Most years I have written about my word of the year on December 31st, a finish to the year, but this year, I just wasn’t quite settled to write yesterday. It all makes sense now, so here I am on January 1st of 2023 looking back on 2022, and my word from the year: FAST.
First, I’d say this year was FAST! I know I’m aging when I keep thinking time is going by quicker and quicker, but that feels like it’s true! A couple of things that seem like they went in by really FAST:
My nephew is taller than me now. Wasn’t he just playing in the floor building farms out of blocks!? He’s even taller than this now!
Rodeo Houston was back with a full show, and those 3 weeks were FAST! We made the most of the Show this year together and included several evenings with friends.
Miles on my car as a commuter, they added up really FAST! We’re hopeful to reverse that mileage average FAST working from home with my car parked in the garage!
A couple of things that haven’t seemed so FAST:
Learning how to play golf…I’m not sure I’ll ever feel I’ve learned, but I did celebrate my first par this year! There’s a lot of lessons in golf, so many tiny adjustments that make major differences. So much wisdom in that for everyday life.
I got back to jogging at the beginning of the year with a 10K race on the calendar. I was improving my pace, working hard to get in my runs, and race day (in March) was incredibly hot, super humid and I did not go as FAST as I wanted to, and had to walk more than I wanted as well. Though that day didn’t go as planned, there was a lot of good growth in my days of running ahead of the race.
I started a Bible Study in the summer, but haven’t finished it yet, it’s taking me some time to work through it and I’ve worked on some other studies as well through the year. This year I have found myself in a deep and unfamiliar wilderness and studying through the wilderness in Numbers has not been FAST.
I kept thinking through this year what in the world does “FAST” have to do with and why in the world would that be my word!? Nothing of the year seemed to happen FAST. In fact a lot of it felt like slogging through mud and pushing hard for the next forward steps. A lot of tears. A lot of grief.
We’ve held FAST to one another throughout this year. This year will be an Ebenezer year of growth for us, both individually and in our marriage.
Ultimately what I have done the most through this year: held FAST to my faith.
I have come to the conclusion that is the purpose for my word this year.
January 1, 2022 began a new year and I started the year pretty sad. In 2022 I have endured deep hurt, rejection and realized I have been significantly deceived; and the only thing I have known to do throughout was HOLD FAST to that which I knew was true.
I was FAST to reach out to wise counsel and sought professional counseling as well. People who would right lies and speak truth to me about my character and my life. I am so grateful for years of invested Christian friendships and trusted faithful mentors who have been FAST to speak truth into my life.
As the year was winding down I did literal FASTING – a sacred practice of prayer and FASTING that I believe to be between self and Jesus, not for the sharing or publicizing. I did start to feel my load become lighter, truth to shine brighter, clarity, prayers that have been answered. If you find yourself in a place of deep hurt, need, confusion, longing, or _____, I do believe there is great purpose in FASTING. Seek the scripture and practice for yourself.
Two things that felt parallel to my life this year…
We planted a tree in our yard that I picked up at a local market. A tree is never going to be FAST to grow, much of its growth happens under the surface, that we won’t ever see. Eventually we’ll see the growth happening above the ground, the fruit of a strong trunk, branches, and leaves year over year. In years of great challenge, like 2022, I am so grateful for the roots I have grown in my Christian faith through the years, it is the thing that sustains me, no matter the season, I know a new season will come, and I hold FAST to that faith. God is not surprised by what I have been through, He knows, and He is FAST to hold onto me.
Over the Thanksgiving break we burned a pretty big brush pile from dead trees at my parents place. A lot of work had already been done to start the pile before we got there. Together, the 4 of us gathered a lot more brush, stacked it all up, and eventually lit the fire. For all the work to get ready for the fire, a fire burns up FAST! Leaving only ashes of what once was life. Seasons of drought took life from those trees, and it reminded me if I am not working to water my roots – my faith – it will dry up as well. When life seemed situations were going up in flames, I held FAST to my faith, it wasn’t dead and carried me through. In fact, we’re refined in the fire.
I love starting a new year on Sunday, it seems like the perfect beginning to me; the start of a new year + first day of the week + church. Today’s sermon included a verse that wrapped up my 2022, I am always grateful for how the Lord speaks to me and gives me just what I need when I need it…
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you.
1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 2
2022 went by FAST, and I held FAST. I certainly did not miss this detail of my word in the scripture this morning. Thank you Jesus for the hope of the gospel that saved me, and that I will continue to hold FAST. More than anything in this world, I trust that you are good, you hold FAST to me in times of need, and are faithful to me. This is the thing I will take from 2022 as I begin 2023.
Let’s hold FAST to our faith as we begin 2023.
Happy New Year!
I begin each year with a word, but I don’t tell anyone my word. I remember the word through the year and how it weaves into the year. To read about my word from prior years, click below.