My One Word for 2016 was intentional. Much like other member’s of the Worship Exposed Team, I was going through a time of transition. I had just graduated from college and started my first full-time job. At that time, I was really at the crossroads of letting go of my survival habits formed while I was in college.
Throughout the year, my One Word challenged me to look at life as not just something to get through, but instead to really embrace each day and season. Looking back at my goals for 2016, although I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked, I know that true intentionality is not about being perfect, but rather it is about making “imperfect progress,” as author Lara Casey puts it.
It was through my desire to live intentionally that I actually stepped down from my role as Worship Exposed’s Media Manager. I absolutely love Worship Exposed and it’s incredible team, but in the middle of the year, I really felt God calling me to simplify and let go of some of my responsibilities. Sometimes following God’s plans doesn’t always end like how you originally thought or would have liked them to. Still, we can rest assured that God always has our best interest in mind.
As I shared in my initial One Word post, for me living intentionally meant clearing the clutter in order to focus on my relationship with Christ. As a result of living with intention, I was able to spend the time I would have normally been on social media or my phone to instead read my Bible, worship the Lord, or read a spiritual development book. Focusing on living intentionally helped me to sort through the daily distractions, and instead place my focus on who and what really matters in the end.
Looking forward to 2017
As I was nearing the beginning of 2017, I was seeking the Lord on what my focus should be for 2017. As I prayed and reflected on the past year, I felt God place the word, “thrive” in my heart. I believe that the word, “intentional” really laid the groundwork for God’s desire for me to live intentionally, and that “thrive” was the next piece of the puzzle.
For many reasons, 2016 was a very difficult year and, as a result, I often felt like I was drowning in life. Nevertheless, I’ve learned time and time again that often times the most influential moments and seasons of our lives are usually the messiest and most painful. Our faith is truly made stronger in the fire (1 Peter 1:6-7). With God’s grace, my focus for 2017 is to rise above it all and thrive in whatever circumstances I may face. For me, thriving means victory. It means no matter what comes my way, I have a God who is faithful and loving, and who will finish every good work He has begun (Romans 8:31-39 and Philippians 1:6). To “thrive” means, I no longer rely on my own limited strength and abilities, but rather on the One whose supply is unlimited (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 2 Corinthians 9:8, and Philippians 4:13).
Thriving means, I can worship and give thanks to God because He is always good and abounding in mercy (Psalm 136:1).
I want to challenge you to look back at 2016 and write down all areas you saw God’s faithfulness in your life. With the same mindset, seek His heart for this year. Remember that He is always good and faithful even when everything else in this life seems like it’s falling apart. I pray that whatever comes your way you will walk in victory and assurance of Christ’s faithfulness. And for those of you who may still be reeling from the difficulties of 2016, I’ll leave you with this quote: “Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ. Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” - Oswald Chambers
RECOMMENDED TRACK OF THE WEEK: Faithful Till The End // Paul & Hannah McClure // Have It All