Do you remember ages ago when WWJD was the thing to say?
What should I do about this problem? WWJD
What should I say to this person? WWJD
What shoes should I wear with this outfit? WWJD
The idea behind "What Would Jesus Do" is beautiful and scriptural (as we are meant to immolate Christ in every part of our lives... minus maybe the shoe thing) but the problem with this go-to slogan has always lied in the fact that few know what Jesus would do because fewer have become familiar with what Jesus did.
It was during this time that as a teenager in youth group, my youth pastor coined a new phrase to counteract such an obstacle: "What Does The Word Say"
We even had snazzy fabric bracelets to remind us with the inscription WDTWS on them. I loved this little reminder as I would often refer to it when going through anything of great distress because it prompted me to search the scriptures for my example instead of assuming based off of what I thought was right or what others who followed Christ professed to be right. It was confusing at times as I tried to "rightly divide" scripture and interpret what each passage would instruct me to do, but I learned all those years ago to love and lean on the Word.
It changed everything.
As I set off on my own journey after high school into a discipleship program/bible school, and as my husband and I began our journey into youth ministry, I carried this truth with me into each new season.
When the ministry of Living Head Over Heels was birthed it was based on one of the most life-changing, life-giving verses I had come across throughout the years - Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - and my heart was to bring this scripture to life in the lives of teen girls. We have spent five years of our blood, sweat, and tears, to accomplish such a task. And I truly believed it would be what we would do for the rest of our lives, pouring all we had into assisting teen girls ministries, but as it turns out the Lord had different plans.
To put it simply it felt like I had been playing checkers and the game suddenly turned into chess.
More intense, more complicated, more confusing, and all of it out of a completely different play book. I felt the change coming but couldn't put my finger on this new thing. So I did what I thought I had to do, I stopped playing, stopped moving forward, until I felt confidently in what God was doing. And because God is faithful to guide and instruct us, He spoke the next move into my heart. In all honesty I wasn't ready for it.
All women, He spoke to me, I want you to teach all women to live by Romans 12:2, to live head over heels.
And what I thought was the death to a former dream has really just been an expansion. We will continue to do what we have always done but we will now be bringing more along for the journey with us. Conferences, Retreats, Blogs, all of it will continue to be what makes us, us, but it is going to look a little different now. And I am hoping you will be part of this new chapter.
2017 is going to be the start of something beautiful, and to ensure that we build the foundation on the right ground we are devoting this first year to diving deeper than we ever had into scripture.
To get back to the basics and immerse ourself in the Word so that way the next time we encounter a situation or a season that seeks to draw every ounce of strength we thought we had we won't have to wonder "What Would Jesus Do" because we would know "What The Word Says".
Romans 12 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge,my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."