2022 Word of the Year: Fear Not
Yes, it's a phrase, not a word. And the phrase is associated with Christmas, but hear me out.
Last week my husband pitched me this idea of moving our furniture. I hate moving the furniture. We put it where we put it because it worked, now leave it alone. He enjoys rearranging the furniture. At any rate, his idea made sense, and I agreed, but not just because he made a good case for moving furniture.
Five years ago we built a brand new house. We spent months agonizing and arguing over the details. Some of the most intense disagreements of our marriage happened in those moments. He wanted dark countertops and stained cabinets. I wanted light countertops and painted cabinets. He wanted the shaker shingles to match the brick. I thought they needed to contrast. (Also, I didn't even know what shaker shingles were before then.)
We expected to live in the house for the rest of our lives. It didn't qualify as my "dream house," but it came as close I expected I'd get. If I planned to stare at those counters and cabinets for the next forty years, I wanted to love them not tolerate them.
The whole process took longer than we wanted, but we were thrilled to move into our new house after six months of anticipation.
Three years, almost to the day, that we moved into that lovely home where we'd written scripture on the beams under the sheetrock, the moving truck pulled from that same driveway with all our earthly belongings.
That's right. We sold the house where I expected to live out the rest of my days after three years.
All those nights of losing sleep because what if I didn't like not having a tub in the master bathroom did not matter one whit.
Neither did moving the furniture a week before Christmas.
Neither do so many of the choices we fret over.
This year, my phrase for 2022 is "Fear Not."
Our family will experience a lot of big changes this year. Both our kids have milestone birthdays with one turning 16 and one 13. The oldest one will more than likely get a driver's license and maybe his first job. The digital marketing agency I own experienced a growth spurt last year too, so we're figuring out those new dynamics. After working from home for almost two years, my husband may go back into the office. And I have a book to edit.
Those edits have frozen me with fear for over a month. What if my changes make it worse instead of better? What if I spend hours, days, months writing and nobody actually wants to publish this thing?
And what if they do? In the midst of a busy season, do I have time for one more thing?
Before God pointed His people in a big direction He started with a simple phrase, "Do not be afraid." He knows us. He understands that we can't see the whole picture. So He faithfully holds our hands as we take tentative steps toward the change He's calling us into.