by Liz West

Hey girls, it’s January so I can still say Happy New Year. And guess what? Most people are still talking about 2020, although there are some who have moved on and some who want to.

Do you have a word for the year that sort of becomes yours? In 2014 mine was GRATITUDE, then I let it slip for 5 years. In 2019 my word was CALM –

C – celebrate the goodness of God

A – Ask God and others for help

L – Leave all your worries with God

M – Meditate on what is good, true, right, pure and lovely.

This was from a message that I heard from Max Lucado just before the new year started.

  In 2020 my word was HOPE. I even found a wooden word and coloured it in.

As I ventured off into 2020 I really didn’t know what would unfold, as most of us didn’t. I had hoped to fly to Darwin in May and Tassie in September. I had planned a large celebration for my mother’s 80th and her 60th wedding anniversary. My two sons live in Perth so that was on the cards too.

Church was going to be a buzz with new pastors and opportunities for service. My Christian bookshop was going to take a different direction. So many things planned.

But, alas, I won’t mention it, something upended our year.

One day I came home. I must have left the window open and my precious word HOPE ended up on the floor.

I stood there staring at my word. I must admit to a few tears. Not sure why, but I must have been having an off day. You know the type, nothing going right. As I stood there looking at the broken word, I thought that’s just how I feel. All my hopes for the year, shattered. I had been hoping for so much, now look!!! For the rest of the year I left it there, it looked like it had been fixed, but the h was still broken.

For me, throughout 2020, the word hope kept resonating in the bible readings I had, people I spoke to who had been through much worse than I had, songs that I heard and powerful messages that spoke to my heart. The common denominator in all these were not what was hoped for but WHO to put your hope in. These are some of the verses that carried me:-

Psalm 33v22 – Let your unfailing love surround us O Lord our HOPE is in you alone

Romans 15v13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace

Psalm 39v7 – My hope is in You Lord (are you singing the song in your head as I did?)

Psalm 71v5 – For you O Lord are my hope and my trust

Sure, 2020 didn’t turn out as I had hoped and I’m sure you can concur with me. But my hope in God is still rock solid. Why? Because there’s nothing else, there’s no-one else who can sustain us during tough times as God does. Are you hoping for a better year? Better circumstances? A better job? A partner? Children/grandchildren? Good health? More money?

All very good things to hope for. But they are not the answer to your greatest need.

Hope in God (and not just wishy washy thinking) will sustain you no matter what.

May the God of HOPE bring you peace and joy in your heart throughout the year.

P.S. I’ll let you know what my word is for 2021 in my next blog!!!


Liz West - wife, mother and grandmother. Owner of Harmony Gifts and Books. A member of Bracken Ridge Baptist Church.


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