Live. That was my word last year.
It was a greyish January morning at the beginning of 2021 as I sat in my room and reflected on the last 12 months of my life. I thought about everything that had happened that past year: about all the things I loved and all the things I didn’t love so much, about all the things I wanted to carry through with me to the new year and about all the things I wanted to change. I reflected, and I decided that I hadn’t been living as best as I could have been.
So, quite simply, that was what I set as my goal for 2021: I wanted to live better. I wanted to jump at all the little opportunities that life threw at me. I wanted to see the beauty in the quiet, hidden, mundane moments. I wanted to bathe in the sunlight and dance in the rain and sing with the birds and run with the wind. I wanted to live wild and free and with a heart overflowing with joy and gratitude at each new day; at each new sunrise. I wanted to praise God in the highs and in the lows of life, I wanted to trust him more than I ever had before. I wanted to grow in confidence and in contentment. I wanted to be excited at the little things and I wanted to love others well. I wanted to jump in lakes and run through fields and climb hills and hike valleys and hug people and laugh with others and eat with my family and blast music with my friends. I wanted to see the beauty in all these little moments; I wanted to feel like I was truly living for Jesus.
So, that was just what I did. Or at least, tried to do.
Some days, it was really, really hard. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to move my body or drink water or go outside or do anything productive or love anyone well. Some days I didn’t want to open my Bible or talk to my family or study or read or write. So some days I didn’t. But on the days that I did- even on the days that I forced myself to smile and to do all the things I didn’t want to do- those were the days I felt most alive. Those were the days I could see the blessings everywhere; those were the days I most wanted to praise the Creator; those were the days I felt ALIVE!
So when it came to thinking about what I wanted my word for this new year to be, I wanted it to be something that encouraged me to keep living as best and as wholly as I could. I wanted it to be something that reminded me to live each and every day as an act of worship to the Creator. I wanted it to be something that nudged me to let everything I do be glorifying to God, to be set apart for Him and His Kingdom. I want 2022 to be the year I live fearlessly, unashamedly, BOLDLY.
So that is what I settled on: BOLD. In 2022, I want to live bold.
In 2022, I want to live bold in three ways. 1: I want to live bold in being different… in being set apart for Him and acting in such a way that might not please the world but will please God. 2: I want to live bold in loving others… in reaching out to people around me who I might not normally love as good as I could. And 3: I want to live bold in loving the Lord… in making everything that I do an act of worship to Him, as best as I can.
I was reading in Acts 4 the other day and I was struck by how the apostles prayed. Peter and John had just been released from prison and they joined with other believers to pray for boldness as they continued to share the gospel. Verse 29 says this: ‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.’ The Greek used here for boldness means a kind of outspokenness; a frankness. That is how I want to live this year; I want to unashamedly, bluntly and boldly live in such a way that brings glory to God and not to the world.
The other thing that struck me as I was reading this passage was that the apostles prayed that God would enable them to speak with boldness… not that they would be able to do that through their own strength. See, they knew they were never going to be strong enough to do God’s will without His help… the boldness that they received through the Holy Spirit in verse 31 was quite literally a gift from God.
So, that is what I want to live out this year. I know that I can never live boldly through my own strength, so my prayer for 2022 is that not through myself but through Christ in me I might be able to live boldly for Him this year.
So here’s to 2022, to living BOLD!