At the end of every year, I like to sit with the Lord to thank Him for the gifts and blessings He gave me in that year. I also mourn the things that I lost and I look ahead in anticipation of the new year. As 2022 was drawing to a close, I sat down to begin processing my thoughts and to ponder what the new year would be like. As I was reflecting, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “Will you let me speak over your year?” I didn’t know what this would look like, but I was willing to give it a try.
The next day, I made myself a cup of coffee and grabbed my planner for 2023. The planner pages were empty, waiting to be filled with appointments, family events, and meetings that hadn’t yet been planned. I had no idea where the year was going to take me, but in faith, I opened up to the January page and asked, “Holy Spirit, what do you have for me in January?”
Immediately the word JOY popped into my head and the verse from Ezekiel 36:26 that says, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
After writing down what I had heard, I was blown away. Such a promise! A new heart! One that would beat with joy! One that would feel alive! A heart that had gone up over the mountain of grief and was going to come down on the other side joyful and alive!
I continued the process for every month of the year in my planner. “Holy Spirit, what do you have for me in (insert month)?” Words like peace, clarity & greater vision, rest, wonder & awe, reverence, amazement, security, and compassion began to fill the pages; each month bringing a new promise from Him. I also asked the Holy Spirit to reveal a Scripture passage to me for each month.
When I reached the last page and finished writing His promises for me in December, I asked, “Holy Spirit, what is your word for me for 2023?” Without skipping a beat, He said, “Awestruck.” I sensed that He wanted me to know that 2023 would be a year of miracles in a way I’d never seen before. I wrote this word down as a promise and started living my life.
At the end of January, I looked back over the month and was amazed at the lies that were revealed to me that month that I was able to renounce, the notes from my prayer journal that showed tiny new revelations of joy, and takeaways from conversations I’d had with people that really brought joy into my life. The Holy Spirit was faithful to His promise of JOY to me that month!
The same thing happened in February, March, April, May, & June. Each month I was able to see where Jesus was in the times I’d felt abandoned, I was able to enter into greater intimacy with the Lord, and I was able to see the mission God had for my family with greater vision and clarity. Just by living my life as it came, the Holy Spirit was able to use conversations and experiences to bring about the things that He had promised for me back before the year began!
Sometimes events and revelations didn’t line up perfectly with the month for which I had written them down, but they were (for the most part) addressed or acknowledged in some way. A few of the issues of my heart were complex and will take time to process and heal, but even though there isn’t complete restoration in these areas, I am seeing the Holy Spirit’s steady presence and provision for me over the last six months. I’m noticing that the Holy Spirit doesn’t always give me what I want, but He gives me what I need. I’m seeing His presence in tiny little things like a hug from my four-year-old or in a random conversation with someone at the beach. I don’t know if I would have identified these things as revelations from the Holy Spirit if I hadn’t been aware of where He wanted to take me that month.
This week marks the beginning of the second half of 2023, and I’m so excited to see how everything will unfold for the rest of the year. If I’ve learned anything in this process, it’s that the Holy Spirit wants to show up for me and wants to share His heart with me. He wants to bless my months, my weeks, and my days. He wants me to live fully alive without numbing and distractions. He wants to bring awareness to the parts of my heart that need to be healed, and He is with me in the process to have the strength to bear it.
Is the Holy Spirit speaking over your year? What does that look and sound like for you? I’d love to rejoice in His faithfulness with you!
If you haven’t asked the Holy Spirit what His heart is for you in 2023, will you join me today? It’s never too late to start. Can we become Awestruck together?
Your friend in Christ,