One Word for 2022

For the past few years I’ve chosen one word to inspire or guide me in the new year as well as a scripture verse to go along with it. There’s actually a whole #OneWord365 movement on the internet urging members to choose a word to focus on every day, all year long; a word that sums up who they want to be or how they want to live.

Much has been said over the past 22 months about how the Covid-19 crisis has robbed us of our freedom. Thinking about that led me to my word for 2022.

Freedom

Interestingly, of the 165 people worldwide who have registered their One Word for 2022 online so far, I’m the only one who chose freedom! I’m a tribe of one!

The Bible verse that I chose to go with this year’s word is a good transition from last year when my word was TRUTH.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

So what is freedom? Oxford Languages defines it this way:

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
  2. absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government
  3. the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved

There are really two kinds of freedom, freedom to and freedom from. There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has, at least temporarily, curtailed our freedom to travel, to gather in large groups, to celebrate special moments with those we love, to enjoy many of the activities that we once took for granted, and so on. Though it’s difficult to be optimistic with the Omicron variant running rampant, I do hold out hope that some of these freedoms might be returned to us before this new year comes to an end.

As I settled on freedom as my One Word for this year, however, it was actually freedom from that was at the forefront of my mind. While I’m enormously thankful that we, in the western world, are for the most part free from the kinds of oppression that are common elsewhere, I was thinking on a more personal level. For many years, I suffered from what has been identified as betrayal trauma. As a result, I clung to a root of bitterness that gave me a sense of stability. I was afraid that if I let go and let myself trust again, I would be completely blown away and destroyed. Several months ago, as God began to gently loosen my grip on that root of bitterness, I pictured it this way…

IMG_3461

For some of us, art can be a creative and healthy way to deal with trauma. My daughter, whose own journey toward freedom included an art therapy course, illustrated the words of American author and activist, Glennon Doyle, in this beautiful expression.

Melaina's art journaling - freedom 2

Regardless of how confined we are by the present health restrictions or those yet to come, I want to live 2022 in the fullness of the freedom from that I have finally found! I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t also point out that true freedom is found by surrendering our lives to the almighty Creator of the universe. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Have you ever chosen a word to inspire or guide you in a new year? What would your one word for 2022 be?