Amy Young One Word Picture

One Word: Abundant

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the series “ONE WORD,” a two-week long effort hosted by Self Talk the Gospel in collaboration with the good people at One Word 365. Keep track of the series here and check our daily e-mail newsletter for all posts. Don’t subscribe? Sign up!

I’ve shared before my four-year journey with choosing a word and why you should choose one.

Amy Young One Word Picture

 

I’ve gone from Renewed Joy

To cour_ge

To trust

To practice celebration

I love each one of them.  They are like children to me, ask me to pick who is my favorite, and I can’t. I smile remembering how God brought them into my life.  I also smile, because like children, they have surprised me. Almost without fail I thought I knew why God would, say have a year of trust after I left a well-known life in China after two decades. I thought He was going to show me how, if I would trust like Abraham and pick up and move, a new plan for my life would come about.

 

I smile remembering how God brought them into my life.  I also smile, because like children, they have surprised me.

 

AND THEN not one blooming month into that year, my dad died and I still had no clear life plan. May came and the job I thought I’d get, I didn’t. Trust was “supposed” to be a reward for being a loyal servant and instead it was a yearlong reminder that trust is just that. Trust. Not a guarantee. I can look back now and say I’m better for that year and that word. But it was not what I thought it would be.

The word for 2015 was “practice celebration” and I again thought I knew what it would be – the cherry on the top, coming out of a longish, dark season. Instead, guess what I called the summer of 2015? The summer of resentment.

Though my personal stories about my one word journeys might sound a bit scary, I don’t want to scare you away from choosing a word, or have a word choose you. Please still do it. As I look over the words that have chosen me—renewed joy, cour_ge, trust, and practice celebration—they have become the simplest way for me to recall what the last four years have been about. For the lessons God has been teaching me, and the ways I see myself continue to grow as a person.

This fall, once again, at an unexpected time, when I wasn’t looking for it, God shared my word for 2016.  In September I wrote about mid-story endings and how Brene’ Brown’ says that most of us finish stories with some version of “not enough.” As I reflected how I finish stories, I found I’m more of  “I’m too much.”

 

 As I look over the words that have chosen me, they have become the simplest way for me to recall what the last four years have been about. For the lessons God has been teaching me, and the ways I see myself continue to grow as a person.

 

When I told my friend, “If I had just been less” she saw the danger I was flirting with and lovingly said, “You are not too much, you are abundant. That is the truth about you. There is so much in you, so I don’t want any less of you, so don’t start doing that please.” She is British and this was in a Voxer message, so I re-listened to it multiple times.

To be told you are abundant in a soothing British voice is like having the Holy Spirit as a life GPS. When I told my friend how powerful it was to hear that spoken over me, she said, she remembered being overcome by what she was saying and sensed it was a holy moment.

Abundant.

If you look at my other words, they all have elements for something to do, but this year, this word, it about who I am.

I’ve been struck lately by how much scarcity thinking there is in the world. And how much there may be in me. I’m on full-time support. Will there be enough money? I’m publishing a book. Will enough people buy it? Our church is going through a rough time. Will it survive? The list could go on.

 

If you look at my other words, they all have elements for something to do, but this year, this word, it about who I am.

 

While this year will have disappointments, I look at “abundant” and see that if I really, deeply believe I am abundant because I am an image-bearer of the Most High God—if I really believe it—it changes everything. No longer is scarcity my default position.

Abundance is.

A year of this and it just might change my life.

 

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Image Credit: Tim Snell, Creative Commons


Amy Young

About

Amy Young is readjusting to messy middle of life in the US after more than twenty years in China and the recent death of her dad. When she first moved to China she knew three Chinese words: hello, thank you and watermelon. Often the only words really needed in life. She is known to jump in without all the facts and blogs regularly at messymiddle.com and tweets as @amyinbj and is the most unbeautiful pinner Pinterest has ever seen (but she's having fun!).


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