“Stretch” is my word for the year. After prayerfully discovering that somewhat frightening word, I am finding its thread though my days.
But I have also found a word for my life. I call it my core word, one that describes a basic essence of my being.
“Nurture” bubbles up from my soul. Core words describe a movement, an identity, and something deep within our DNA that drives all of our passions and needs. We spend a lifetime searching for these core words and it is an adventure to explore and discover them.
In 2009 I finally was able to put a label a deep part of my center, where God’s fingerprints first formed my spirit: nurture.
As a young child I knew I wanted to be a writer. As a daughter of a physician, I was often asked, “Do you want to be nurse when you grow up?” “No!” I would emphatically say with a stomp of my foot.
When I was 16, I heard God clearly calling me to be a nurse and I have never regretted following that vocation. I buried my first call to write, though across my adult years I dabbled in speaking and writing. I do believe I followed God on the path He wanted me to go in health care. Yet I always thought the two were separate until that year.
In 2006, I retired from fulltime public health nursing and God began opening doors once again for writing and speaking. Through prayer, spiritual direction and journaling, I discerned a new call to nurture others into the wonder of God. I clarified this to mean to help others know God more, to love God more and to see him in all things. My calling was to work in spiritual formation – facilitating the journey of other pilgrims to reflect and respond to God’s spirit within them – nurturing others to pay attention to God’s deep desire to build a closer relationship.
Nurture evolved into my core word for writing, speaking and spiritual direction.
Again I thought I was moving into a new chapter of my life when I amazingly discovered the word NURSE has the same root word as nurture. Latin for nurse is nutrire or to nourish or nurture. Wow. My two separate life journeys merged onto the same path. God buried the seed of nurture deep within my soul and He nursed it throughout my life.
Isn’t God astonishing? The gift of discovering two aspects of my life blending together into a surprising combination refreshed my soul.
What is your story and your core word? Discovering this deep essence takes a lifetime but the process leads to healthy spirituality. Dig deeper!