything ahead of time in just that way. I could trust the church to be the church engaged in worship and ministry. I could leave room for the Holy Spirit.

When I shared this with one of our Christmas Eve readers, he replied,

You’re just like Pope Francis then. I heard he’s told his church officials not to plan everything so tightly and to leave room for the Holy Spirit.

I was glad he likened me to Pope Francis and not to the church bureaucracy on the receiving end of the Pope’s critique, but even more I was glad for the affirmation. I could plan without overfunctioning. I could trust the Holy Spirit at work.

So that’s the story behind my one word for 2015: Release. I’m releasing worry and overfunctioning. I’m releasing myself to the Holy Spirit.

Have you chosen one word for 2015? I’d be honoured if you would share your word in the comments below.



Categories: Church and Ministry, Spiritual Practice

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10 replies

  1. Release–I want that to be my word too. It’s difficult for those of us who want everything to go well to just let it go and let the Holy Spirit take over. BUT–who else can make it go better? It takes an amount of TRUST as well!

  2. You’re definitely expressing one of the ways I’ll be “releasing” this year, April! I’ll have to check out that website you mentioned to see who will be releasing with us as well 🙂

    • Hi Lacy – thank you so much for stopping by. I’m glad to be in good company with you and others this year. With God’s grace, I pray that we’ll release those things we need to release, hold fast to what endures, resist the things that call for resistance, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. Empty Hands. That is my word for 2015. Learning to bring all my cares, concerns, failures and successes to the throne of grace and leaving them there so that I can receive what the Lord wants me to have. Instead of carrying around my own baggage, hurts and disappointments (ie. offenses), broken dreams and unfulfilled expectations, I have decided that in 2015 I am letting it all go (and sometimes I have to do that on a daily basis). Each day I want to wake up and enter my prayer time with empty hands. I suspect I will be greatly surprised by what the Father puts in them this year! Great post April.

    • I love your image of Empty Hands, and explaining it in a way that includes both emptying and receiving. I hope for that with my releasing too, that what looks like empty space is actually space for God’s work and desires in my life. Thank you for your comment and encouragement. I join you in watching and waiting for God’s surprises!

  4. My word for the year is “Recreate.” Man – And my mind has been blown away again this weekend. Such a never ending process. Blessings from Kentucky to British Columbia!! (I graduated from Columbia Bible College in 2010!)

    • Hi Nate – sounds like you’ve been on quite a journey from BC to Kentucky, and God is continuing to re-create you! Now that I see your word, I want to add it to mine – as I release myself to God’s Spirit, I am re-created a la 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

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