(By Rachel Joyce)
I don’t know what 2022 was like for you — it may have been a good year, filled with light and joy, or it could have been incredibly hard. You may feel wounded, even numb, from all you’ve been through. If that’s the case, please know that you are loved and held…by the hands that hold the universe.
This year has been rather rough in many ways, but our greatest blessing has been the birth of the little girl who made us grandparents (Nonna and Poppa, to be precise). Little Elena Lucia Joyce entered this world on December 9th, one month early, but from the first moment I saw that tiny dark-haired little beauty, she had my heart.
Her name means light. Actually, both her first and middle names mean light. Elena, which comes from the Greek language, means shining light, torch. Lucia, from Latin, also means light. Lucia was the name of my great-grandmother who came to Ellis Island from Italy on May 31, 1900. She never learned to speak English and I didn’t know Italian, but love truly does transcend words. I was only 6 when she died, but my grief was real and deep.
So it brings me joy to know that my granddaughter shares her name. And since her names mean light, as we stand on the brink of a new year, it seems fitting to choose the word light as my word of the year. (Each year, instead of creating a list of goals, I focus on one word. Click here to read more about this practice.
Jesus came as the light of the world, the One who shone brightly, who the darkness was unable to extinguish (John 1:1-5). Even the darkness could not conceal anything from Him because He is the light of life and enables all His followers to walk in the light (Psalm 139:11-12, John 1:4, 8:12).
His Word describes us as children of light; although we once walked in darkness, because of His death on the cross and through faith in Him, we have been brought into the inheritance of light. “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
Paul cautions us, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
If you have trusted Jesus, you are a child of the light. So as you face 2023, you have a choice. Will you live as a child of darkness, or as a child of light?
Will you allow God to continue the refining process, purifying the vestiges of darkness from your life? Will you work with Him as He seeks to mold you to make you more like Jesus? Will you step into your true identity?
We, the team at Living Loved Today, are grateful that you’ve joined us as we pursue God together. May God draw us ever closer to Himself and may we allow Him to purge from our lives anything that hinders us from the fullness of life He intends for us.
As we step into the new year, may we do so knowing that He holds our hand, His grace covers us, and His love will bring us safely through.