My One Word for 2016


The new rage in New Year’s resolutions is to, instead of making a list of goals, choose one word to focus on throughout the year and apply to every aspect of your life.

In thinking about what one word could describe all the ways that I want to grow in this new year, “abide” seems to encompass it all.

In the last two years, I’ve moved cities and merged onto a new career path out of necessity, and in the wake of all of that forced change I was left with the options to either be bitter about my circumstances as came naturally, or to change my outlook on almost every aspect of my life.

Changing one’s own worldview is easier said than done, and ultimately, it took surrendering my frustrations and uncertainty to God, and accepting the truth that he always provides. To go out on faith, following the unfamiliar path laid before me.

Now that I’ve come this far, I understand enough to know that this really is the right path for me, and I never would have chosen it if not for every other door being closed. And so now I want to have a fuller understanding. I want to be more committed. I want to be more disciplined. And I think that all of that and more can be accomplished through abiding with Christ.

I had to look the word up to make sure I understood the meaning: To stay; to continue in a place; to have one’s abode; to dwell; to sojourn; to wait; to pause; to delay; to remain stable or fixed in some state or condition; to continue; to remain; to be prepared for; to watch for; to endure; to submit to; to bear patiently; to tolerate; to stand the consequences of; to answer for; to suffer for.

I think that, to combine all of these descriptions into one coherent thought, “to abide” is to be joined with your object with such commitment that you stay with it, you wait on it, you endure for it, you submit to it, and even suffer for it—with pleasure.

I live in belief that God has ransomed my soul and counts me as his own. I know that he goes before me and stands behind me. Where my faith lacks is the day-to-day abiding in him. Pausing, remaining fixed in a state of communication with him, having a sustained relationship, bearing patiently the hard times and submitting when my ways differ from his. To dwell with him. For my gut reaction to be to turn to him in every circumstance: in praise, in hardship, in confusion, in concern; for him to be the source of my joy and the foundation of every aspect of my life.

This is what I want out of 2016.