2014: one word 365.

i’m a little geeked up right now. i’m coming off the high of an influence net class by rachael kincaid on women at work (meaning all women. because we all work. whatever we’re doing.). it rang so true and sweet and challenging and harmonious within, calling to mind the OneWord365 post that keeps slipping through the cracks, unwritten.

so here it is, maybe raw, maybe unfinished because it’s almost 10pm and i can feel myself melting into the sofa, but it’s time to spell it out.

my 2014 word is persevere.

Imagethis is probably not a huge shocker to those who know me in person. i’m big on accomplishment and achievement. i’m all about sucking it up and putting your head down (both of which Rachael spoke to so eloquently in the class tonight!), ignoring distractions, learning how to say “no,” and forging a clear path. every year, our family, our marriage, has faced trials both expected and unexpected, and onward we went, refusing defeat, despair, devastation. we’ve learned so much about choosing joy, slaying expectations and fighting for fun when it just felt so far away. like i tweeted a few weeks ago, persevere has been a silent anthem rising like a wave for years past, and this year, it’s reaching a crest.

this is the year we’re choosing (at least some of) the hardest moments we will have ever faced. sure, we picked young marriage and a four year seminary program and a baby amidst a sea of schoolwork and small paychecks and, for heaven’s sake, life in ministry. but this is the year we take classes, fill out paperwork, let professionals scrutinize our home and pray for the end of the seemingly endless checklist to come so that we can bring children we’ve never met from parents we’ve never known from neighborhoods we’ve never seen to live in our home. in other words, this is the year we’ve lost our minds, and friends, i think it’s the best place we’ve ever been.

persevere takes on a whole new meaning when we’re not only choosing to respond with joy to the hardships that rise up on their own, but when we look at something with heartbreak written all over it and say yes, we choose this. this amidst the already constant calls to persevere in parenthood and jobs and church life and family relationships and community and first time homeownership and dreams that are clawing their way to the surface of our hearts. we’re choosing this. we’re choosing hard. we’re choosing to dig our heels in deep. we’re choosing to put our hands to the plow and to let Him put our feet on solid ground. we’re choosing to set our affections on the unloved and to set our eyes on things above, by Jesus’ grace alone. we’re choosing to say yes and to persevere.

i’ve felt all of this rumbling inside for so very long, lived and believed it more fully in the recent weeks and months. today is really just the day that i’m putting a name on it and grasping onto what this really is. today is the day that i’m determined to come out of 2014 with a deeper understanding of how the thoughts make it happen and Christ’s grace is enough work together, with a reconciliation of sweaty work and healing rest, with an overwhelming sense of confidence and joy. this tree has had its roots in me for years now; the branches are coming along, slow, sure, budding, blossoming.

soon enough, i’ll share a post with some of the tools i’m using to set myself up for living with persevere as my anthem. these aren’t just rambling, empty words, y’all, they’re a battle plan. like i’ve said before2014, we’re coming for you.

do you have a word for the year?

Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.

8 thoughts on “2014: one word 365.”

  1. I love this! We’re doing the Tapestry class at Watermark and I keep thinking about how excited I am for you guys. We’ll be praying for you throughout the process!!

    1. That is so awesome that y’all are taking the Tapestry class!! Everything I’ve read and watched from then online has been so, so good. Really thankful for them. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  2. Some of my mother’s most oft said phrases were, “bite the bullet” “buckle down” “put your best foot forward” “go the extra mile.” She laughs now when we tell her all the cliches she said…anyway, I missed out on the gene of “refusing defeat.” I often think the Lord has given me easy pathways because He knows my frame (which though we all have weakness…I literally feel like a baby). Who wants to be a quitter? I may be faithful in the large sense of the word or perhaps the small sense of the word? But inside, I want to runaway from everything and tend toward compromise on all kinds of personal levels.
    He helps me by surrounding me with folks that “put their head down, and forge a clear path.”
    Well, I didn’t think my comment was gonna turn into a confession post, but just wanted to say that I’m thankful for another couple that I can follow in the wind break(or whatever that is called) and take some turns in the front to give you a rest too.

    1. Ah, friend, the wisdom and honesty that drip from your words spur me on. I think you may just be more brave and faithful than you think you are :). I’m learning so much about how bravery isn’t fearlessness, it’s just moving forward despite the fear, praying for faith. So thankful we’re learning and moving forward together.

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