2019 Word of the Year

For the past few years, I’ve selected a word/phrase of the year, including “Purpose, Collective Efficacy, and Time”. I’ve been praying about my new word and really struggling with the one that keeps coming to mind. I’ve tried to ignore it by continuing to search for something that is “better” and more profound. However, God has continually directed me to something that I desperately need to learn. So, I am submitting to His guidance and have chosen “FORGIVENESS” as my 2019 WOTY.

I’m not sure exactly how to proceed with this one, as I desperately need to simply learn “how” to forgive. I believe I just need to immerse myself in learning the how’s and why’s based on God’s words. So, to that end, I am going to explore “forgiveness” in the Scriptures to learn God’s views and directions so that I can finally address some areas of anger and resentment in my life. I have learned that forgiveness is not a one-time or immediate act. It is a process. I understand it will take time, work, and personal growth. It will require a change in me.

I will be sharing this journey through this site, as a means of remaining accountable to my commitment. I welcome your comments along the way.

Happy New Year!



He heard me.

Yesterday I watched an interview with Carrie Underwood. Not being a country music fan, I was not familiar with her story, but I have always admired what I’ve seen of her in the news and social media. Well, I was blown away by her honesty, humility, and willingness to share her personal testimony of God’s work in her life.

During the interview she shared about her difficult year last year (2017) when she experienced a devastating facial injury due to a fall and also experienced several miscarriages. During a particularly emotional part of the interview, she discussed how she became angry with God, even after fighting this anger because she considered herself too blessed to be mad. One evening, she says she prayed, truly talking to God about her pain and despair after what appeared to be another miscarriage. When she saw her physician and was told everything was good with the pregnancy, she realized “He heard me.” What a great witness of the true power of prayer!

Carrie’s story caused me to pause and reflect on my own life. God has heard me many times. Most recently I was in what I consider to be the most difficult time of my life. I was working in an extremely toxic environment where I experienced threats and retaliation on a regular basis because I refused to support unethical (even illegal) actions. I, too, was very angry for a long time. I felt that no one was listening to us. Those who were responsible were not held accountable.For almost two years I cried out to God. Looking back, I realize He was teaching me valuable lessons that have greatly inspired my calling – my research in RESILIENCE, specifically the support and advocacy for students and faculty. I needed to live out some of the very real issues (moral distress, fear, isolation, etc.) that plague so many of my colleagues, all while continually crying out to God. I had no answers. I was desperate and scared.  I believe God wanted me to realize (once again) that it was not within my power to “fix” my situation. I was not in control. I needed to give it all to Him. Finally, I did.  He heard me.

My life today looks completely different from that life. I have the most wonderful job with amazing colleagues and I am beginning to recover from the physical effects of those two years. I learned a lot from that experience and am grateful for those lessons. I am very grateful that I can share, just like Carrie Underwood, that we are never alone in our despair. He hears us.

You can view Carrie Underwood’s full interview here.