One Word that Makes All the Difference this Year

OneWord2015She pressed through the crowd. Moved past people who didn’t see her and weren’t looking. Past old, young, rich, poor, healthy and sick she squeezed. She just needed to get closer. Closer to this person who might finally be able to heal the brokenness she’d lived for over a decade. Closer to the one they said could restore sight and hope and even life. 

He stepped over the boat’s edge. The water splashing his feet, soaking his fisherman cloak. He couldn’t feel solid ground below, but in the boat he knew only time stood between him and the bottom of the sea. He stepped again, still standing. Looking out at the one who for all he knew was only a ghost. Except that he also knew this One could feed 5000 with a few loaves and fishes. . .

She ached for healing. He faced a raging storm. Their stories weave together with one word. A word that’s my focus this year:


She had to get closer, even if Jesus was in the middle of a hostile crowd. He had to get closer, even if it meant stepping his weight into the surge.

I have to get closer because to do what is required this year for my family will take strength I can’t muster or imagine. Because I want to write bravely and that means being close enough to hear God’s heartbeat. Close enough to hear His voice, His whisper:

“This is the way you should go”

“I am with you”

“Do not be afraid”*

In this, the year I turn 40, it is all I want. More than freedom from struggle, more than success, more than happiness. Just. . . to be closer to Him.

There’s this odd story of a girl in the Old Testament—Abishag—a young girl, chosen to be the human blanket who kept blind, aging King David warm (see 1 Kings 1:1-4). At first, I was outraged at the way this girl was used (even if the Bible is clear David’s relationship with her was platonic). I mean, didn’t she want a life of her own?

But then I thought about it for a moment. What must it have been like to spend hours talking with the king God calls a “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14)? What wisdom and perspective she got to hear every single day! She had access to more of David than his own kids, it seems, since we don’t read about anyone else sitting with the king day in and day out for however long Abishag did. And you know David wasn’t sitting there saying nothing. The guy penned Psalms like water pouring from a faucet.

She daily got to be with the one who was after God’s heart.

I want to be like that in 2015. Closer. Whatever else comes, like the woman pressing through the crowd and the man who stepped out of what he knew to walk on water with One he’d barely begun to understand.


Do you focus on One Word each year? What’s yours? 


* Isaiah 30:21, Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:6

P.S. If you are a parent of a child or adult with special needs, my new book was written to get parents like us closer… to joy. Check out the Get Your Joy Back book trailer and enter for the 15-book giveaway we’re doing at

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  1. Elise says

    Oh yes, closer! Love that! Though that is not my word, that is my prayer. Praying for you that as you draw closer you will indeed hear more clearly and receive more of His strength. You can do this…through Him, you can do this! Blessings, Elise

  2. Cheryl Pelton Lutz says

    Beautiful writing, Laurie. Praying for you as you press closer. My one word is “journey”. My husband and I are in a season of unemployment and waiting upon Him for the next step.

  3. Choirgirl says

    This is the first time I am trying One Word and my word is “Voice.” Two years ago, God clearly spoke to me and told me “I have given you a voice.” This year is to focus on all the ways I can use my voice and also to learn to be quiet so I can more clearly hear His.

  4. Danielle says

    Oh, Laurie, this brought tears to my eyes. I’m praying that God will play this word out in your life. And, my word for the year, it’s REST.

  5. says

    I was expecting this to be about the woman who was healed by toughing Christ’s cloak! Thanks for bringing to life a woman from the Bible with whom I was previously unfamiliar (toddles off to read more about Abishag…)

    • says

      Excellent! As part of the closer theme, I’ve been reading the Chronological Bible since the fall. It’s amazing what stories pop out from the page when they’re laid out in a different order than we’re used to reading them!