One Word 2022

Happy New Year! I hope that 2022 has got off to a good start for you and I pray that you know God’s blessing and faithfulness in the coming year.

Over the last couple of weeks, as many of us do, I’ve been taking some time to reflect – thinking back on the last year and seeking God for a focus for the year ahead. While I am the sort of person who likes plans and goals, the thing I’ve found most helpful over the last six years has been having one word as a focus for the year. I usually begin the year with some goals related to the word and some idea of where it will take me, but I also enjoy seeing how God uses it in ways that surprise me and how he teaches me things I’d never have expected.

Some years it has been transformational, like 2016 – the year of “surrender”. Other years, the impact of the word has been much more subtle, but I have always found it a useful practice.

As 2022 approached, I was unsure if I would have a word. Normally I have a good idea of what the word will be at least a month in advance, but this year I had nothing… until finally, over the last few days of 2021, a word presented itself to me.

2022 is going to be the year of “embrace.”

There are several areas where I see this playing out:

  • Embrace God
  • Embrace wisdom
  • Embrace life/ opportunities
  • Embrace the moment
  • Embrace the messiness
  • Embrace others

I plan to share a few posts in January with my initial thoughts on some of these, so I’ll begin today with the first one: embrace God.

This has to be the starting point as we enter a new year. For many of us, 2021 was hard, and I know it has worn me down. So many people close to me have experienced devastating pain and suffering in 2021, and as I paused to reflect at the end of the year, I realised I was weary, anxious, fearing disaster, and struggling to trust God. At times like this, I can very easily drift into self-sufficiency and thinking that I have to deal with things by myself, so I need this reminder to turn to God – to allow the trials of life to draw me to him rather than driving me away.

As I looked up some Bible verses on the theme of “embrace,” there were two that I found relating to this:

“How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the Lord will cause something new to happen— Israel will embrace her God.” (Jeremiah 31:22 NLT)

This verse encourages me because, even when we have ingrained patterns of self-sufficiency, God can work in us to change that, to cause us instead to turn to him. And the other verse, from the parable of the prodigal son, shows the welcome we receive when we do turn to God.

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 NLT)

It’s a two-way process: embracing God and knowing his embrace, and my hope is that it will be one that builds strength and trust.

I’ll share more about some of my other thoughts on “embrace” next week, but if you’re a regular here, you’ll know I always need a song to tie my thoughts too, so I’ve chosen “Here with me” by MercyMe.

What about you? Do you have a word for the year or goals for 2022? Feel free to share in the comments. And if you have a word for the year, I’d encourage you to check out Lisa Burgess’s One Word community where you can connect with others to learn about how their words are impacting them and to share and receive encouragement. You can find out more at Lisa’s blog or on Facebook.

Linking with: Inspire Me Monday, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements, Let’s Have Coffee, Recharge Wednesday, Grace & Truth

44 thoughts on “One Word 2022

  1. Lesley, embracing God needs to be our starting point each and every day. Such a good reminder for us all. In these challenging days in which we find ourselves living, it is the way to go through the days with peace and assurance that He is with us. I look forward to reading how God uses this word in your life this year!

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    1. I know what you mean about a word picking you, Some years I have had a word I definitely didn’t want but it was one I felt God was leading me too! And I definitely want to embrace peace! Look forward to reading about your word.

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  2. This is such a great choice for your word for 2022. Especially as we’re still required to social distance in the physical world, it is all the more important to embrace God and each other spiritually.

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  3. Such a beautiful word that implies action. There’s the physical act of wrapping your arms around someone as well as the act of receiving–embracing–what’s in store for you. I’m eager to see how Embrace falls into place for you this year.

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  4. Oh gosh, there is so much to embrace in this post! Embracing all that God is, all His promises, grace, and love while we navigate this time in a broken world…it is an almost overwhelming concept’ so much so that I can’t even imagine it! But that is how great our God is, isn’t it? My word is “intentional” this year as I learn to embrace His ways.

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    1. It’s amazing how much can come from a single word! “Intentional” was actually a word I considered, so I look forward to reading about how that works our for you this year.

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  5. I’ve never felt led to choose a word for the year, but I find it interesting to hear how other people do and how God uses it in their lives. I love the various aspects of this–how the Lord embraces us as we come into the family and how we’re to embrace everything He has for us.

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  6. Oh my, Lesley, how I love your word for this year, “embrace”. It is such an elegant, fulfilling word. Though not my word of the year, God has been teaching me new ways of embracing all He has for me. I can’t wait to learn along with you on your journey this year!

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  7. Embrace is also what my daughter has chosen! So I’ll look forward to reading what you experience through embrace. In a way, I feel it is quite the opposite of my word release, but in another way, I feel it is very similar: the more I release unnecessary things, the more I’m free to embrace God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great that your daughter has chosen the same word! I see what you mean about the link with “release.” I look forward to seeing how that word works out for you.

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  8. Oh, I love your word, Lesley! I love the two-way embrace. It’s so comforting and empowering to think of being in God’s embrace. It helps us to trust His heart for us even more and embrace what He sends in our lives.

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