For several years Life Church has challenged its staff, elders, covenant members and regular attenders to prayerfully consider a single word on which to focus for the year. This closely follows the process presented in Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen's book, "My One Word" (http://myoneword.org/). Peppered throughout the year, we plan to present some of these words here, on the blog.
Every year when I begin thinking about my One Word for the year, I try to be sensitive to words I encounter frequently in songs, conversations, in books and Scripture, and other seemingly random places. God reveals Himself to us in these different ways, if we will listen. As 2018 began, a word that was on my heart repeatedly was WELL. I could feel God pushing me to choose this word for myself, but I was disappointed with what felt like such a lack-luster word. I wanted my word to be more glamorous or eloquent, but instead He gave me what seemed ordinary...
Being a language arts teacher for years, I love the study and meanings of words. Through a simple dictionary search, I found exactly what God had for me through two definitions:
1 - Well: (noun) an issue of water from the earth; a pool fed by a spring; a source from which something may be drawn as needed.
God spoke pretty directly to me with this meaning, saying “Britt, come straight to me. I am “THE well,” the source of your answers, encouragement, and purpose.” In my time with God, I often look more often for a devotional, Bible study, or podcast - and not often enough do I go straight to His Word. In 2018, I wanted to spend more time with Jesus in His Word. Instead of seeing what an author has to say about Scripture, I want to see what Jesus wrote just for me and to me.
2 - Well: (adverb) with skill or aptitude; with careful or close attention; to a high degree.
God revealed something to me about myself in this definition that I don’t like. You see, I’m a people-pleaser at heart; I say “yes” as often as possible and despise saying “no” because I feel like I’ve let someone down. But the problem with saying yes to everything is you begin to simply exist and not thrive. My days had become filled with surface-value checklists, versus the deep, meaningful relationships God has called me to.
Esther 4:14B “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Just like God chose Esther to lead, serve, do something difficult for His kingdom, God intentionally places us in our roles, connects us with our people, and creates us with individual purpose. He needs us to say yes to His work. He needs us to accomplish His work well.
This year, I wanted to say yes to the places where God has called me - and I wanted to do it well. God created me to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and servant, and He charges me to do His work wholeheartedly. He also put me in this city, on my street, with my people because He created me for a very specific purpose in this time and place.
Here I am, almost halfway through the year, and I’m still fighting to be, work, pray, live, minister and love well. My word is saved on my phone, printed in my home, and a friend keeps sending me screenshots when she encounters it. I pray I can look back on 2018 and believe that I gave my whole self to those people and places where God called me.
So friends, where are you only half-heartedly serving, loving, or being? I would encourage you to start at “The Well.” Go right to His word and see what He’s written for you. Then I’d charge you to look around and see where God has placed you with influence. Where can you work harder and love better? Dive in and give all of yourself for Him...and do it WELL!