A Year of Abiding

As you may know, my one word for 2022 is abide. I love the beauty of this word, especially in relation to abiding in Jesus. Here are some ways this word helped me to grow this year.

In January I read a book called Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray. This is a 31-day devotional, but it took me about 6 weeks to read due to the old language. (It was originally written in 1864, I believe.) But pressing through was worth it, as this book was very insightful.

Throughout the year, I read the gospels. I also studied other books of the Bible at times, but the gospels were my main focus for my daily reading. This helped me to keep my eyes on Jesus, and learn more about Him.

I memorized Jesus’ words found in John 15:4-5: “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.” I would often recite this in my mind at night when I went to bed and was trying to fall asleep. When we memorize Scripture, we are tucking it away in our hearts. We are storing The Truth inside of us. Life can be difficult and we have a real enemy who is out to get us. But the Word of God is one of the weapons we can use to fight our battles and to remind us of how we are to face each day.

Something that I started last year, and continued this year, was to have a monthly check-in. When the month changed, I would take a look at my life to find areas where I was growing, and areas that needed improvement. This pertains to things like reading my Bible, prayer, what I was learning in my studies, my health, etc. This gave me twelve opportunities through the year to make adjustments.

This fall, on the blog, we studied what abiding in Jesus looks like, based on Scripture. I thoroughly enjoyed this study and I hope you did as well. We helped each other grow through those posts. As is often the case, your comments gave me more to reflect on. And I am reminded that “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Ultimately, focusing on the word “Abide” has helped me to draw closer to the Lord. Each day I was reminded to lean into Jesus. Of course I am not perfect and still had moments where I stumbled. Life is like that. We will have potholes in the road. And that is okay. Those moments help us to learn, grow, and do better next time. But when we look back over the months and years, we should still see an overall improvement. And that is how 2022 was for me.

Abiding doesn’t end here. It is a lifelong journey with the Savior as we abide in Him, each and every day. That is how I often see a “one word” for the year. It might be something we put more focus on for 365 days. But the result should be that it changes us and molds us as we continue on our path. Therefore, although I will have a different word for 2023, I will continue abiding in Jesus as I step into each new day.

When we abide in Jesus, day by day, we find a deep sense of peace and contentment in our lives. We see that He is the center of our lives. We build a deeper relationship with Him. And He ultimately becomes our sustenance.

If you had a word for 2022, I would love to hear how it shaped your year.

Gratitude Challenge 2022

If you want to end 2022 on a positive note, then perhaps you will consider finding several things you are grateful for each day, through December 31. You can either write them down, or simply say a prayer of thanks. Gratitude is one way of abiding in Jesus, as it draws us closer to Him.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on unsplash.com

19 Comments on “A Year of Abiding

  1. What a beautiful picture of a year well spent that you paint here, Bridget. John 15 is one of my favorites as well. I like the rhythm you established over the course of the year. Check-ins seem like a vital part of life. I’d be curious to hear more about what you learned and gleaned from them. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Rainer! Regarding the check-ins, I did learn a lot. Maybe this can be a future post. But for now, here are some tidbits: I have found that regarding certain areas, consistency is key. Too often I allow outside circumstances and even my own feelings to dictate my life. The world says to follow your heart, but that is not biblical and the heart can lead us astray. Everything should be approached with prayer. Follow through with the things that the Lord places on my heart, and hold everything else loosely in my hands. Ultimately I have seen how much I really need Jesus, every moment of every day!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Terri and I were just sharing our observations about feelings and circumstances the other day. This rises to the forefront during seasons of focus like Advent or during challenging periods of life. It’s hard to remember that we are anchored in Christ, not swayed by our feelings and circumstances.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Such good points here! Sadly, our culture and things like devices, social media, Amazon, etc have trained us to feel fulfilled all the time. You mentioned seasons like Advent – in our Christian walk, when we have those seasons of focus, we feel fulfilled. But many days are middle or mediocre days and we wind up reaching for other things to fulfill us, instead of turning to God and sitting in the silence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bridget, it was wonderful to read your reflection on all that you learnt as you focused on abiding in the Lord for this year. I really like the part where you took the end of each month as an opportunity to reflect and therefore giving yourself 12 moments in the year to make changes as needed.
    My word for this year was surrender. It was definitely an intense learning experience for me to let go. And as you said it is not like I have mastered it but it has definitely shaped me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing that, Manu. I always love hearing other people’s words and how they played out. Surrender is definitely a strong word. It can be scary, yet also freeing. I can appreciate that it helped shape you, but will continue to play a role in your life. Some of these spiritual lessons we have to continue to walk through. But the Lord never gives up on us!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading and meditating on scripture, as you mentioned, is a perfect way to end the day. At night, the enemy can try to bombard our minds with worries, or ungodly thoughts that steal our peace. However, God has promised us a peaceful sleep (Psalm 4:8. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety). So meditation on scripture helps bring us peace by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Thanks Bridget. 💐❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny you should mention that because I have been thinking about writing a post in regards to peaceful sleep. But you said it so much better than I would. 😁 Maybe if I do get around to it, I will quote you, if you don’t mind. There is so much truth to what you said. And I didn’t even realize the full impact. Lately I have had a rough sleep pattern and I do agree that the enemy plays a role. But when we cling to Jesus, and keep our focus in the right direction, it changes everything. Thank you, Dawn! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. I’m looking forward to reading your post, if you decide to write it. I’m sure you’ll say it nicely too, but yes, feel free to quote me. Thank you! I’m honored lol. I have to be intentional about what I do at night, peaceful sleep doesn’t always come easy for me. God reminded me recently that I need to read His Word before bed. Also if I had a word for 2022, it would be trust. I have had to really learn to trust God this year. I know that’s an ongoing battle, but this year has definitely been a year of extreme learning. Thanks Bridget. 😁❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! I am with you in the trust thing. In fact, just last night as I was laying in bed, I was thinking of how in many cases I don’t truly trust God, even though I say I do. So there is another post, or maybe I will tie it together! I love the idea of reading your Bible before bed. Maybe you should write the post instead 😂 You are welcome to, If you have given it some thought. I don’t want you to think you are stepping on my toes. I know sometimes I worry about that. If I have a similar topic, I am afraid some may think I “copied.” (Sadly, I have learned that there really are blog post pirates out there.) But I also know that God often lays similar themes on His childrens’ hearts. Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Thank you for these encouraging thoughts. You gave me much to ponder on being more intentional with the bedtime hours. ❣️

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! Glad we can encourage and inspire one another. I have noticed at times while reading blogs that many bloggers are writing about the same things. The Holy Spirit works through us all to get His message across. That’s sad about the blog pirates though. I pray God will continue to watch over us as we do this work for His glory! ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When sleep won’t come, I often turn to memorized passages of scripture to calm my mind. John 15:1-17 is one of those passages. Sometimes I’m asleep before reaching the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Abide..Thank you for sharing this word with us throughout the year. It truly has made me take notice (plus I think of you and your encouragement when I come across it!) So important to abide in Him through every moment of the day, this is what a healthy relationship with our Lord looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so honored to know that you have enjoyed the posts. And it makes me happy to know that you are noticing the word more. I agree that learning to abide in Jesus is so important. It grows our relationship with Him and it affects our entire life. Thank you, Alicia! I always love hearing from you. Have a blessed weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I understand. My word in 2020 was grace and I felt I failed to embrace the word. However, when I looked back on my year, I found that God filled in the gaps for me. Ironic considering what grace represents. I agree with you – we do need to give ourselves grace and it is a practice. Thank you for sharing, Crystal!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: