It’s almost 2020! Time for a new word of the year.
I’ve chosen a word each year since 2014, and it has been a helpful practice for me. (You can find out why to choose a word for your year and get a free printable sheet to help you come up with your one word here.)
Here are my past words:
2014 – Awake
2015 – Pour
2016 – Focus
2017 – Peace
2018 – Survive (I didn’t really intentionally choose a word that year–it chose me. It was a hard year and the phrases going through my mind included: “I will survive this. You can survive this. You are going to make it. It’s okay to just survive sometimes.”
2019 – Simplify
My One Word of the Year for 2020
I’ve been praying about and pondering for weeks what my new word for the year should be. I honestly thought about keeping my 2019 word, simplify, because I feel like I have so far to go with it! Though I was able to simplify some things, I feel like I added chaos in other areas…and I still need to continue on the path of simplifying.
However, a billion other words popped in my head, too–including completion, rest, minimalism, and hope…but the word that keeps coming back to mind is perseverance…
…but, honestly, perseverance is not a word I really want for my 2020. So, I’ve been trying to push it down and ignore it. But, I can’t. I’m not sure why I have such a negative view of the word perseverance. I guess it makes me think of doom and gloom and a year of survival like 2018.
When I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it said ” to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement”. Even though it does seem somewhat negative, I think there is great hope in perseverance. In fact, the Bible has so many positive things to say about perseverance. For example, the Greek the word hypomone means “steadfastness, constancy, endurance” (in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings – From Bible Study Tools).
In the Bible, we see all kinds of amazing verses about perseverance:
James 1:2-4 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Romans 5:1-5 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 NIV
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Perseverance for 2020
When I read these verses, I am reminded that we have daily opportunities to persist–and these opportunities build character. I am not who I was a year ago…or two years ago…or twenty years ago. God has used various trials and suffering to change me. I hope and pray that through them I am becoming more like Him.
I’m excited to see where my 2020 word leads and what it winds up meaning to me this year. I know I have many areas to persevere in and strive for completion. I also hold onto the hope that as we persevere in our faith, we receive the promises of God.
How about you? Have you chosen a word for 2020? I’d love to hear it!