I remember when I started entertaining the idea that “joy” was my 2023 word of the year. For several years, I’ve had a word that influences my life for 12 months at a time. But I couldn’t understand why this would be my word.
Choosing my 2023 word of the year
Last year, I wrestled with the idea of never having enough to sustain me or push me forward. No matter how hard I would try to get up, something would knock me down. I would get back up again and the cycle would repeat. Admittedly, I found myself struggling to remain resilient.
So, why would I make joy my 2023 word of the year? The Holy Spirit often speaks to me through confirmation. During my morning devotion, I opened my Bible app to see the verse of the day, and I began to smile at God’s humor. The verse was “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” – Psalm 126:5. It seemed as though the Holy Spirit was graciously requesting that I get myself together.
Gaining perspective on my word
Naturally, I began to look up the definition of joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is an experience. Joy is independent of circumstances and it is consistent. It remains even in less than ideal situations. And lastly, joy is internal.
It all clicked for me. I had realized I was spending so much of my time dwelling on my circumstances that became was virtually impossible for me to have consistent joy. It was commonplace for me to think that life had to always be good, instead of recognizing that I can experience joy in my imperfect life. I could experience joy in the present moment.
I have so much to look forward to this year: I am entering my 30s, getting married to the man of my dreams, and building the courage to start new projects. Moreover, I will also learn what joy means through a spiritually mature perspective. That part. I get to challenge my limiting beliefs and silence my inner critic by tuning into the truth of who I am and my capabilities. I get to see obstacles as opportunities to believe in the best. Also, I get to learn how to embrace the discomfort that inevitably comes with spiritual growth. I get to change my perspective.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James 1:2-3
My 2023 word of the year is joy, and I am embracing it with optimism and expectancy.
What is your word of the year?