My One Word for 2014

For weeks I’ve been circling, not wanting to land.  Eyeing this one word way down below.  Skeptically.

I’ve contemplated others, rolled ideas around in my heart, hoping the Lord would highlight to me a word, or even a phrase, that felt more creative or profound or artistic.

But nothing else has fully encapsulated what the Lord is up to in my heart.

I’ve returned over and over to circling this one word.  This word that’s felt too basic, too “normal.”  But when it all comes down, no other word fits the current focus of His working and moving inside me like this one.

So after all my circling, my back and forth wandering and wondering, my musing and my perusing of my mental thesaurus, I’m coming in for a landing, giving in to this word that won’t let go of my heart.  And as I humble myself and settle into it, it’s beginning to feel a little like home.




Freedom, because God has recently unearthed places in my heart where I’ve not been walking free.  Where I’ve ignored what’s held me bound and held me back — not wanted to face the reality or depth of my bondage — for years.  Places where fear has had me in its clutches and frankly, I’ve been embarrassed to admit it.

See, I know the “right” answers and I firmly believe the Gospel is big enough, powerful enough, and extravagant enough to bring freedom even to this area of my heart.  But freedom’s practical reality hasn’t yet sunk all the way in.

And keeping these chains hidden in darkness has only allowed the enemy a greater foothold.


No more.

These days, I’m speaking aloud the things I’ve been ashamed to say:

I’m not free here, in this room of my heart.  I’m stuck in fear, and it’s painful.  It’s keeping me from freely, confidently, fully stepping out in who I know I am.

And now I’m fed up enough with this area of bondage that I’m getting over my pride, letting a few people in, and asking for help.

And I’m landing on this most basic of words for my new year, because it’s the place I know He’s fiercely committed to leading me in this season.

He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. -Psalm 18:19

Y’all, this is what Jesus purchased for me.  For all of us.

“May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering,” and may He receive it fully in my life.

May Christ receive His reward in my surrender to living in every. stinkin’. ounce. of the freedom He died to purchase for me.

Unrestrained.  No longer held back.  Into a spacious place.

In these days, I am more committed than ever to living in the fullness of what the cross of Christ accomplished for me.  Committed to learning more and more deeply who He made me to be.  Committed to becoming my deepest, truest self.  Committed to living my life authentically, out of my core.  Committed to pursuing a lifestyle of unhindered worship and wholehearted obedience to Him alone, to make Him known.

Committed to taking steps toward bold, confident, genuine, abundant, joy-empowered, purpose-filled freedom.

And I’m falling into His mercy in all of this because, lemme tell ya — in these places I’m still broken?  I don’t know how to fix myself.

I’ve tried, y’all.  For years.  And I’m not trying to force my way into freedom and wholeness on my own any longer.

I’m learning to rest in His desire and plan to heal me and move me forward into all He’s won for me.  Because it’s Who He is.  And He who began a good work in me WILL BE FAITHFUL to complete it, y’all (Phil. 1:6).  He will.  

So for 2014, I’m standing on His fierce commitment to lead me into freedom.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1


PS. Have you chosen one word to mark your 2014?  If so, I’d love to hear.

PPS. My word for 2013 was “Presence” and the Lord emphasized various facets of it to me as I walked with Him through the year.  Having chosen that word for my 2013, and having the Lord continually draw my attention back to it, have been really impactful for me.  And I’m by no means ready to let go of deepening my awareness of His presence, or of focusing on offering my authentic presence to others, in the coming months.  “Freedom” is an addition, not a replacement.

PPPS. I’m linking this post up with the community over at One Word 365.  If you’re interested in learning more about the One Word concept and even maybe choosing your own word for 2014, please check it out.

This entry was posted in Freedom From Perfectionism, Goodness of the Gospel, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, One Word, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to My One Word for 2014

  1. Dana, I love this! I too tried for years to gut my way into freedom from the captivity of habitual sin. Until I let Him all the way in. Although I’m sure there are areas of life where I’m still not completely free, but being set free from this particular captivity was truly life changing. I can’t wait to hear how God is going to work in your life through this word! BTW, mine is Miracle (
    Holly Barrett recently posted…FightMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Holly, that’s amazing, isn’t it? How when we surrender and let Him ALL the way in He brings the freedom that we couldn’t achieve on our own? Crazy how I’ve let shame keep me quiet about my fear-struggles and in continual bondage in this one area for so long. ONWARD. :) And I LOVE “Miracle.” Thanks for sharing!

  2. Barbie says:

    Oh I LOVE this! I think some days I still walk around bound, living in fear, falling short of my higher calling out of fear of failure. I can’t wait to watch how this word unfolds for you in the coming year. He came to proclaim freedom to the captives. As long as we are bound by fear, we are not free. I join you in this quest!
    Barbie recently posted…The Weekend Brew: When Light SpeaksMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Oh how I am AMENing your words, my friend. Fear is, like, THE THING, I think, that most often holds me back from stepping further into who I really am and how I was made to live. You bless me, Barbie! Onward! :)

  3. Maria Cowell says:

    Absolutely loved this post and enjoyed reading another fellow believer who has chosen this word for 2014. It is exciting (and a bit scary) to think of how life would be when we walk in the freedom of Christ, not forced or manufactured, but coming out of our core and our relationship with Him, as you so eloquently expressed. Every blessing for a great journey ahead.

    • danalynnb says:

      YES – It is a little scary! But I think that’s a clue we’re onto something – don’t you? So thrilled you came over to visit – and YES – a blessing to find a fellow-believer who’s on this freedom journey with me. Blessings to you as you move forward into 2014, friend!

  4. Oh, I love your word for 2014 mainly because I am excited to see what comes of it. :) Here’s to freedom because He did come to set the captives free. Maybe this is your year of Jubilee. I feel like I have been walking the freedom journey for some time now. I went to visit my grandmother recently, and the visit reminded me of how far He’s brought me out of captivity and into freedom. It reminded me that there are still people waiting to be set free. I pray for you to receive freedom and to give it as you become more and more free. Look forward to this journey with you.
    Jamie S. Harper recently posted…Coming in JanuaryMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      It’s interesting, isn’t it– how sometimes visiting family makes us aware of how far He’s brought us. Painfully and joyfully aware at the same time, eh? I so appreciate your prayers and encouragement, Jamie, and YES to a Year of Jubliee. Hugs to you, friend. :)

  5. Jolene says:

    Thank you Dana for sharing your word and your heart with us. The word freedom brings to mind Isaiah 40:31 If we wait on Lord we will soar on wings like eagles. I hope that you soar in the freedom found in and through Christ this year.

    My word for this year is joy. I want to be more joyful this year. Far too often I get bogged down by my to-do list, schedule, and I am grumpy wife and mommy. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be joyful and encouraging to my husband and children. I hope you have had a lovely weekend.
    Jolene recently posted…Five Minute Friday FightMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Jolene, thanks for the reminder of Is. 40:31 – what a blessing. Will be rolling that one around in my heart for a few days. And I LOVE your application of joy for this year. I so identify with feeling bogged down and ending up grumpy. It’s a daily struggle, eh? So thankful Jesus gives us everything we need to have joy in those moments and even to offer it to others. AND so thankful for his grace that covers all the moments I fail to choose to walk in it… sigh… :) Bless you, friend!

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  7. Sarah says:

    Way to go Dana!!! I love that this is your word. You are walking in some deep waters and I know God is there with you every step of the way. I love how God has brought us together and we can see one another develop and change through our writing. What a glorious thing for me to witness. xoxox
    Sarah recently posted…#AskAwayFriday With Mrs. TeeMy Profile

  8. “He brought me into a spacious place…” is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. Friend, I am so thrilled to read and live out with you this journey of freedom! How I know fear and fear of judgment, too, and so I am expecting to be learning right along with you. I love you.
    Ashley Larkin @ Draw Near recently posted…The road ahead and homeMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Ashley! Me too, my friend. Meeeee too. All of Psalm 18 is so CORE to my walk with Jesus. Thankful for your companionship in this and so blessed by your heart. Love you too… xo

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  11. Gorgeous YOU and gorgeous word… It’s gonna be a wild year, I can tell. And sense that “freedom” will turn out to be defined in unexpected ways.

    Love you lady,

    P.S. I don’t know HOW in the WORLD it happened, but your comment on my blog was left “in moderation” for “approval” this whole time and I only just saw it today… WEIRD because comments on my blog have never needed moderation. :-/

    • danalynnb says:

      Erika, AMEN to a wild year and YIKES to the unexpected. But YES, LORD. You bless me – your writing, your heart, the way you see. Thank you. (And no worries. :) )

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