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When your #oneword isn’t what you would have chosen.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. | meredithbernard.com | #oneword



Sometimes in order to move forward, we need to take a moment to look back. It’s never good or right to stay with our face to the past and our back to the future, but reflecting on where we’ve been can help guide where we are going.

I consider this as I look back at this year and stare headstrong into the new year. That’s not a typo. I’m staring headstrong, because that’s a blessed strength…and weakness of mine.

It’s also abundantly obvious it’s a genetic “gift” that’s been passed down to me and has been passed to my “mini-me.”

This year I truly want to use this “gift” for the Glory of God…and much less for my own glory.

For a few weeks I’ve been ruminating (how’s that for cattle terminology from the cattleman’s wife?) on what one word I could focus on this year. What one word could I use as a catalyst for deeper worship and more intense Bible study, that will take me further along the road with Christ than I’ve made it before?

I thought I had it figured out and then completely out of the blue my one word became completely obvious while sitting in worship this past week. Because that’s completely how God works.

It’s not a word I like, because it’s not a word I even completely understand. It’s not neat and tidy and pretty like the presents we either opened or watched our children devour recently.

My one word goes completely against who I am. It’s not in my make-up to be or do, but then again it is in my make-up to be and do, because it’s of God and I’m of Him.

Sometimes God flashes a neon light in my black and white world and right now this word is on it. For a headstrong girl, the word submit would not be her first choice of a word to cling to and wear as a banner over her life for an entire year.

Which is why I know this word hasn’t been chosen by me. It’s been chosen by Him for me.

As I timidly step from the old into the new, I do it in submission to the One giving me the ability and opportunity to take this step.

For all of the ways I have not submitted to Him in the past, I truly want to submit to Him and Him alone now.

This isn’t about me going against the grain of my little world that may not understand or support decisions I have made or will continue to make. I am not in this life to please others. I am in this life to please God. And that’s all I want to do.

Please Him.
Obey Him.
Submit to Him.
Love Him.

And if I start getting any and all of that right, even if it’s perfectly imperfect as I’m sure it will be, then I will be getting my life right and those in my care will be getting what they need from me.

I am a dreamer. I dream big dreams and fall big heights when they don’t work out like I hope they will. But I don’t believe that it’s impossible to be a submissive dreamer.

Maybe God wants to show me that if I can learn to submit to Him in all the ways, He will inspire and fulfill new and bigger dreams than I ever imagined possible.

Maybe God’s been waiting for me to wait on Him.

As I learn to submit to His will and leave my own behind, I expect a few twists in the road and some unavoidable bumps. Because that’s how life rolls anyway. But with God in the lead, I can trust the twists, turns and bumps will be necessary and beneficial for a smoother road ahead.

I invite you to ruminate on your own word for the year. What is God speaking into your heart? Where does He want to take you this new year?


       It’s Woman to Woman Wednesday, where we come together as God’s girls to spur one another on to Truth in love. If you have a blog, we would love to have you link-up and only ask that you give some love to the person linked before you. If you don’t write, we would still love to see your comments here and through any links you can visit. We are in this together. Feel free to grab my button for your site and come back on Wednesdays to be encouraged. Much Love, mb


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  • […] up with Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Meredith Bernard, Jennifer Dukes Lee, The Weekend Brew,  Three Word Wednesday.  and Holley […]ReplyCancel

  • […] up with Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Meredith Bernard, Jennifer Dukes Lee, The Weekend Brew, and Holley […]ReplyCancel

  • […] one word that I didn’t choose, but was chosen for me to focus on this year, keeps coming to […]ReplyCancel

  • Ok Merideth, all I can say is ‘ouch’! I’ve been thinking of my one word, but all the time I believe God has been whispering His one word in my ear. This post is exactly what I needed to read today:) Thank you for being down-right honest!ReplyCancel

  • […] up with Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Meredith Bernard, Jennifer Dukes Lee, The Weekend Brew, and Holley […]ReplyCancel

  • Meredith,
    I am so glad I stopped by(Yolanda sent me! Lol)
    What a good “Word” (plus a good “one word”)!
    As the resident spit-fire of our household, I can definitely conccur that this word should get some “ruminating” time in our midst! It’s such an elusive concept for me sometimes!
    So, now my question is this: would it be okay if I have 2 words for this year, now??
    ReplyCancel

  • Great and challenging word, friend. It’s one in which I see God having big plans to use through you in 2015. So glad we get to journey together. I’ll be praying and cheering you on as you continue to walk hand in hand with your Savior. God bless you, girl! Much love in the new year!ReplyCancel

  • Well, submit is a challenging word, for sure. And it could fit in my year. This is my “year without sweets.” Yep…submitting to God to let go of this stronghold sugar has on my life. Crazy…but very real. However, my one word for this year is focus. David and I chose it together. And like you, I can’t wait to see how God is going to use it in our lives. I’ll be praying for all of us as the Lord leads us on this journey. May you have a wonderful New Year’s Day, sweet friend! Love you!ReplyCancel

  • “But with God in the lead, I can trust the twists, turns and bumps will be necessary and beneficial for a smoother road ahead.” Oh, Amen – such an act of faith, but how He proves time and time again that His twists are so much better than my desire for the straight and narrow. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly and for being such a lovely hostess for all of us.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer

    Meredith, This one really has me thinking… which is a good thing! My word(s) are “let go”. Let go of the past, the guilt, the fear of failure…the list goes on and on. Actually, as I’m writing this, “move forward” also screams out at me. Hmm, I guess I have 4 words, “let go, move forward!” Here’s to an inspiring new year!ReplyCancel

  • Oh friend, you continually touch my heart with your words and that beautiful voice of yours. Submissive dreamer . . . I like that. I cannot wait to see how God moves in the lives of those I have come to adore in the coming year, like YOU!
    Happy New Year.
    Much love. xooxReplyCancel

  • Oh friend… I love this! I love how our words pick us whether we want them or not and how sometimes the seemingly ‘good’ ones teach us hard things, and sometimes that seemingly ‘hard’ ones teach us good things! Praying for you as this Word unfolds through out 2015! My OneWord is Wonder and I am believing it for all the better definitions! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Yeah, I can hear you reading now.:) Love hearing your voice friend. Love that He gave you this word and look forward to how it will unfold this year. I am sharing mine tomorrow.:)ReplyCancel

  • Friend, this right here, “As I timidly step from the old into the new, I do it in submission to the One giving me the ability and opportunity to take this step.” Yes! I so get this & as a sister in Christ I am cheering you on for this new year & new season. It may seem odd, to cheer on submission, but I am. That is, as this word ministers to your heart in new ways & gives you a greater picture of our great God. This word is often misunderstood & mishandled in this crazy world of ours. God used it for a reason. May His purposes, His intent & His truth be a strong guide & comfort throughout the year. You are a beautiful woman & God is with you. Bless you, Meredith.ReplyCancel

  • Wow, Meredith. Beautiful. My heart resonates with this. I think “submit” is the hardest word in the English language to understand. The Lord zinged me with, “And if I start getting any and all of that right, even if it’s perfectly imperfect as I’m sure it will be, then I will be getting my life right and those in my care will be getting what they need from me.” So true … our family gets what they need and what God intended when we are submitted to Him. My word? It kind of hinges on this year’s word that I didn’t do too well with. 2014-unhurried … 2015-Be (not do). I think I’ll be “ruminating” on your post much today.ReplyCancel

  • Maybe God wants to show me that if I can learn to submit to Him in all the ways, He will inspire and fulfill new and bigger dreams than I ever imagined possible. I love that. Thank you for sharing your heart. My one word is “boldness” and it’s not in my personality, but I think God wants to stretch us to be more like Him. Happy New year!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith, this post just makes me so proud of you. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending because I don’t mean it to be it all. Pride sneaks into me all too often as well, but I believe when we submit to him he takes us further than we could ever imagine. Love you, girl. Can’t wait to see what next year holds for both of us.ReplyCancel

    • That’s not condescending at all, Abby! It is super encouraging, as always. And i’m super excited about this year, too…in a scared kind of way. 😉 Love you! Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for both of us. xoxoReplyCancel

  • […] up with Kelly Balarie and Friends, Meredith Bernard, and Jennifer Dukes Lee to encourage and be encouraged. Come join […]ReplyCancel

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  • Sounds like he is trying to teach us the same thing! My would is “yield”!ReplyCancel

    • Yes, Jen! Perfect word. Good…I’ll come crying to you when I need a shoulder. 😉 Thanks for being here today and blessings on your New Year. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Love this, Meredith: “What one word could I use as a catalyst for deeper worship and more intense Bible study, that will take me further along the road with Christ than I’ve made it before?” Yes! That’s what it’s all about. I get so busy planning other things that I forget that deeper worship and Bible study are the FOUNDATION to going further with Him. Isn’t that what our lives are about?ReplyCancel

    • Yes, Betsy…the foundation. I bet that’s your word! Going to see now. 😉 Love you lady and so excited about your series coming up and to be a part of it. Happiest of New Year’s to you!ReplyCancel

  • […] up with Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Meredith Bernard, and Holley Gerth. Check out their communities for more […]ReplyCancel

  • Meredith- I love that you you realize that you can be a submissive dreamer. I love the dreaming side of you. God can redeem all of your dreams and make them beyond the beautiful that you imagine. Your stunning message struck a chord with me, and I’m going to have to “ruminate” a bit myself. (love the word) Thanks for sharing your gentle, pure, and sensitive heart. I’ll be praying and thanking God for you in 2015. xoxoReplyCancel

    • And I’ll be forever thanking God for you, Karen. In all the ways you’ve encouraged me and continue to do so. Let me know how your ruminating turns out. 😉 Much love, mbReplyCancel

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