Last year I was excited to jump on the train of having a word for the year. The one I was given?
“Everything you do,” He whispered to me, “do it with your whole heart”.
I fought against it for a moment, because, let’s be real- it would mean a ton of heartache and pain. I prayed, begged really, for a different word, but it kept coming back to me; showing up everywhere. And so, the year 2017- with all it’s ups and downs, for the most part, was lived wholeheartedly.
Was there pain and heartache? Absolutely. Lessons learned that I would rather not have to learn again. But there was also good. I learned that to accomplish anything worth something, you have to do it with your whole heart. There was no other way around it.
So as terrified as I was to ask for a new word to focus on, I was also coming home from a week of soul-refreshing in October and I wrote in my journal:
I’ve learned a lot. And I know I’m not done learning yet, but I also think I need to prepare myself for the word You want to give me for next year. So if You don’t mind cluing me in, I would appreciate it.
Sitting 30,000 feet in the air, I got an answer. “Pursue”.
I was confused. I knew that pursue was a word in my life, it had been a part of my world for the last year (um, The Relentless Pursuit anybody?). Encouraging others to relentlessly pursue after Jesus, wasn’t just all talk and no walk- it was something that I had dived into with my whole heart January 1, 2017 just like He had asked me to.
So I questioned Him. And in the questioning, I heard,
“No. Not just for the year- your whole life”.
In a single moment, the stakes skyrocketed; if I had thought living my life with my whole heart was risky, how much more would this word do for my whole life?
But as I looked out over the beautiful snow-covered mountaintops, my heart was, strangely enough, not anxious.
Life. Love. Dreams. Adventures. Jesus.
Just P U R S U E.
In other words, stop sitting around and hiding behind the waiting. Go out and DO!
Pursue just sounded prettier. 😉
I think I’ve sat around long enough being terrified. Scared of leaving people, disappointing people, being alone. Maybe in asking me to live my life wholeheartedly last year, He was teaching me how to be okay with things that hurt. That disappointment and heartache are ever present in this world, but that keeping my eyes on Him, would get me through. Because that’s exactly what I took away from it.
I know what, or rather Who I am ultimately pursuing- Jesus. But these dreams that He put in my heart, the things that I’ve slowly but surely have started to act on, those are the things that He’s telling me to stop being afraid of and to pursue them- wholeheartedly of course.
So this year, I’m not really jumping on that word of the year bandwagon. Instead, I’m hanging onto my life word: “Pursue”.
It’s bound to be an adventure, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.