Today’s Testimony is brought to you by a dear friend of mine. Lindsay is a childhood friend, but our relationship has grown closer in our adulthood. She is a woman who seeks God and carefully makes decisions based on His character. I love that she is so different than me but we still get along so well. She is one I call on for prayer and I know she follows through when she says she will. I hope this post will make you think today. It’s not too late for you to choose One Word!
Toward the end of 2013, I received a daily devotion excerpt from the book My One Word. It is a book written by Port City Community Church Pastor Mike Ashcraft and speaker Rachel Olsen, who spent more than a decade with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The idea is to choose just one word that represents what you want God to do in your life and focus on it for an entire year, instead of making a long list of resolutions that are impractical to keep. The hope is that after meditating on this word for a year, a true heart change will occur.
I really enjoyed that particular devotion, so I bought the book and chose my One Word- ADAPT. After all, we recently (in the span of two months) moved into a new home, I quit my job, gave birth to our first child, and became a stay at home mom. If anything, adapt seemed like a great fit. But between reading the book and praying, I felt God urging me to dig deeper. What do I truly want God to change in me over the course of this year? The answer is that I want to become a servant. I want to put away my selfish desires and step outside of my comfort zone and do for others. So as the book instructed, I listed all the words I could think of that I associated with being a servant. I suppose I could have chosen the word SERVE or some variation of it, but my eyes kept coming back to an unconventional synonym, and when I looked up the definition, I knew I had found my word.
Inconvenience- trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort; synonyms- to disrupt or burden
And with that, my One Word for 2014 became INCONVENIENCE. That is exactly what I want God to do to me! I want Him to INCONVENIENCE me, to get in my business and burden me with the needs of others to the point of taking action. It is a wonderful thing to pray for and give generously to others, but it is another to give of my time and energy and pour my soul into someone else. That is a true sacrifice. To give when I am busy, weary, run down, and inconvenienced.
My theme verse for my One Word is Proverbs 3:27-28, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’-when you have it with you.” I chose these verses because they remind me to stop waiting for convenient opportunities to serve and instead to always give what I can, right where I am, as it is needed. I do have to share that I was having trouble finding my theme verse when one day I turned on my iPad and these verses appeared along with a devotion about inconvenience. I had not searched for this website, so I know it came directly from God. How awesome is He?
My One Word is on my mind all the time. When I am stuck in traffic and find myself complaining what an INCONVENIENCE it is, I am reminded to use that time to pray for a friend who is struggling. When I hear the baby stir at 3am and I want to keep sleeping, it is not long before I hear INCONVENIENCE in my mind and I thank God for the opportunity to feed my sweet girl. When I am emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry or preparing dinner for the umpteenth time, I think of INCONVENEINCE and I am again a joyful servant. I often hear that a stay at home mom is the most thankless job, but armed with my One Word, I feel empowered in my role and grateful for the opportunity to serve my family for the glory of God.
I’ve been what I affectionately call “hibernating” with my daughter for the past eight weeks and it is now time to take my One Word outside my family. I’m excited for God to INCONVENIENCE me at church, with friends, in the community, with strangers, and hopefully, when His time is right, all the way over to Africa, where I know a piece of my heart is waiting to be found.
God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and raised Him from the dead so I can have eternal life (see John 3:16); the least I can do is INCONVENIENCE myself by preparing a meal for someone, helping at the homeless shelter, witnessing to a stranger and the list goes on.
I want to leave you with this translation that I love of Romans 15:1-3 from The Message:
“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’ That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out.”
I pray you will allow God to INCONVENIENCE you today.