My Word of the Year 2020: Rebuild

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
– Isaiah 43:19

This is my selected Bible verse of the year related to my word of the year: REBUILD. 

After doing an exercise to find one word for the year, I was initially perplexed. I wasn’t exactly sure how to implement “Rebuild” in 2020. What was I to rebuild?

Study the Word

When I start the year with a new word, I take time to examine and research it. The first step for me is to write out the dictionary definition. gives this definition:  

Looking up synonyms is also helpful. Related terms I found for REBUILD: fix, reconstruct, overhaul, refurbish, patch, recondition, reassemble, touch up, build-up, repair, restore.  

An exceptional online tool I use for research is Bible Gateway, with Bible dictionaries and other resources. I made a list of verses to read, study and memorize. This is where my related words helped. Because “rebuild” didn’t offer much (other than rebuilding the temple in the book of Nehemiah), I used the synonyms restore, renew, and build-up

Discover Bible Verses for Your Word

I discovered 10 verses for “Rebuild,” to refer to during the year:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:12

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
– Psalm 51:10

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.
– Isaiah 40:31

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16 

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
– Romans 15:2

But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. – 1 Corinthians 8:1b 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are
doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Look for Commentary

A Google search for related articles (be careful with this, however!) provided a great blog post on my word REBUILD at the Desiring God website. Here are some excerpts that really resonated with me: 

“Ask God to rebuild what is broken in your family —
to comfort you and your loved ones after your loss, to
strengthen you for overwhelming trials ahead (expected
and unexpected), to bring harmony and healing to
strained or estranged relationships, to finally save your
son or daughter.

And ask God to rebuild what is still broken in you —
to teach you the secret of contentment with which you
can face any setback or disappointment, to give you
wisdom and discernment, patience and joy in the work
he has called you to, to meet you in prayer and the word
every day in the new year, to once for all purify and
refine away any sin that entangles you.

If you ask him, and trust him, “[You will be] like a tree
planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain
green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it
does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7–8).”

Indeed, I need to rebuild relationships with some of my family, and there are things within myself to rebuild. However, while these things need to be rebuilt, I feel that it doesn’t necessarily mean they were initially failures. I think of it as a house. The original build may have been just fine. Still, by renovating, the house functions better, becomes more pleasant, and has more value. I want this type of rebuilding — positive restorations and changes.

Make a Plan

Using my research, I created a 3-step plan for how to implement REBUILD in 2020:

1. Renew Relationships

When my mother moved in because she needed caregiving, many problems immediately surfaced! Our relationship isn’t the best, so this will be the time to work on it.  Relationships, especially with family, can be hardest to rebuild if a fissure has grown over time. This will be a challenge for me!

2. Build up Boundaries

In the Bible study I’m attending this semester, we are reading the book “Boundaries: When to Say yes and When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. (I highly recommend it for relationships.) This book is opening my eyes about necessary boundaries, and those I need to rebuild with my mom and other family members – for my sake and theirs.  

3. Restore Pursuits

Rebuilding, or restoring my pursuits in 2020 will be focusing on those things that renew me, lower my stress, and is a significant part of personal self-care.  For me, that is writing and crafting.  

Writing has been a passion for years, and I am convinced that it is something that God gave me to pursue. With homeschooling my son, and now caregiving my mother, this goal seems to have been pushed further away.

When there is a need to rebuild something, we can be focused only on all the other things we are responsible for. To rebuild, prioritizing is necessary. Tanya Dalton, author of “The Joy of Missing Out,” says: “Discover your priorities and purpose so you can stop trying to do ‘all the things.’”

If writing is my purpose, it needs to have some priority. Prayer is necessary to know how God wants me to do that. He will open doors and “do a new thing” for me. Bible teacher Christine Caine said this: “God wants us to be diligent in keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus – laser-focused. He wants us to stay the course, and where we focus is where we’ll go.” 

Where will you go in 2020? What is your focus?


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