“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:30

Despite my own desire to keep going with Fearless into 2013, I have chosen a new word for 2013. I have learned by now to pay attention to the nudges of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 11 has been significant in my life. When I was tired, worn out, burned out on religion, I turned to this chapter of the Bible to be reminded – often daily – that Jesus gives rest to the weary and helps us to recover our true lives. With my own possibly-controversial book coming out in the next year, with a heart awakened to justice and mercy in our weary and poor world, with three small souls in my own care, I want to learn what it means to be light. I want to give up my own burdens – real and imagined – and only pick up the burdens of Jesus. And he promises, his burdens are light, his yoke is easy, there is rest for our souls in him.

Light, space, zest— that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. Psalm 27:1

Light One Word 2013 :: Sarah Bessey

My word for 2013 is Light.

I see Light in dual definition: weight and illumination.  So I won’t take on the burdens that aren’t mine to bear, I will let my soul find rest in God. God will fight any battles that may arise for me. I will walk with Him and learn his ways, lean into the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t take up my own defense or cop to an Evangelical Hero Complex. Even in the face of evil and suffering, pushing back injustice and misunderstandings, his ways are free and light, and I will learn to walk free and light, even while staying faithful in my own work. I look forward to life and zest.

I will also be part of his Light breaking into the darkness of our world in small daily ways. I won’t hide my candle under a basket, but instead, I plan on setting this small candle of my life and my work up on a lamp stand, to watch what God will do. And I will look forward to God’s light breaking into my own darkness. He is the Light of the world, and I won’t stumble around in darkness, Jesus provides plenty of light in which to live.

May God be glorified.

And in 2013, let there be light.

In which I am fearless - sort of
In which I am learning to own my authority
thank you for sharing...
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  • Love it. And your word brings to mind this amazing song by Gungor. Let there be.

    • I love that song so much, Alise, it’s ridiculous. Thank you for posting it here.

  • Holly

    Beautiful. I like the way the light is falling across you already.

  • Sharon O

    I like it… beautiful and so defining. “let your light so shine that they might see your good works and know they are from the father” paraphrased as I remember it.

  • Lacy Blaine

    yes, yes, yes! “light” is already showing up in so many wonderful ways! first, a friend chooses it with her groom for their wedding theme, then another writer friend chooses it to guide her year (here: http://thewildlove.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/the-word-is-light/), and now, you! i gasped when i saw the banner for this blog post. are there rules for following Spirit-led friends in their word choices? 🙂 may it be a blessed, light-filled year for you, Sarah!

  • Love your dualness of the word. Wishing you many blessings for your year of light.

  • Beautiful Sarah! I wrote about my one word yesterday (http://www.thealmons.com/ccblog/?p=7892) & today (http://www.thealmons.com/ccblog/?p=7897). My word this year is create! I am so excited to see how God works in & through me in this new year & I can’t wait to see how God works in & through you Sarah. Blessings to you!

  • I love, love, love that. I’ve been learning a little (a very little) about the Light of Genesis 1 recently. I’m really thick sometimes, so when I was asked by a spiritual father of mine when Light was created, I had to look it up. Day One, I said.

    Very good, he said. When were the sun, the moon, the stars created?

    Duh, I though to myself. Day One.

    Nope, he said. Look again.




    Sun, moon, stars. Not created until Day Four.

    So, what was the Light that God put into Creation on Day One? (He asked that question while smiling.)

    “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

    I said “hunh” and “wow” in my head simultaneously at this point.

    So… yeah. Light. I love it. So you. So Jesus. So much more to come…

    Yes. Let there be light.

    • Oh, my, that gave me chills. Thank you so much for sharing that, Tara! (p.s. did you ever get my message back to you on FB?)

      • Ooh… no… I don’t think I did. Of course, I was in crazy-land for the months of November and December, so I could have just missed it in my own insanity. I will scamper off and check shortly.

        By the way, I also laughed in joy reading that verse from The Message. My word for the year is SPACE.


  • miz melly

    Great! My word is ‘JOY’. Praying light and joy in both our lives this year.

    • Joy was part of my word a few years ago (I chose Abundant Life) and man, did it change everything! That was the year when I was set free from anger and bitterness. Whew. God has something good for you this year! (Not sayin you struggle with those same things at all, just saying: good choice!)

  • renee baude

    I’ve never chosen a word for the year before . . . but this year I was introduced to the idea by a friend who was helping me clear out my basement (on the blog referred to as the “basement project”, which is totally overwhelming) so I started thinking about it a few months ago. My word for 2013 is INTENTION.

    • That is a fantastic word, Renee. It’ll change your life, I imagine.

  • WendyPaineMiller

    Amen, may God be glorified. I love your word and the dual meaning it conveys. Will pray for you this year.
    ~ Wendy

  • That’s an awesome, word Sarah! I’ll be glad to see how your word plays out through the year. 🙂

  • Louise

    Oh my. I’ve been vacillating between two words for this year – “light” and “zest.” What a joyful surprise to come here and see a verse featuring both of them! (I also love the idea of “space” – finding restful spaciousness inside regardless of how cramped one might be on the outside.)

    • I know! I felt the same way, I was leaning towards Light but didn’t want to let go of Fearless yet. When I read that verse, I laughed. Of course!

  • Debby Hudson

    That portion from Matthew 11 in the Message was my choice for my blog. It always brings me comfort to read those words. And light….yes, light in all its forms!

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  • love.

  • I love this word. It was my word last year and I think part of why I can’t pick a new word is that I want it to still be light! xox

  • I am trying to choose a word, to find a word, to find THE word that is burning in my heart, but its so hard, and you all seem to keep finding words that are so amazing and beautiful and I start to want them for myself. But this is about me, got to find the word that is personal to me, which is hard really. Hoping for all the light possible for you in 2013.

  • Oh yeah, girl. This is good.

  • Love this!!! What a great word… I am sure you will be surprised at how often this little Word will shine bright – in you, and through you – in 2013!

  • YES. This is going to be good.

  • Amanda

    I love the dual definition of light. Another think light makes me think of is rainbows and God’s covenant with us.
    My word for the year is Kyrie. (I blogged about it here: http://rannygahoots.blogspot.com/2012/12/living-kyrie.html)

  • When I first saw the title picture thingy on fb, my immediate thought was lightness of weight, like feeling unburdened and stuff. my second thought was, oh but she probably means light like brightness 😉 but you have both! funny how my lens coloured my thoughts (i would like to feel lighter of weight in many ways heh) My “one word” is One Thing At A Time (oops it’s five words – what’s one word that would sum that up?) And I blogged about it yesterday. Thanks, as always, for sharing. Exciting to see where light takes you this year – goodness knows fearless went far far far <3

  • I love this post Sarah, especially the part about “listening to the nudges of the Holy Spirit”. My faith might be different than yours, but I also believe that there is a bigger spirit, a part of the universe that speaks to us in silent whispers if we are willing to listen.
    For the last few weeks I’ve been struggling with choosing a word for the year. My heart, my intuition, and that universal voice has been telling me to “Create”, but my mind keeps telling me it’s not the year to create yet. There is so much to learn, a foundation has to be laid before I start the creating. Reading your post just reminded me that sometimes it’s best to listen to your inner voice and give in.
    So glad I “stumbled on” your blog today – even though I’m sure it was sweet serendipity, and needing this post that led me here.

    Thank you,
    Pink Chai Style

  • Melissa

    This is wonderful. I chose light on Dec. 28 after receiving affirmation while reading Adam Hamilton’s The Journey devotional. He talks about receiving, bearing, walking in, reflecting and taking Light into the world. There is so much there….and it seems many of us have chosen this word. I am new to this community so thanks… and shine on!!

  • Carameredith.com

    beautiful! I’m excited to get to know you through your blog!

  • Wynne Elder

    i love that, totally inspired me. my word is give. 🙂

  • Gretchen

    “So I won’t take on the burdens that aren’t mine to bear, I will let my soul find rest in God. God will fight any battles that may arise for me.”

    Beautifully put. I definitely need to remember this. I love the idea of resting in God and allowing him to fight my battles. It’s hard to remember that God is in control when we’re always so busy trying to gain control over our own lives.

  • fiona lynne

    I love the dual meaning to your word. I love that it can be both an inward thing and an outward thing. My word this year is Joy (which I saw further down in the comments that you had a few years ago?) and I hope for the same – that it can be a an inward thing (finding joy) and an outward thing (spreading joy).
    I’ve loved reading all about your fearlessness this last year. My word was brave and I didn’t know how brave I would need to be when I chose it. Has been encouraging and inspiring to read your own journey towards fearlessness, thank you for sharing it so generously with us.

  • Thanks for sharing this whole one word thing. After years of championing resolutions, goal setting, and to-do lists, this sure is a welcome change, a breath of fresh air, and one that I am running with.
    REVEAL is it for me …

  • Mar

    So beautiful it made me want to change my word :). I’m thinking of the book title Travelling Light … One meaning to travel light, without baggage and burden … But you will also be a “travelling light” as you move through your year … And indeed you already are. Blessings.

  • Anna

    Gosh, I love your writing and I love how I can read the nudges of the Holy Spirit throughout all of it. I’ve cheated and chosen two words for the year: “One Life”. For me, that’s about not trying to be hundreds of different people, doing hundreds of different things. Instead I’m living the One Life that God has called me to with focus and using the gifts and opportunities that He gives me. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for your words. They have power, reveal grace, and bring truth. xx

  • Elizabeth

    Can’t wait to read and see and feel the light in your words, the overflow of your heart.

  • Anna Robbo

    Gosh, I love your writing and I love how I can read the nudges of the Holy Spirit throughout all of it. I’ve cheated and chosen two words for the year: “One Life”. For me, that’s about not trying to be hundreds of different people, doing hundreds of different things. Instead I’m living the One Life that God has called me to with focus and using the gifts and opportunities that He gives me. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for your words. They have power, reveal grace, and bring truth. xx

  • I love your word’s dual meaning. When I first read it I thought of it as being a light to the world, but yes, of course it means light weight as well. I hope you find many way of being many different kinds of light this year. 🙂

  • Becca Schwartz

    I love this! I can’t wait to read your book. 🙂

    My word for the year is Wholly. I’ve been feeling God nudge me to be more focused and fully present in my life.

  • Christy

    I missed the de-lurking post by a few days, so I’ll comment on this one to let you know you have a reader from Hattiesburg, Ms, about an hour south of the gulf of mexico.

    And it was just yesterday that I, while jogging along on the treadmill listening to some OLD Rich Mullins music, decided my phrase for this new year would be “Run Wild With Hope.” It’s a lyric in one of his songs, and its just one of the many and varied songs on my running playlist, but it almost made me tear up as I pondered that phrase.

    So, hopefully this wasn’t too cheesy. I’m a terrible lurker and don’t have a blog (though I do make custom clothes for children — “Lovely Rowan” on FB, if you care to find me.

    Thank you for the things you write.

    • Christy

      Oh my goodness, I’ve been sewing all night and my brain is mushy. I am not an hour SOUTH, as that would put us smack in the deep water. An hour NORTH, I meant to say. Sheesh.

  • pastordt

    Ditto to Grace – love. Thank you.

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  • Love this….especially about not hiding a candle under a basket – such an amazing metaphor, love it. Praying you understand & experience more of God’s light this year & God illuminates Himself to you in new ways. Have a really blessed 2013!

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  • Love your word!!!! Light…. God can do amazing things with a candle on a lampstand!

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