Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

One Word for 2022

We are on the cusp of a new year, filled with 365 brand new days.

A new beginning.

A fresh start.

New opportunities. 

Full of promise. 

New mercies every single day.

These last two years have been difficult for so many. We've seen so much pain, so much loss, so much division. Many of us are grieving loved ones lost too soon, and we are aching for hope in the days to come. 

Like many of you, I have been thinking about the new year, 2022. What do I hope to accomplish next year? What do I want to change? When I look back a year from now, what do I want to see? 

Last week as these thoughts crossed my mind, I had one word come to mind: Intimacy.

I long for more intimacy in my life. Intimacy with my Heavenly Father. Intimacy with my husband. Intimacy with my children. Intimacy with my extended family. Intimacy with my friends. 

I want to experience a deeper level of intimacy with all those around me.

Make a decision today. My brother has a friend that wrote a book title Lose 40 lbs in 1 Day. His premise is that it takes one day to make the decision to do whatever it takes to lose those 40 lbs. Back when I was going through my divorce, I did exactly that: I got mad one day and gave up snacks and sugar. Two simple changes that led to a fairly rapid weight loss. As I began to see the weight fall off, I added exercise and made other changes. My life changed completely with that one simple commitment to myself. 

I think that's the starting point for whatever we want to accomplish. For me, I am setting my mind on the desired outcome (increased intimacy), and I am going to do whatever it takes to accomplish my goal. In the book of Daniel, it states Daniel determined in his heart not to sin against God by defiling himself with the king's food and drink (Daniel 1:8). He made a decision and followed through.

What decision do you need to make today? 

Decide what changes you need to make. Just as my example above indicates, we don't have to take big steps to experience life-altering change in our lives. Often, it's the little things that add up quickly. Want to lose weight? Maybe your first change is to drink more water or eliminate soda. Want to change your finances? Maybe you need to start packing your lunch when you go to work. Want to gain intimacy with those around you? Maybe you need to commit to 10 minutes each day sitting with your loved one, asking about his/her hopes and dreams.

For me, I want to commit to making time with God the very first thing each morning. I want to commit to keeping praise music playing in the background as I work. I want to commit to journaling at least twice each week. A few small changes that don't require a lot of work, but changes that can pay huge dividends. As Paul said in Philippians, there's one thing I do (Philippians 3:13). 

What small changes do you need to make to reach your goals in 2022?

Spend time getting to know one another again. Intimacy is defined as close familiarity or friendship. It's about knowing one another so well you can anticipate how circumstances will affect the other. It's about sharing things with one another that no one else knows. It's about being so safe, so secure in your relationship that there is total and complete trust.

Have you experienced that with another human? With God? I know I have. I'm in a season, though, where life is busy and chaotic and sometimes just flat overwhelming. So how do I regain intimacy? Time. Time sitting with those I love. Time asking questions and getting to know those I love all over again. Time to listen to their hearts, understand their struggles. Time to hear their hopes and dreams. Time to just sit and enjoy their presence. 

Intimacy is about time. Are you taking time today to gain intimacy with those you love? With God?

Remember the good times. What happens when you take time to reflect on good times with someone? Good memories? If you are like me, you begin to feel joy. A deeper love. Do you feel a smile creeping across your face as you recall those special times? Do you long to recreate those times, those memories?

Perhaps that's why scripture encourages us to remember. To remember His faithfulness. To remember our first love. To remember the goodness of God. To remember the good things He has done for us. Remembering is a way we can experience intimacy. It's a way to draw our hearts and minds back to the reason we chose someone in the first place. It's a way to renew a relationship that has experienced some level of separation.

Let's all take time in this new year to remember--to remember all the good times with our Savior and our loved ones. 

My ultimate goal for 2022 is intimacy. I'm not sure what you want out of the new year, but I pray you make the decision to pursue it wholeheartedly and you experience the fullness of our Savior like never before! 

Happy New Year, my friends!