Simplify. {2008}
Simplify.  {2009}
Simplify. {2010}
Believe. {2011}
Grace. {2012}

I’ve been praying for a couple of weeks over the word God would have guide 2013. For awhile, I thought maybe He was going to make me choose it without His opinion and I was kinda freaking out at the prospect. I asked on Facebook if anyone else chose a word to guide their year and as the responses poured in, I prayed more and a word started to surface:

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Restore.
Restored.
Restoring.
Restoration.

All forms of the word “restore” were popping up. Then I looked up some verses and that one jumped off the page and in that moment I knew.

J. Vernon McGee says this message in Jeremiah 30 comes out of Israel’s darkest days, and we hear a message of encouragement.  The army of Nebuchadnezzar is outside the town walls, Jeremiah has been arrested and is in jail. Jeremiah then pens the prophesy in chapter thirty which leads to this verse I found with my word:

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast…”

Jeremiah 30:17

I do feel like I’ve been in some pretty deeply dark times since about 2006.  And while going through so many challenges, trials, deaths, and the like, I’ve also learned to lean into God during the difficult times and I’m a better person for having gone through so much. I’m a more balanced, loving, intuitive, peaceful person. I fully understand I have a loooong way to go and I thrive when I’m learning and faced with new challenges, but I do have a feeling in my spirit, a feeling that whispers respite, enjoyment, peace, and joy.

This word “restore” in this verse in Hebrew seems to mean to ascend, to spring up, grow, shoot forth, to come up (before God,)  to bring up, draw up, train…

I’m glad I took some time to study the word, I was a bit confused. I felt like I didn’t want to be brought back to a former state or condition. I had one little piece of hope that I was clinging to when I thought God meant “restore” as this definition: that we would be restored to Missouri, that we would be relocated by Phil’s company back to where our kids and grandson are. And I held on to that tightly (I still pray for this to happen!!) But after looking up verses with “restore” in them and having this one jump up at me, I think my hope has grown in a monumental way.  It’s actually quite exciting to think of ascending, springing up, growing, and most–to come up before God. I feel like this is saying God will be growing me in ways I can’t begin to fathom, like He’s going to take my whole life up to this point and use it as a purpose-filled laser-beam, like the seemingly random stuff that has happened will become focused and clear.

I don’t know why I think those things. I just know when I’m thinking about this word and the context of the verse I was given, it seems hopeful and focused.