Intentional. That was my word for 2020. I was adamant about what that would look like and how I’d implement that at work, school, and church. I put pressure on myself and on my relationship with my boyfriend, but mostly on my relationship with Jesus.
The whole idea surrounding the word intentional seemed to be lost in the winding downhill spiral of the year 2020. This year has brought death, destruction. The anxiety we had worked so hard to give to the Lord seemed to have slowly creeped back in. It brought out the ugly parts of society we were too blind to see before like human trafficking & racism. We were submerged in unhealthy amounts of media for hours and days on end. We were alone. And somehow it continued to spiral with more death and more destruction. More shootings, more catastrophes, more illness, more scandals, more sin.
If anything, 2020 felt completely opposite of the word intentional. It felt distant. With 4 months left of the year I’m sure all of us have wondered, “can it possibly get any worse?” and then we were met with a loud YES.
But what if we allowed the chaos to drive us towards intentionality even more? We have to purposely call and write our friends and family. What if we made time to spend in God’s word.? Or took advantage of social distancing by getting to know our hallmates instead of our more comfortable circles? We have the opportunity to serve the church from our own home!
I really meditated and prayed over these things, and here’s what I’ve learned.
Meet your Black brothers and Black sisters where they’re at.
You have the opportunity in this season to lavish love on our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been hurt and mistreated. Take some time to educate yourself on certain issues and ways to fight against racism and any other social injustice. It is our responsibility as Christians to be sensitive to the needs of others, and go out of our way to include everyone and ensure they have a safe environment to grow in.
The Lord has instilled excitement in our children.
Serving alongside some amazing leaders and families during this season has brought me unexplainable joy. Our children are craving intentional time with their friends, and with their teachers and leaders. They are counting down the days until they can step inside a school or church building. Send your small group kids encouraging letters with stickers inside, or organize a zoom party. Redesign kids ministries to fit the calling God is laying on your church’s heart.This is the time to pray over these kids, their environment, and ask the Lord to prepare their hearts for this next season. These kids will be more open to the word of God than ever before, including the ones who didn’t want to be there pre covid. It’s time we call up the next generation of spirit-lead leaders.
Reach out to those who have been there for you.
I have a dear friend and leader who looks out for almost every girl who walks through the doors of our church. She goes above and beyond with her whole heart each day with pure joy. We all know someone like that, but have you thought that they may be struggling too? They’ve lost things in this season whether they share about it or not. Check in on them, you might surprise yourself and find that there is potential for a very meaningful friendship you never realized was there before.
Confront that thing that is holding you back.
That lie, illness, or even anxiety that you face may feel as if it can disappear on its own. I promise you it’s always in the corner waiting and watching if you haven’t surrendered it to God. This is the season to confront those things. I’ve struggled for years to hand over my health to the Lord. This summer was when I decided I wanted the Lord to take on my health issues and fight for me. I’ve decided to seek physical healing during this season. I’ve worked on letting go of the uncertainty and the need for control over my body, and let my creator take the lead. It was painful physically and spiritually, but the Lord restored my hearing. It’s getting over the fear of disappointment and learning to be expectant.
That’s the word I’m declaring over the rest of 2020, and as we inch closer to a new year. Expectant implies hopefulness. It implies a sort of faith, and an excitement for the things to come. We’ve learned that we must be intentional in this season to survive, and now it’s time to thrive. The Lord is sincerely encouraging us to be bold, obedient, intentional and now hopeful. Not to find our hope in the world, or current events, but in Christ. I believe we’re called to be hopeful for a revival. Expect to see more people walk out of the darkness of sin and into the light of the Lord. I am expectant of how the He is going to move in my church and university.
Today, focus on intentionality with the people God has placed you with during this season, and be expectant of how God is going to move. Pray that the Lord will speak to you. Pray that God would bring life change to you and those around you in the seasons to come.