This is the second day of not just a brand new year, but a brand new decade. It seems like 10 years goes by fast and yet it was 120 months ago. Where were you in 2010? What were you doing? What was most important to you?

And where will you be in 2030? Where do you want to be? How will you get there?

Just Getting By

In 2010, I was deep into my weight loss journey. My children were both in college. My main job was taking care of two mentally challenged women in our home. That was indeed a difficult year as one of the young ladies developed an additional diagnosis and had to be hospitalized in a psychiatric ward.

My life back then was pretty much just getting by while trying to focus on getting healthy myself—mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It was a hard year because I had to give up a lot of things I was doing and just focus on getting better myself. In this last decade God has certainly met me there.

Many of you know my story. It did culminate in me losing more than 250 pounds, but it started at 430 pounds back in 2004. I was still in the midst of losing weight, though, into this last decade.

A Word for the Year

Every year for as long as I can remember God has given me a word or a concept to focus on at the first of the year. I don’t remember the word in 2010. I didn’t always write my word down or ponder it until 2013 when He gave me the word grace. That was such a pivotal word for me that year.

It was the year God tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to write my memoir Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying To Earn God’s Favor. After writing that book my life changed in dramatic ways.

Of course it had changed prior to that, but somehow writing the book and then the subsequent books I’ve written in the Sweet Series solidified the changes in me. Up to that point even though I’d lost the weight, I still carried myself as if I weighed 430 pounds.

Stepping Into Changes

It’s taken me awhile to step into the changes I have made. I had a difficult time accepting that I really have changed. I really am different. God really has done a work in me. I really can wear a smaller size clothes. I don’t have to dress myself down or feel down. I can be me.

This is true for many who have lost weight and it may be the reason they easily go backwards on their lifestyle change journeys. One thing that has helped me solidify my journey is embracing the word God gives me for the year.

In 2013 I began blogging about my word. I didn’t want to forget it. I started to realize that the word He gives me keeps me on track with where and how He is leading me.

Words like focus, shine, wisdom, faith, humility, vision, insight, discernment, clarity are words He’s made come alive to me throughout the years. Yes, that’s more words than years. Some years He gives me several words to define one word.

Every Step Directed

I wait and allow Him to show me what the word is for the year. I really didn’t think much of the 2013 word of grace until Sweet Grace became the title of my memoir. It was a year I felt very directed by God in every step I took.

I’d like to say I’ve felt that every year, but some years it has been more so than others. In those years, the word He gave me helped lead me to deeper understanding of who He is and how He leads me.

This year my word is discovery. It’s definitely not the word I would have chosen, but it’s a word that brings up thoughts of going deeper into the mysteries of who God is and how He works in my life, your life and all of our lives. It’s a word I’ve begun to get excited about seeing what God wants me to discover more about this next year.

Ask God

Here are three things to do in order to find your word for this year. First, ask God, “What do you want me to learn more about this year?” God has already developed our lessons plans for the year. We just need to get onboard with which classes He has signed us up for!

Second, give Him a word you’d like to have for the year and let Him confirm it or give you another one. I wanted my word to be restore for this year. It’s kind of a selfish word. I wanted restoration of lost things, but God redirected me.

He said, “It’s more important that you discover more about the reasons for those things being lost.” Doing that will give me a deeper understanding of God and His ways.

Wait For Him

Last, but most important, wait for Him to illuminate a word to you. For me, it might come during a time when I am reading Scripture, many times in a different translation. All of a sudden a word leaps off the page and into my heart. It becomes a word I cannot get away from. It follows me wherever I go.

It could come from a sermon or something a friend or a mentor says. The word for this year came from something I was writing, which was very God-given in nature. All of a sudden I wrote the word discovery and I couldn’t go any further. I knew in that moment that was His word for me for the year.

Just to be sure, I sat with that word for a while and kept praying and asking God if this was the word. Finally He said, “I am not giving you another word. This IS your 2020 word.”

Future Predictions

Has God given you a word for 2020, a word that is directional and will define your year? If not, will you commit to spending time asking Him for that one word that will define your year?

Actually, it may the beginning of a directional trend for your decade into the year 2030. I look at how much I’ve changed in 10 years and how much the world has changed.

What will you, me and the whole world will be like in 10 more years? Will the United States of America even still be here? One thing I know is we really need God’s direction to make it through to 2030 and beyond.

In the year 2030 will we be more in love with God? Will we be more obedient to Him? Will we be more on track with our destiny?

Only God knows the answer to those questions. He says, “Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come” (Jeremiah 33:3 NLT). I’m committed to that discovery. How about you?

By the way, my new podcast on this topic is available. Go to to find Episode 9, One Word From God.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.