Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
One Word: Courage and Wait

Courage and Wait: Out With the Old and In With a New “One Word” for 2022


I gave up new year’s resolutions a long time ago—mostly because they rarely lasted into March. For the past seven years I’ve accepted the One-Word challenge, selecting one word as an intentional influence on my perspective throughout the year.

My One Word for 2021 was “courage,” a word I adopted reluctantly, all the while praying I wouldn’t need it. While I had many opportunities to think about this word, I also experienced several revelations about the need for courage these past twelve months.


Needing Courage

I approached my One Word with a bit of trepidation about what might unfold. But as the year came to a close, I realized courage was not always about fearlessly facing terrifying situations. At times courage was simply proceeding into unknown circumstances despite my desire for security and control.

Sometimes courage meant persevering in the dailiness of life when weariness consumed me and I didn’t have the energy to put one foot in front of the other.

On several occasions, courage involved walking alongside someone else in her loss and pain, even though it reopened old wounds and ignited memories of my own losses.

And yes, sometimes courage did, indeed, involve moving forward despite paralyzing fear that hemmed me in, even as my knees knocked, my hands shook, and my voice quivered.

But lessons in courage were not limited to my own needs.


Giving Courage

The word encourage has its roots in the combination of two French words: en and corage (in courage). We encourage others when we use our words and actions to inspire them to move forward with courage.

Early in the year it became apparent I wasn’t the only one who needed courage. Yet another revelation came as I encouraged those the Lord brought into my path. Against all logic, those opportunities encouraged me as well.

It’s one thing to read 2 Cor. 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” It’s quite another to personally experience the benefit of sharing what God has given me and having that comfort multiplied!


One Word for 2022: Wait

Now we’re in January and 2022 stretches before us. With the headlines continuing to proclaim dire circumstances, I wondered if I needed to hold on to courage as my word for an additional year. That seemed the right choice, especially since January 1 arrived and I still hadn’t settled on a new word.

But even while I expected my need for courage to extend into 2022, my new choice soon became clear. And, much like my One Word from previous years, I also accepted this word with reluctance.


Of course, it was appropriate that I had to wait to determine my new word until 2022 actually began. My choice asserted itself from the first day!

In the interests of transparency, I don’t like to wait. Patience may be a virtue, but it’s not a virtue I manifest in abundance. So . . . 2022 will be an interesting year in more ways than one. Stay tuned!

If you also choose a word for the year, what is your “One Word” for 2022?


Receive Ava’s weekly blog
posts & occasional 
newsletters in your inbox!

Search by category:

You May Also Like


  1. Nancy E. Head

    I admire the fortitude you used moving through 12 months and pursuing that virtue. You’re so right that courage manifests itself in different ways. Thanks and God bless!

  2. Anne

    Well said, Ava. When my father-in-law was going through cancer treatment we found a plaque for him that read: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.”

    He was very courageous and though he is gone, his courage through cancer and then dementia inspires me.

  3. Melissa Henderson

    I don’t choose a word for the year. I usually have a daily word that God puts on my mind. 🙂

  4. Jessica Brodie

    Ava, your word, wait, is also SO hard for me! I applaud you on being willing to step up and embrace something so challenging. That takes COURAGE… and you are so right that courage isn’t always fearless. Sometimes it’s stepping out even while shaking in our boots. God bless you, friend!

  5. Yvonne Morgan

    I am very interested to see how God uses that word in your life this year. My word is yearning because I have felt a deep sense of yearning for more of God in my life. I hope your year will be full of blessings.

  6. Karen Friday

    Ava, this really spoke to me about courage: ‘At times courage was simply proceeding into unknown circumstances despite my desire for security and control.”

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.