For years and years, God has given me a single word for the year.  Most years He gives me a bible verse to accompany it.  He made this mind.  He knows what works for me.  |
One word. 
One verse.  

One year.

Keep it simple, sweetie.  Right?

Most years I go into December knowing the word and the verse.  Never has it taken this long for me to hear Him speak.  

I won't lie.  It's December 31st.  New Year's Eve.  I'm a planner by nature, so I've thought about it a couple of times today.  Where are we going this year, Lord?  What do you want to say to me? 

It's been radio silence.  All day.  Truth be known, it's been that way on this subject all month, really.  (He's God.  He can do that.) 

That's cool.  I'll wait, Father.  You just say the (literal) word, and I'm ready to go.


Moving on, tonight I was talking to some beautiful warrior mamas in Single Mom Central about one thing we wanted to do in 2018.  

Just one thing.  It was not a hyper-spiritual conversation (nor was it intended to be), but instead one that was intended to spur thought on doing something good for ourselves.  (Single mamas have a tendency to go all in for our families, forgetting to take care of ourselves.  My heart was to create a conversation that flipped that script.)

What would my one thing be?  Well, my doctor and I are doing a lot of structural work on little ole' me to correct fun from an old car wreck.  I know that stretching would help with progress there.  Simple enough.  

I told the ladies in our group, "I'd like to stretch every day.  No matter what."  

I wrote that and stepped away from the computer.

Then came that Holy Spirit nudge.  "Stretch."

Yep.  Got it, Lord.  I'm gonna stretch and Dr. A is going to be so proud of me.


Stretch?  Like, THAT's my word, Lord? 

<Radio silence>

Mmmmkay.  Stretch, it is.

What.  In.  The.  World. Y'all.

It's 8:50 pm on New Year's Eve.  I finally have "my word for the year", and it's physical exercise. That's cute, Father.  Super cute.

I'll be honest.  I went to Google.  I needed some help getting to stretch references in the bible (because what?!?), and there's simply no shame in a Bible and google game, friends.  

I found a lot that I knew was not where God was leading me.  A lot.  

But then I stumbled upon Isaiah 54... 

It starts like this, “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed..."

I literally thought, "Hey, God.  Wrong verse.  I have kids.  Remember?"  (Hysterical.  Like He would forget?  Bless!  How God must shake his head as we chat with him sometimes. 😂)

But I kept reading.  (Welcome to Literal Land.  If the search engines of Google brought me to THIS verse, that meant the word "stretch" had to be in here somewhere.) 

And, boy, was it
... and so much more...

Take a read of these excerpts, my friends.

Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.

For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.
Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected," Says your God.


"For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you. 

“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.

Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones.

All your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great.

In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you.

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you.


No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

Well.  That whole deal just messed me up.  

It's like when your child is retelling a really good story and they are saying, "And then THIS happened, and then THIS happened,  AND... AND... AND... but then THIS happened..."

Just.  So.  Good.

There's so much to unpack here, and there's definitely some stretching to be done... physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  

I get it, Father.  Now, I get it.  Stretch. 


So, as of a couple of weeks ago, I have a new friend named, Esther.  I'm learning a lot from her.  Definitely a God-centered friendship that makes me smile.  Tonight as God downloaded all of this stretching talk into my mind, I thought of a text she sent me.

Her text to me yesterday said, "God uses everything we give to Him.  Notice what lessons you are learning.  How can they be used for your good and God's glory?  Use this as a time of preparation."

Friends, I have no idea what we're stretching for...

Truthfully, I don't know exactly what we're preparing for...

But I know the One who does...

I know the promises that He's placed in my heart.

I know that we've been dreaming together for quite some time.

I trust Him with all of it.

So, in 2018, we're stretching.  Every.  Single.  Day.

In 2018, we're preparing for His very best.

Speak, Lord.  Your servant is listening.  Every single bit of this word from You was so worth the wait.

Copyright © 2017 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved. 


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