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Posted in: Big Faith

01.24.20 ( Jennifer Elrod )

Word of the Year

Each year I have chosen a word of the year. It has been a moment of reflection within the first month to think through what is a word I want to embody this year, or a word I want God to fulfill within me.

2016: Abide 
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” -John 15:4-5 

I learned how to glean closer to Jesus. He took me from a crazy job and placed me in another work environment that became a catalyst for my growth for the last few years. 

2017: Joy 

I learned how to choose joy in all circumstances. Not simply to be happy, but how to have joy in all things that came my way and to reflect on the significance of the sacrifice God made with Jesus. 

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with a shout of joy.” -Job 8:21 

2018: Thrive 
Similar to joy, I wanted to thrive in things that I did. There is a quote by Joanna Gaines that became key for me: 

“I always thought that the ‘thriving‘ would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.” 

2019: Courage 
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.” -Psalms 31:24 

This year brought the courage to step into EMDR (intensive therapy), it brought stepping out to move to a better environment and brought a job change. I walked through difficult things with courage and tenacity, I had hard conversations, and grew immensely because of the courage to say, “Yes, God. Where shall I go next?” 

2020: Shalom 
Shalom is the ancient Hebrew concept of peace. Shalom means wholeness, completeness, safety and prosperity, within a state of permanence. 

While peace and shalom can be interchangeable, shalom is a permanent condition. 

Peace can be partial, shalom is wholeness. You can make a peace treaty, but shalom is a condition of peace.

Shalom to me is a state of nothing lacking and nothing missing. I want to be a peacemaker. Peacemaking is not acting like nothing is wrong. I think of a little child who covers their ears and closes their eyes — just because you’ve done that, it does not mean that things are not happening all around you. The same goes with how we engage in social or political issues. It is not the loudest voice that wins in the Kingdom of God. It is the voice that is present and brings the fullness of God with them. Peacemaking (offering shalom) is about reconciling. It doesn’t avoid conflict, but pursues it for the purpose of intentional peace making. Peacemaking values reconciliation over being right. 

“Shalom I leave with you. My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.” -John 14:27 

I want this year to be one of kindness and peacemaking. Peace making only comes from the Prince of Peace. 


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About the Author
Jennifer has been a part of the ONE&ALL Community for over ten years. She has a Master of Arts in Management and currently works as a tax consultant. In her free time, she loves reading Colleen Hoover books, teaching about food justice & racial reconciliation, drinking really good coffee, writing Yelp reviews, and traveling. She loves to laugh, has a huge heart for serving others, and is obsessed with reality television.

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