It should be goodness, right? 

Every time my roommate scribbles a note with “you will see His goodness in the land of living”… I melt. I cry. It means so much to me. It reminds me instantly of 2015 and the dozens of my dreams that came true, all in one year.

Yep, I’ll definitely see goodness in 2016, right?

Yet… there’s another whisper in my ear… and He’s firmer, calmer, kinder.

What’s my one word for 2016?



However, that conjures up a whole different set of memories. Painful ones. Not-so-fun ones. Not ones that are easy to mention in a blog post. And I’m shocked how one word that is often used interchangeably can bring such contrasting emotions. Goodness, faithfulness. What’s different?

Every time I hear faithfulness sung… I melt. I cry. It’s so hard to hear. It reminds me instantly of 2015 and the hopes that were shattered, the heart that was wholly disappointed, the dreams that didn’t come true, all in one year.

Sure, I moved to Australia like I wanted for so long, joined missions and did my DTS, travelled to Europe for the first time, even made it to Paris for a day. Yet all of that came with its own set of heartbreak that I couldn’t see beforehand. With it? The searing, gnawing question:

Has Jesus really been faithful to me? 

Oh yes, I can confidently say He’s been good. However, “goodness”, from my one perception of the English language, can be more a one-off thing. A stranger can be good to me, just passing on the street. I can stop and get to know them as a result of that kindness, but nevertheless– a stranger cannot be faithful to me. That takes time. That takes promises made. That takes keeping your word.

Part of what made last year so difficult is that there were promises I didn’t see fulfilled. I didn’t get the job I expected to right out of university, I didn’t even stay in the same country I thought I would, and so many relationships I thought would deepen just… couldn’t.

Has Jesus really been faithful to me? 

Well, when you’re reading a novel, you need to finish the last page before you find out if a character has been faithful– loyal, steadfast– or not.

Now? There’s another whisper in my ear… and He’s firmer, calmer, kinder than ever before. Has Jesus really been faithful to me? I know I can say “yes” to all my desires He fulfilled last year, but what about all my disappointments? I listen to the whisper:

This isn’t the end of the story. 

So, here’s to another chapter of not only goodness, but faithfulness. 

Photo: Anna Bay, NSW, Australia; December 2015– one of the many dreams fulfilled in 2015. 

Check out others joining me in #OneWordCoffee at Faith Barista