Word of the Year

Several years ago I was introduced to the concept of picking a "Word of the Year" by my dear friend and sweet mentor, Pat Duckhorn. She shared how each December and early January she would ask the Lord for a word that He wanted her to focus on for that particular year. Perhaps an area of growth in her life. Or an area where she needed to make some changes. Attitude adjustments. Or something that the Lord was asking her to do. You get the drift. And through her prayers, asking for His direction, she always came up with a clear word that she felt God was giving her for the year.

So, I thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to do the same thing. So over the years I've had words like self-control, joy, and last year's word was intentional living. And you know, as I've prayerfully picked these words, it has been amazing to me to watch how throughout the entire year God continues to address issues pertaining to that word.

So, the past few weeks I've been asking God to show me what word He wants me to focus on this year. 2009. These were potential words - words like passionate living, hope, discipline, tenderness ... And honestly, I think I'd like to claim all of these words.

But, the word that keeps sticking out to me, the word that I think God is asking me to focus on in 2009 is this:

FOLLOW THROUGH.

If God puts it on my heart to do something - I need to do it. I shouldn't put it off. Or think that it's too difficult to do. Or think that I don't have the time to do it. Or decide that it's just not convenient or practical. I need to follow through with what God puts on my heart. Period. End of story. {Easier said than done.}

Let me give you an example of this very thing. Since last May, when I was introduced to "Feed My Starving Children" I have felt compelled to get in and help. This compelling desire to help has not left me, but has, in fact, gotten stronger over the months. Once you are "in the know" about a tragedy, it is very difficult to ignore that tragedy, knowing that you COULD make a difference if you were willing to sacrifice.

Along with starving children, God has very specifically placed homelessness on my heart. It's always been on my heart and for years Jack and I have financially supported Breakthru Urban Ministries, a ministry specific to homeless men and women here in Chicago. Yet somehow, this past year, I found myself being asked by God to do something more to help. What that more is, I'm not sure ... Something to FOLLOW THROUGH on.

A STRONG something {The Holy Spirit} inside of me has said for a LONG time, "Make a difference." Put feet to your faith, Alysa. Be a voice for those who have no voice. I'm back to James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." {James 1:27} Don't just talk about it. DO IT. I still feel God consistently pricking my heart, asking me what I'm going to do about those things that HE placed on my heart.

So, I'm excited to watch and see God working this year. Teaching me to FOLLOW THROUGH on HIS plans for my life. Not mine.

HIS.

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