One Word: 2016

One Word: 2016

I don’t always choose a word for my year.

I’m not very big on setting resolutions or getting too wrapped up in “New Year” goals.

But this year, God kind of whispered… declared loudly… a word for this new year.

2015 has been humbling. quieting. breaking. reaching the end of me.

2015 has been moves and transition and way too much change for my normal loving self.

2015 has been loss, struggle, confusion and pain.

2015 has been victorious, beautiful, teaching and life changing.

2015 has been daily repeating the words “Just Keep Going” through the many moments spent walking through blank space.

2015 has been a deeply personal journey… that for some reason God keeps asking me to share with you.

One Word: 2016


Helping you see a different face, a very raw face, of full time career missions. of changing the name “missionary hero” by sharing the real life struggles we walk.

You are walking the journey with us in real time… not waiting a four year term to get the full scoop when we come home to visit your church. When after four years the realness has faded and only the good memories remain, you now experience the good and bad of real missionary life.

And as I mentioned, 2015 has been incredibly humbling… made even more so by openly sharing our experiences.

Life as we knew it has drastically changed.

Home has changed.

2016 brings completely new journeys as we try to settle into ministry here.

2016 brings a new word… in where the themes from 2015 will still greatly bleed into 2016… the new word brings hope in the mess.

2016 brings mending.

Mending of me.

Mending of my heart.

Mending of the brokenness this process has created.

The brokenness hasn’t been bad, painful… yes. but not bad. Each broken experience has drawn me closer to the God I love and deeper in my relationship with him. Each broken piece of me as been used for good… in ways I am believing in faith even if I can not see.

And, now God is going to continue to use the brokenness for good.

One Word: 2016

By mending the little pieces of me that right now feel greatly scattered.

Scattered from Ohio to France to West Africa.

Little pieces blown by the wind…

Little pieces floating through oceans…

Little pieces sitting quietly waiting for God to move.

I believe God will mend these things in 2016.

Mending me… mending, rebuilding, making it all closer to the picture He sees for me.

A song that helped whisper this word to me was City of Hope by Amanda Cook.

You are mending the broken-hearted

You are making all things new

And You’re rebuilding out of the ruins

A city of hope with the ones You love

And as I look back through my journal from the past few months, I see God preparing my heart for mending.

It feels like Job 38:1 which says, “Then, the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.”

Because the storm hasn’t ended. I’m not through all the blank space. I’m still at the end of me.

But God is speaking and mending.

The same as when God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3… when the place Moses was standing was Holy Ground, when Moses felt fear, when God said he saw the misery of his people and he would bring them up out of it. When, in Exodus 4, God answered Moses’ concerns and then said, “Now go; I will help you and teach you…”

Knowing that God is mending, helping and teaching.

Bringing healing and rest and hope.

Gathering the scattered pieces and rebuilding out of the ruins.

Remembering how much I need God’s help… because I can’t rebuild on my own.

Willingly remaining in the process for whatever this mending means…

“Each heart must pass through the furnace for itself. To hear of the refining of others has no lasting effect on the heart’s own alloy.” – F. Barclay

This wilderness season, the mending season… this passing through the furnace is part of His growth process for me, for you.

Letting God mend in 2016, praising Him for the great things He has done and will do.

Do you have a word for 2016? What is God speaking in your heart, through your storm?


  1. What a good post to think about. As a newbie to the field the struggle of being real and presenting a “marketable” picture to people is real. Honestly sometimes I just don’t like it! Thank you for your realistic picture of what God is doing in your life.

    My word I felt was patience for 2016. I am not sure how I feel about that considering learning patience involves having circumstances that warrant patience.

    a lot of our time this term has been difficult. My mentor said “Spring I don’t want you to miss what God has for you to learn” and that admonishment has stuck with me. Thank you for the reminder that God is at work on my heart

  2. You and I both wrote about “pieces”, Jenilee. For me, it was important (and healing) for Him to remind me that those pieces of my life that I feel so far from right now are still pieces of my life, and they are all in His hands safe – and therefore very near to me even when they feel far…For you, mending and “gathering” the scattered pieces of Yourself –

    It’s funny how this life leaves us feeling like we have left pieces of ourselves all over – and how it feels like we have lost part of ourselves with each piece, and at the same time we are more than we were before losing the pieces…

    And I guess it’s because all those pieces aren’t really lost, though they feel lost to us sometimes, but they aren’t lost because they are in His hands – and so …they really can be mended, gathered, ARE mended and gathered – and we ARE more than we were with each piece lost in spite of the pain and emptiness of the losing – because all these pieces we have scattered aren’t really lost but are safe and sound in Him.

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