Many of you have heard me talk about this before. But for anyone who is not familiar with this, picking a word for the year is a way to anchor yourself through the days ahead. The word you pick could be something you want to focus on or something you want to keep in mind, as you step into each new day. Just to give you an example, my words from the past three years were: seek, grace, and cultivate.
And in 2022 my one word for the year is … ABIDE!
Some years the word is easy to pick. You just get a feeling inside that this is the word. And that’s how it was for me when I picked Abide. As a matter of fact, I knew in mid-November that my word for this year would be Abide.
According to Merriam-Webster, Abide can mean to remain stable or fixed in a state; to continue in a place. Specifically in 2022, I want to learn to Abide in Jesus. I want to remain stable and fixed in Jesus. I want to continue in the Lord. I want to abide in Him and He in me.
If possible, I also like to have a Bible verse for the year that coincides with my word. And this year my verses will come from John 15:4-5, where Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
In 2019 and in 2021 I loved having the words seek and cultivate, respectively. To me, these two verbs feel very active. And while Abide is also a verb, it feels a bit more passive or peaceful.
One night I was laying in bed thinking about the fact that I have been working for Jesus, learning about Him, writing about Him, seeking Him, cultivating for Him, etc. Yet I feel that I still don’t have the deep connection with Jesus that I should have. I want to know deep down that He loves me and I want to extend a lasting love in return.
I know there is more of Him that I can have in my life. But if I am being honest, then I also know that I am the one who gets in the way. He is always there, waiting for me.
Honestly, I stumble daily. I am far from perfect. There are many things in my life I would like to improve and many things I would like to change. And I feel that if I can truly learn to Abide in Jesus, this could change everything.
What will abiding look like? In January, I never know for sure how the next 12 months will play out. But from here, I plan to lay aside things that distract me from the Lord. And I want choose Him as often as possible. Each moment of each day we are making decisions, whether we realize it or not. When we are turning on the television, we are choosing not to pray. When we are scrolling on our phones, we are choosing not to read our Bibles. Therefore, in an effort to abide, I am going to try to lay aside many of the things that keep me from Jesus.
I also plan to read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) repeatedly throughout the year. When I am done, I will start over. (This doesn’t mean I won’t read any other parts of the Bible in 2022. But the gospels will be my main focus.) I have a new journaling Bible that contains only these four books. I am currently reading a devotional by Andrew Murray called Abide in Christ. And I am also reading Sarah Young’s latest devotional, Jesus Listens. I am excited to see what 2022 holds as I learn to Abide in Jesus.
And if you have a word for 2022, I would love to hear what it is.
© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas