Years ago, my mom ripped out an article from Charisma magazine and handed it to me for my journey back to campus. The writer, Jamie Buckingham, said, “We must dream so big that without the support that comes through favor with God and man, we could never accomplish what is in our hearts.”
That piece of paper has probably been long disposed of, but I recently came across the quote in an old blog post. I find it fitting, especially because “imagine” is my word of 2019.
If you read my piece from 2018, I share the crazy story of how God gave me the word “BELIEVE” through a bracelet. Yes, a bracelet y’all!
He did it in such an intricate way — with scripture and missions trip all leading after the other, all showing me to believe. I go into deeper detail on my latest podcast episode.
As for the story of how I obtained my word for 2019, it’s not bewildering but it was still spiritually appointed.
I was on the Grit & Virtue page and screenshot a word on their video generator. “Imagine” was the first thing I got and I didn’t like it. It just sounded too flowery. All I could envision in the moment was that episode of Spongebob and Patrick were having the time of their lives in a cardboard box. Squidward came over, wanting to know what the ruckus was about. Spongebob repeatedly answered “imagination,” a rainbow appearing as he waved his hands in the direction as would a windshield wiper.
Needless to say, I screenshot again and again and again! 8 times. None of them fit. I was stuck.
Approaching my sister, Medge, I told her of my results and she agreed it was “definitely” my word. “How many times do I ask you, ‘Tarah, have you ever thought of this…have you ever dreamt of that?’ And you tell me ‘no’?!”
That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’m always asking her, “How can you daydream so far?” The distances her mind ventures off to always baffles me. My mind doesn’t go there — I won’t even let it. I have no time! I considered how God could be telling me to make time to dream but I still wasn’t satisfied with the word.
I didn’t think there was much of a difference between believe and imagine. I wanted something completely unrelated — something that would shock me as 2018 did. As the analytic in me weighed the differences between the two words, I relented. I suppose there was a difference.
After a couple days of mustering it over, I told Medge, “You know what, I guess ‘imagine’ is my word.”
“It’s been your word,” she exclaimed. “You can’t try to change it. It’s literally what you need.”
And that is how I got my word of the year. The end.
No but really, now that I’ve accepted it, I really do see what God is trying to ingrain in me.
2017 was my year of “realizing stuff.” One thing God showed me is how much I lacked trust in Him. It took me two years to get it through my head, my hurts, my heart. In 2018, He gave me the word “believe” and with it, I became more intentional with how I gave Him me. No more pieces; I was learningto give Him my all.
In devoting myself to learning how to believe in Him fully, He blew my mind with opportunities I couldn’t imagine, such as my three book deal! This year, I can see how He has decided I must take a step back from “doing” in order to make room for all HE can do.
That’s what God wants me to change this year. I’m not much of a dreamer; I just do. Once I think of something, I don’t muster over it. I plan and execute.
I’m my sister’s opposite in that way. She does execute but she loves to dream. It’s ironic because her word of the year is “action!” Isn’t God so funny?
I do have a wild imagination but I suppose it’s when I’m assuming the worst or thinking of things I shouldn’t be thinking of. This year, God wants me to take the time to open my mind to possibilities that are unheard of!
After I committed to my word of the year, I found two scripture verses that will guide me.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
I thought my dreams were big enough but God wants them to be unimaginable. So this year, I will rest my eyes and allow my mind to wander. I will think up outlandish thoughts because my Creator who has the power to surpass all expectations, said to.
I challenge you “to dream something so big that without God [it’s] bound to fail.”
What’s your word of the year?