2021 was a year of changes for me.
I turned 40 (and subsequently had to get reading glasses, and decided to ditch the dye in favor of embracing the gray).
Our oldest daughter graduated high school and turned 18; our youngest daughter started high school; our oldest son turned 13 (read: three teenagers). The two little guys (ages 11 and 8) are a constant reminder that childhood flies by way too fast (so I’d better enjoy it).
Life on the home front was extra busy too. My husband, Jeremy, remodeled our church fellowship hall and built our new home, all while pastoring through a pandemic. We navigated some pretty hard parenting dynamics in 2021, celebrated a decade at our church, and the kids and I changed school communities (never an easy thing to do).
I could go on, but I digress.
As I always do at the end of every year, I started pondering what my word for 2022 would be. Honestly, I came up blank. I didn’t really want to pick concepts like “hard” or “stretched to capacity” or “breaking point,” but that’s kind of the trajectory of my thoughts.
One afternoon a few weeks ago, I was listening to a playlist from a music artist I discovered recently, JJ Heller. Immediately, the lyrics to JJ’s song, “Missing Peace,” grabbed my attention:
“I think I want answers, but what I really need is peace.”JJ Heller, “Missing Peace”
Oh, friend. That single sentence sums up my life in so few words. Immediately I knew what my word- and my new mantra- would be for 2022: peace.
Maybe it’s a personality thing, or an overly responsible first-born daughter thing, but I frantically seek to unravel the “why” behind problems, mistakes, issues, and fears. I’m always, always seeking black-and-white answers to all the gray issues of life (and there are many). More times than not, I wear myself out chasing shadows, all the while missing out on the sunshine of the present day.
Now don’t get me wrong: I do believe in asking hard questions and seeking answers. In learning, changing, and growing.
But at this new season of my life, with all its changes and uncharted paths, I’m realizing how true it is that I think I want answers, but what I really need is peace.
Maybe the quest for answers is actually a frantic search for peace?
And answers don’t necessarily bring peace, you know? In fact, the peace Jesus promises us doesn’t usually come with black-and-white answers. Sometimes peace is provided before the answers come; and sometimes, there are no answers at all (in this life, any way).
So my word for 2022 is “peace.”
As I’m slowly making peace with a new season/decade of life, parenting, and leadership, I’m also exploring what it means to lean into the peace of Christ. To rest, sans answers. More and more I’m understanding that my struggle isn’t because of a lack of peace (because Christ’s provision is abundant), but rather my capacity to really live into it. To experience what He so freely gives.
And really, there’s a sort of peace that comes by just admitting that I don’t have answers for all of my (or other people’s) past mistakes, my current challenges, or my future fears. And I don’t have to. (That’s a relief.)
So what’s on your mind as we step into this new year? Did you pick a word for 2022? I’d love to hear about it.
xo, Kristy Lynn
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