Anyone who was alive in the 1920s would likely remember where they were on October 29, 1920. It was on this day that the U.S. Stock Market collapsed and economic catastrophe descended upon America. It’s safe to say that no one who was alive during the Great Depression could forget such a time.
And while I wasn’t alive during Great Depression, I can vividly remember a Great Depression of my own that capsized my world as a child.
As I’ve shared candidly before, I suffered a number of family deaths and family brokenness as a young child. Yet, it wasn’t until this past year that I fully grasped the extent to which those early traumas had formed my understanding of the world…and of God.
Like an American during the Great Depression, I adapted a scarcity mindset; a coping mechanism that I turned to for nearly twenty-years without realizing how unhealthy it truly was.
A Year of Humbling
When I started this blog at the ripe ‘ole age of eighteen, I did so with the intention of painting a picture of God’s faithfulness through written word—a testament of gratitude. For better or worse, I’ve documented the last seven years with a (hopefully) maturing lens on thankfulness, taking each year in particular to focus on a word that God has given me to spiritually mature in.
When I prayed about 2021, the word was “humility.” I cannot help but laugh when I consider how naïve I was in penning that initial blog post…did I really expect that a twelve-month humility endeavor would be delightful? Apparently.
Needless to say, this last year has been one of the hardest of my life (shoutout to 2020 for taking the top spot). It was a rainy, rainy season—with the beautiful, flowering gift of marriage that has no doubt been the highlight.
And yet, here we are: January 2, 2022. Suffice it to say I desire to keep growing in humility, but I certainly have been humbled. So, it is in that state of humility—that battle-weary, wounded yet grateful existence—that I’m stepping into a new year. A new word.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this difficult year, it is that the Lord God Almighty conquers all death, depression, and despair. He is doing that in my life as I embrace the uncomfortable truth that I am wholly dependent on Him to do, be, or know anything.
And that, friends, is how God led me to my “focus word” for 2022.
Why I Prefer “Bad” to “Good”
Kudos to you if you’ve tracked with me this long. I know these “year reflection” type posts can be verbose. But there’s a reason for that. Writing is not algebra as much as it is geometry; the artistry and process are of equal importance as the message itself.
So, I’m painting a picture for us. I’m explaining that my year of humbling led to some pretty stark revelations, the largest of which is that I have a serious aversion to being in need. What’s more: I hate even the prospect of being in need; so much so that I have a tendency to bury the good in search of the bad—just so I feel prepared for incoming disaster.
Recently, I asked my husband what comes to mind when he considers the word “abundance.” He responded that he pictures an overflowing grain silo and that the word has only positive connotations to him.
The answer shocked me.
Rarely had I considered abundance to be a good thing.
An Abundant 2022?
What if I get too attached? How will I cope if I need more than I can contribute? What if it’s too painful when I inevitably lose it? When will they discover I’m weak and abandon me? When will the bottom crumble?
These are all questions I’ve wrestled with. Since childhood, I have been scared of experiencing God’s blessings. When I surveyed my relationships, finances, and health, I was terrified to enjoy the good…terrified that as soon as I adjusted to it, disaster would strike.
So, why do I—why do we—fear blessing? As I’ve pressed into this question the last few months, I’ve realized that a fear of receiving God’s blessings stems from a heart that doesn’t understand God Himself as the ultimate blessing.
Abundance in the Bible
God’s Word tells us multiple times that He is a God of abundance. Just a quick word search through my Bible revealed that God:
- Is abundant in righteousness (Job 37:3)
- Has abundant goodness (Ps. 145:7)
- Has abundant power (Ps. 147:5)
- Give abundant mercy (Ps. 51:1)
- Provides abundant life (John 10:10)
- Is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)
That last one in particular has always been a favorite verse of mine. Why? It leaves no question about it: God is able. And He is willing.
Our Response to God’s Abundance
Contrary to my husband, I’ve rarely associated “abundance” with positivity. It strikes fear into my heart for the same reason that receiving a generous gift is hard for me: it reveals vulnerability.
If there is abundance, my head rationalizes that there will soon be lack, which means that if I grow accustomed to the “good,” I’ll suffer all-the-more when life gets hard again.
As God is showing me though, receiving His blessings isn’t a path toward spiritual-softness that will land me in deep depression. Maybe that’s true if our satisfaction is in God’s abundant blessings, but not if our satisfaction is the abundant Savior Himself. If Christ alone satisfies, then a right enjoyment of His good gifts only leads to a greater enjoyment of who He is.
Writing is not algebra as much as it is geometry; the artistry and process are of equal importance as the message itself.
His fulfilling abundance does not end. That means that if we fix our attention on His abundance as seen through earthly blessings, the loss of such blessings won’t rock us, nor will their arrival complete us. In fact, the earthly blessings that come and go will drive us to our Maker. And that brings new, abundant life.
I’ll be honest: I’m not sure. I’ve never let myself freely enjoyed and lived out of God’s abundance. I’ve been squatting in my Great Depression for years, but I’m ready for that to end.
Come death or life, depression or relief, success or catastrophe; I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that the pain we experience, as children and now as adults, does not get to own us. We are the Lord’s. I know: My Redeemer lives.
I hope you’ll join me this year as we learn how marvelous and worthy of praise God is; as we see Him shine brighter than the blessings we see Him provide. With Job, may we proclaim:
Do you have a word or focus for this new year? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments below!
2 thoughts on “An Abundant 2022”
Loved your thoughts.
“Abundance” is a very interesting word. As a financial advisor, I get to meet with people who experience abundance and those who experience a lack. I think there are several things to remember when it comes to abundance.
1. God gives and takes away. Job 1:21
2. I shouldn’t take credit for abundance and I shouldn’t despair in loss. Just trust in God’s promises for provision. Matthew 6:26
3. Everything is God’s no matter if I have little or abundance. Psalm 24:1, Haggai 2:8
4. I should live openhanded in abundance as well as in little. Hebrew 13:16
5. Little can be used incorrectly just as easily as much. Luke 19:17
6. Abundance is not only material or monetary. You can have an abundance of skills, relationships, or attributes. God is a God of abundance in every category. The ulitmate blessing is from trusting in the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7-8
7. Abundance is really about stewarding what God has given, sharing with others the gifts and knowledge of God, and bringing glory to God. 1 Peter 4:10-11
LikeLiked by 1 person
Abundance is an excellent word for 2022! You have been faithful with the little, now I will trust you with much. We are coming to the time where the money from the wicked will be poured into our coffers so we can fund the revival/renewal that’s beginning. I’ve been finding a word each year for several years since your promptings. This year I asked the Lord what the word should be and my mind went to being a blank slate and the word ‘forgiveness’ came clearly in white block letters on the black, blank slate. NO big surprise; I’ve been fasting since January 1 and the Spirit keeps bringing to mind people I need to release from my judgement.