Choosing a word companion each new year provides a singular focus within the events of that year. God revealed my 2022 word a few months ago. Despite my efforts at finding an escape clause, it appears braving the new year with resilience beckons me forward.
At times my words completely baffle me, like my 2020 word, “Freedom”.
In the middle of a global pandemic shutdown?
Other times they challenge me, like my tiny 2021 One Word friend, “Joy”. By the way, for 2021 I invited my readers along for the ride; you can read the full journey and amazing lessons my diminutive Friend taught me HERE.
But this time, my One Word 2022 Friend, Resilience feels just right.
“The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress,” gives a basic definition of the word “resilience” according to the American Psychological Society.
Everyone has their own hardships, challenges and suffering; so braving the new year with resilience looks different for everyone.
How you respond to adversity determines your level of resiliency.
Resilience, long misunderstood as “keeping a stiff upper lip” or “toughing it out” has little relation to stoicism. It does, however, reflect the level of bravery which faces adversity with an inner strength not wholly your own.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”Proverbs 24:10
joy introduced me to resilience
Spending a year with Joy truly transformed my life in many ways; but none more than revealing resilience’s presence.
Omnitemporal, God exists outside of time, and as such His ways perplex us. A simple review of previous One Word selections often unveils His wisdom in timing the choice of those words.
Joy collected over time, fuels resilience-ensuring we’ll have resevoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.Brene Brown
As I neared the end of my 2021 journey with Joy, resilience surfaced boldy as God began opening my eyes to this new lesson.
Joy was not something to choose or pursue; Joy, firmly rooted in my union with Christ, personified God’s Presence with and within me.
How better to face suffering and adversity? Firmly embraced within an intimate, eternal relationship with Christ? The outflowing of Joy becomes resilience.
stepping into an identity rooted in resilience
Interestingly, the idea of resilience met me in the form of a rebuke.
Why the continual setbacks? Why the silence, God? It’s been more than three weeks under fire.
Thumbing through my Bible for the next assigned memory verse, I arrive at my destination: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
Instead of a warm hug and promise of better days, God spoke resilience into my whining session.
Sitting with the passage in 1 Corinthians I hazarded a glance at the next passage for memory work: Joshua 1:8-9, ouch.
resilience: my spiritual identity
Stop playing the spiritual victim. Has a full year with joy taught you nothing?
Indeed. Of the many lessons learned at the hand of JOY, grasping its authenticity through my identity in and relationship to Christ, was transforming.
Yet, when faced with an extended season of adversity, I fainted, lost faith and sat down in defeat.
Slowly, in the following weeks, God began reinforcing my spiritual identity while weaving the threads of resilience into my thoughts and understanding.
In 2022, God desires I step more fully into my spiritual identity, showing forth His glorious power through the resilience embedded there.
braving the new year with resilience
In some ways my 2022 One Word assignment feels heavy, almost arduous. Except resilience speaks not to pulling myself up by my own bootstraps, but owning my position in Christ.
Where JOY pulled me deeper into intimacy with Christ, resilience flows from that place of intimacy and trust, filtering every adversity through God’s good plan.
Braving the new year with resilience, promises many lessons ahead; I have but begun with a bold first step.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:8-9