Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{One Word 2017}

Confession: this isn’t what I planned to write about today. I didn’t even plan on having a word this year. We are already half-way through January after all. I'm feeling a little late to the party! But, I’ve learned when I can’t brush something aside, for one reason or other, the Lord is trying to get me to pay attention. That’s what happened here.

Have you ever existed in a space where the constant need to strive, or earn, or prove ruled? It’s a space that doesn’t allow for just being. It’s not life-giving and at the root is the need for acceptance or approval. It’s not always that you’re striving or trying to prove something to God, but to the people around you because everything they are doing or saying tells you that they don’t get you.

During the last year, we landed right in the middle of a situation like this. We moved to a new church to be part of the leadership team, and some things were happening that just plain knocked us off-center. We walked into a situation where proving yourself and your intentions before being fully in were just normal. At the very least, there was always a suspicion of motives and a pattern of assuming the worst of people right out of the gate. It was one of the hardest spots I’d ever been in, especially in the context of a church community. The desire to please people pulled me in one direction while the burden to speak truth into the situation weighed heavily on me. When we made the decision to walk away, we tried to leave well. Even then, people made assumptions and spoke poorly of us. I wrestled with the need to defend myself, explain myself, and set the record straight, but ultimately I realized that need was rooted in the same pattern of thinking I was trying to leave behind. I apparently didn't leave it completely behind. I carried the need to prove myself — my worth, my heart, my intentions — out of there with me. That’s what the enemy does. He attaches lies to these hard situations, we believe them, and it wreaks havoc in our minds.  It’s a hard pattern of thinking to break. The Lord started pressing on my heart - challenging me, stripping away this pattern of thinking, renewing my mind.

Here’s the thing: We don’t have anything to prove.

We’ve been asked to love God — heart, soul, mind, strength — and to love people.

We’ve been invited to follow Jesus, to live our lives connected to Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and refine us, ultimately making us more like Jesus.

We’ve been charged to know the Word and do what it says.

We’ve been urged to have faith.

These things, we do.

Then, there’s this:

We are loved.
We are forgiven.
We are chosen.
We are accepted.
We are valuable.
We are called.
We have purpose.
We are HIS.

These things, we are.

We are these things because He said so. This space is one where we can just be, nothing to earn, nothing to prove, no striving.  How do we do that?

We believe what He says and RECEIVE it. And, there it is. That’s my One Word for this year. {R E C E I V E}. Yep, I'm working on receiving what He's already promised. Fully. Completely. In every area of my life. That's what I want and what I need. And, that's what He wants for me.