I’m a word person. My favorite games are Scrabble and Bananagrams, and I have a thesaurus app on my phone. I love to read and write, and my husband probably gets tired of all the words that pour out of my mouth.
So it’s of no surprise that I’m also one of those people who chooses a word for each year. I delight in choosing a simple word to focus my mind and heart above all the goals and resolutions. My word for 2021 was faithfulness.
I chose that word in part because I wanted to focus on my own faithfulness in the everyday moments of my life. Life with two little ones felt overwhelming, and focusing on the small acts of faithfulness seemed more hopeful than setting big goals for the years.
However, as I began studying faithfulness in Scripture, the Spirit revealed a different reason he led me to that word. I found very few verses about our call as Christians to faithfulness, and more verses that extolled the faithfulness of God.
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Exodus 34:6
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23
More than growing in my own faithfulness, God wanted me to behold his faithfulness in my life. Rather than keeping my eyes on myself and my work, the word “faithfulness” drew my eyes upward to see how God was at work around me and in me. And, oh how I have seen God’s faithfulness throughout the year.
He has given me a greater understanding of his love for me.
He has grown my humility and discernment in motherhood.
He has helped us develop healthy family rhythms as a family of four.
He has provided more opportunities for me to write and to share my writing.
He has carried our extended family through hard medical diagnoses.
He has sustained my marriage through hard seasons of spiritual growth.
He has blessed our family abundantly so that we might bless others.
He has developed some of the sweetest friendships in my life.
He has continued to sustain us through the adoption process.
He has deepened my love for him, for my family, and for others.
He has matured my own faithfulness as I have fixed my eyes on his.
As I review the pages of my prayer journals from this year, I’m reminded that his faithfulness has truly been great this year. Yet I don’t think that God was any more faithful in 2021 than he has been in years past. Instead, my eyes were opened to see his faithful fingerprints throughout my day. By focusing on one word, I trained my heart to seek where his faithfulness was at work all around me—both in small moments and the big decisions.
As I come to the close of 2021, I’m savoring the faithfulness of God that carried me through this year—each month, week, day, and hour. Even as I begin praying for a word for 2022, I first pray my heart would continue to remember his faithfulness in my life.
How have you seen God’s faithfulness this year? And what word are you setting as a banner of your life in the coming year?
Looking for a way to fix your eyes on God’s faithfulness? I found that filling the margins of my day with theologically rich music helps me renew my mind and settle my heart. Here are a few of my favorite songs, specifically about God’s faithfulness.