Can pomegranate really be a word for the year?
If it can, then maybe almond is one to add as well. But when you pick a word for the year shouldn’t it be more magnetic like, “surrender, intentional, strength or purpose?” And on that note… do people really give their “word of the year” much thought after March anyways?
For me, I always thought having a “word of the year” was a bit cliche. It felt like something that was popular at the moment such as New Year’s resolutions. We often make them but they don’t really stick after a month or two into the new year. In my case, New Year’s resolutions wouldn’t even stick for a couple of weeks before they began to disappear into the back of my mind. Knowing this, I wondered if the idea of a “word of the year” would fall into the same category as the many New Year’s resolutions from the past. These sorts of things sound great and inspirational to begin with, but lose their finesse and excitement a month or two into the year. Another thing is, how do people even decide what their word is? To my surprise, I bought into the hype of this notion… kind of. But first, please allow me to explain how I stumbled upon my words and how they’ve played a role in my life as 2018 has unfolded and 2019 begins.
With over 171,000 words in the English dictionary, there’s an overwhelming amount of options. To narrow my selection for word of the year down to just one seems rather difficult and quite intimidating. Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to learn that instead of seeking out this powerful word, I may instead receive one at the beginning of the year. However, I’ve come to realize that this word can and usually does change as the year continues.
To paint this picture more clearly for you, at the beginning of 2018 my word was consecrate. By the middle of the year it had changed to joy, and by the end of the year it was somehow pomegranate. Not one of these words were something I pulled out of a hat, but rather a word that would continue to pop up everywhere I turned. For example, these words would stand out to me in passages from the Bible, daily devotions, and during sermons. No matter where I was or what I was listening to, these words seemed to pop up all around me. With each word, I felt like God was encouraging me to get a better understanding of what each of those words really meant. And more importantly, He wove them into my personal life in unique and meaningful ways that helped me to see His full picture and purpose.
Now when I say I grew to understand what each of these words really meant, I’m not talking about the Webster’s dictionary definition. Although that is a good place to start, it isn’t the end destination for me. With these words, I want to know what the Bible has to say about them and how they can mean something more for my life. When the word consecrate became my word of the year, I found the Websters dictionary definition to be:
At the time that I received consecrate as my word, it made complete sense why God would press this particular word upon me. Promise Chocolates was in the final stages of preparation and we were preparing to launch within months. I knew God wanted me to dedicate our business for His sacred purpose and He wanted my husband and I to be devoted to that purpose with deep dedication. However, I also knew that was not the only reason or season God had intended for that word to be meaningful in my life. I knew that consecrating oneself was meant to be a lifelong decision. More specifically, this word further encouraged me to dedicate and devote myself to the purpose in which God created me to live in.
Somewhere in the middle of 2018, I started seeing the word joy pop up everywhere. In sermons, scriptures, and even from a friend who gifted me a book on joy not knowing that this word was constantly being brought to my attention. Then there was this time that turned out to be the icing on the cake when I had the opportunity to talk to a wise gentleman by the name of Stanley Tam. Mr. Tam wrote a biography I had been reading titled God Owns My Business and his life truly radiated the love of Christ. I was blessed with the opportunity to wish him a very Happy Birthday on his 103rd birthday. And yes… you read that correctly, he is 103 years old! Talking with Mr. Tam reminded me of talks with my great grandfather and there was a genuine spirit of joy that could be heard in his voice. By the end of our conversation, I asked him if I could ask him for a piece of advice and he graciously agreed.
My question… “You’re 103 years old. If you could give one piece of advice on how to live a joyful life, what would that be?” His answer, “Surrender your life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my joy! I look forward to going to heaven!”
There you have it… God’s way of taking my word from the beginning of the year “consecrate” and bringing it full circle with the word “joy”. In order to experience this joy, I must be willing to surrender my life completely to Christ which will allow me to consecrate myself to the purpose of God’s calling for me. I just love being able to look back and see how God orchestrates things over time to give revelation and paint a beautiful picture for our lives.
So now you’re probably thinking… how did pomegranate come into the mix?
In November of last year, I received the news that I had breast cancer. To read more about my thoughts when receiving the diagnosis, please click here. Sometime shortly after receiving this news, I went looking for an image to post on social media for Promise Chocolates “Faith Friday” post. For some reason, the word pomegranate popped into my head. I had actually been thinking of another image to use but pomegranate kept coming to mind. “What is so important about the pomegranate?” I began looking in my bible for scriptures that mention pomegranates and I found many. One of my favorite scriptures mentioning the pomegranate is in Deuteronomy 8.
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.”
However what really got my attention was when I came to the section of scriptures I had recently been studying. In my personal study time with God I had been learning about the designing of the Tabernacle and the section I last read about was the instructions for the Breastpiece in Exodus 28. Up next was the instruction for The Priestly Garments in Exodus 28:31
“Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.” Exodus 28:31-35
Now I say it all the time….I don’t believe in coincidence so when I read this, I knew God was about to reveal some things through the word pomegranate. I started a Google search to try and understand why the pomegranate was important and used in the making of the priestly garments. God is meticulous in all He creates so I hoped to understand a little more about these garments. My various searches led me to articles that spoke of the symbolism of the flesh and seeds of the pomegranate. To unselfishly serve others (the flesh) and bless others (the seeds) and if you know anything about a pomegranate you know there is little to the flesh of the fruit but packed with many, many seeds. I also learned about the fruit being a blessing from God that represented prosperity, fertility and fruitfulness. While reading these articles the thought came to mind, “Aren’t pomegranates considered a super-fruit?” One might think I was going down a rabbit trail but I had to explore it.
Pomegranates are indeed considered a super-fruit but I also learned that it’s believed that this same bible famous fruit helps to fight against breast cancer! And there is was…another full circle. Of course I don’t like to think of or claim cancer as my “Word of the Year” but unfortunately it is a word that has become a part of my story. Please hear me when I say that I am not a medical professional and I am not making any claims that by eating pomegranates it will cure breast cancer. What I do believe is that pomegranates were considered to be one of the foods of blessing for the children of Israel and if God said it was good for them then it must be good for me as well! That one (end of the year) word…..pomegranate has led me to understand that part of my journey in consecrating myself to the Lord is by becoming the healthiest version of myself that I can be. So I have started on a journey of learning about the various foods mentioned as blessings in the bible and their health benefits but that’s for another blog post.
So can pomegranate really be a word for the year… well, according to my son YES! He says it’s a fun word to say and it has a good meaning! I would have to agree with him. With that said, I’m claiming pomegranate and taking it into 2019 with me and I look forward to seeing what other words God lays on my heart to study in His word.
What about you? Do you tend to have a word or words of the year that you study and hold on to throughout the year? Leave a comment with your word and what you’ve learned. It just might be another word others reading this or myself should lay claim to as well!
Sweet Blessings to you all!
Amanda ~ Promise Chocolates