In early December I pick out a word to fucus on for the next year. Then I let the word marinate for a while in the back of my mind to see if it word fits. Some years it does and others not. This past December the idea of hope kept popping up to my mind. Was hope the word for the year 2023? Such a positive, cheerful word. A good Christian word. After all . . . “Faith, hope and love” and all.
In March of 2022 we had moved to a new town. We rented a cute little apartment to stay in until our house sold. The markets were great. The house should sell, no problem. Finally in November a couple made an offer on our house and we began dreaming, hoping for a new home here in the place we had come to love. I felt our waiting period was almost over, and that it was time to hope for a new beginning in a new home. It seemed so, and I settled into the idea that 2023 would be hope-filled. I would be hopeful.
There certainly was much to hope for.
Our oldest daughter was coming to visit for a week at Christmas time. We looked forward to a Christmas with all three of our daughters, our nuclear family of five would be together again.
Hope. I was full of hope.
- 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
Then . . . the selling of our house fell through.
Then . . . three of us got Covid.
Then . . . Our pipes froze and we had to move out of our apartment for ten days.
I was sick and cold. I hit bottom. Hope?! I cried out to God. How can I have hope in the midst of all this? Why is hope my word of the year?!
Then perseverance came to mind. Now that’s a word that fit. I could see perseverance as a concept I had been living with for some time and would continue to be present in my life for a while yet.
- persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Yes, that was a better word to represent 2023. Perseverance is a meatier word than hope. Perseverance has depth and experience. Perseverance is hope’s wiser cousin. Perseverance says, “Sometimes things are good. Sometimes they are hard. But I will keep going no matter what.”
Don’t we all long to be mature, complete, and lacking nothing? I do. As hard as persevering may be, I’d rather walk through the difficulties of life and into wisdom and completeness on the other side.
So 2023, will start with the word “perseverance” and if I learn what I need to learn hopefully it will end with “hope.”