Ever since December 2012, God has given me a word for the upcoming year. It sets the context for the entire year. Here are some memories:
2013 - A Year of Change. I was going through the divorce and everything in my life had to change. It was a great reset for me in mindset, what I did, how I had fun, what I focused on and read, what I believed, whom I believed, even physically I had to make changes in how I looked.
2014 - A Year of Victory. It was a year of tremendous success and victory. The divorce came through, I moved from where I lived and began new ventures in life. The greatest victory was in my faith. I knew that God would come through for me in everything. This also happened to be the year when I would sit down and have a meal with Ernest for the first time.
2015 - A Year of Travel. I traveled to more places and countries than any other year in my life so far. Things began to happen supernaturally especially where there were obstacles to prevent me from traveling. God opened up the way and facilitated everything.
2016 - A Year of Resolution. God began to change the direction and path for my life. The resolutions were not mine to complete because I couldn't see that I had anything to resolve. He put a complete stop to things that He no longer wanted me to venture into anymore, like thoughts of going back to risk management and anti-fraud studies. I didn't know it then, but I know it now, this was not the future path for my life and only God could stop me from returning to my past.
2017 - A Year of Restoration. I was undergoing so much change, I needed grounding again. I needed to feel as if my life was not out of control, but stable and safe. I remember feeling as if, after all of the moving around we did (less than we're doing now), I needed to feel my two feet planted in a place that was my own where I could stay for a few years. Having a home that I owned was restored and I began to feel stable again.
2018 - A Year of Forgiveness. This was a big year and very deep emotionally. I would never have known how many people needed my forgiveness and how many I needed forgiveness from unless God guided me through it. It took courage to do so and not back down. What a powerful, honoring lesson it was. Love was the blessing that flowed from this year. When forgiveness was applied, love took over.
2019 - A Year of Peace. I began to experience peace as my guide. We had just been through a number of life changes, having lost my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Peace guided us through everything, especially in learning how to rest after trauma and how to trust God more.
2020 - A Year of Joy. Happiness can be temporary, but joy runs deeper than happiness. Joy is a part of someone's soul. It didn't show up as fits of laughter, but I began to feel joy in my heart and soul. It took a great undoing of defining the differences between happiness and joy for me to feel joyous again and that set the momentum for my mindset into the coming year.
2021 - A Year of Change. Wow, having had the same word in 2013, I had no idea what to expect this time around. When we were at crossroads in decisions and for the direction of our lives, I remembered change had to happen, which meant I would take a path I've never taken before. This took courage and humility, not knowing how things will turn out, but hoping for the best. The whole world seemed to experience changes in so many ways. Everything about the ways that I used to live, function, the foods I used to eat, my mindset, the relationship with my family, even where I am physically has changed. I found myself surrendering every single thing to God more and He stepped in to change things from how they were and what we were thinking to a completely different path. God has been teaching me compassion, humility and to be non-judgmental this year and that's changed my life in how I see and experience people from all over the world.
2022 - A Year of Growth. I was a little afraid when this word came to me in September. I told God that I really don't want this year of growth to be like task oriented goals with all of the accountability attached to it. I sometimes find this exhausting. I want something new and different. Recently He replied that He will teach me growth through kindness. That resonated with me, I was relieved by His gentleness towards me and I am looking forward to my year of growth. My scripture to set the context for this Year of Growth comes from Psalm 32:8: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."
What's your word for 2022? If you have one, I'd love to hear about your experiences of it.
This is my last blog for 2021. My blog was read in 9 countries at the end of 2020. This year it's grown to 21. I want to personally thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me to write and share my journey, to learn, to be vulnerable and authentic and most of all, you inspire me in my own journey with God and how to love. Ernest and I wish you all a very blessed, peaceful and happy 2022.