I’ve been picking one word for four years now. One word I will use as a lens to engage my life; one word to ignite the hope inside of me that I can become who God would have me to be.

One. Single. Word.

This year my word is TRUST. A fairly simple and common word, right?

Twenty-four definitions stare at me as I opened the dictionary this morning.

As I read through them, I’m thinking that maybe there’s another word, then I remember the story.

My One Word

My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

You are reading these words today because last summer, I felt a nudge to start. I heard a whisper; as if God asked me to start writing.

The whats and the whys were loud.

I wasn’t really sure where it was leading, and oftentimes I felt as if I were walking through uncharted territory. A thick forest of doubt, questions and fear. Sometimes the brush was so dense, I could hardly navigate it. However, from time to time, I would encounter beacons of hope that would light my way. Kind words from a friend, encouragement from others, circumstances too coincidental to brush off as chance.

So, I continued trusting; one step at a time.

About a month into the process, I prayed a simple prayer:

God, diminish the things that hinder me and enlarge those you would have me pursue.

When I began to be honest about the things that hindered me, I didn’t trust, I justified. I refused to sacrifice certain things. They would rear their heads from time to time, but I would swat them away and carry on. Only now am I starting to learn that partial trust is not trust at all.

About that time, I finished the first draft of my book, Redefine Rich. In a world full of aspiring authors, in a sea of faces, how in the world was this all going to happen? I was back in the forest of doubt and the brush was very dense this time.

Everyone close to me kept saying, Matt, you just have to trust God. It all sounded so much like lip service.

God, what am I not trusting? I shouted in my prayers.

Those same hindrances I justified were brought back to light, calling for me to trust God in every aspect of my life.

I shared all of this with my wife and she said, “It’s not like He’s asking you to sacrifice your son.” I could hardly believe the words came out of her mouth, but they did. All I could think about was Abraham. Years of not having a child only to finally see God’s promise realized, then to be asked to sacrifice his son.

The sacrifice of a son is the beauty of the gospel. Jesus dying on a cross for our sins. The redemption of each of our souls happened out of a simple act of trust. We know Jesus didn’t want to die from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) but He trusted His Father anyway.

Trust isn’t about understanding, it’s about taking the next step.

The beauty is, when we trust, redemption occurs.

As I think on stories of faith in the Bible, they are – at their core – of people trusting.

Abraham, Joseph, Elijah, David…TRUST, TRUST, TRUST, TRUST

For those men, there were periods of doubt and distrust. But, in the end, they trusted. And do you know what happened every single time?

God delivered.


CHALLENGE: Find a way to expand trust in your life. Take a step of faith today.

PS – You can read a guest post by “My One Word” author Mike Ashcraft here and my testimony for my 2013 word, Greatfull, here.


Take a step today, join the live richly community

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  • I like the concept of a guiding word for a year. And I trust with you that we both will learn to trust God even more this year. Blessings

  • Hi Matt. Love the idea of having a word for the year. Thanks for sharing your exploration and looking forward to reading more about trust this month. I often have a theme for the month on my blog, too. All the best for the New Year.

    • Beth – thank YOU for stopping by and I look forward to sharing in your journey. I can see the title of your blog and I wrote a post last year that is actually part of my upcoming book. The post title is “awake my soul” – you should be able to find it via the search function if you care to. I look forward to hearing about your journey as well.

  • Cork Hutson

    Matt – great concept and encouraging post. Learning to Trust the Lord through all circumstances is a daunting task, so I think I will “borrow” your concept of one word and use “courage” for myself this year. I look forward to future posts. – Cork

  • Trust became my word for last year. I decided to learn in and trust where God was leading. A weary step to begin a homeless ministry ended the year with feeding over 1000 every month. A step to Guatemala led me to an incredible relationship with my sponsor child and anther step back as i lead a group there to get children sponsored. TRUST is awesome, but OH SO SCARY. I find myself at the brink of trust again.

    • Alene – what an awesome story! Tell me more about the homeless ministry!

      Trust is scary, but amazing when we can learn its true power! Isn’t it?

  • jonstolpe

    Good word, Matt.

    I’m leaning towards the word – FINISH – for 2014. I have many great ideas spinning in my head. I want to finish a couple of them this year.

    • Jon – My wife used finish a couple of years ago. What things specifically? If you care to share…

  • Great post, great theme. I’m still trying to get clear about this year’s word(s)!

  • robstill

    Great post, great word! I’m still thinking about my word/theme for 2014.

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  • I came across the ‘one word’ idea only recently. In the past, I’d have chosen words like ‘Contentment’ or ‘Wait’ (as in waiting on God’s timing). But this year, after pondering the concept, I chose the word ‘Ready.’

    Ready? This made me sit up and take notice. Was I acting in such a way as to be Ready for how God would use me, direct me? With my teaching? With my writing? So since January I’ve been working on that.

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