Over the past 18 months I have been on an incredible journey with God. There have been so many instances where He has shown himself to be bigger, more powerful, and more gracious and loving and merciful than I ever imagined. It has been a tough time of facing several fears I have lived with for most of my life, one by one. There have been moments of pure panic. There have been days of depression. There have been conflicts that I have had to learn to navigate with grace (both for myself and others). There have been lies I needed to rip out and replace with Truth. And, there have been those hold-your-breath-and jump-in experiences with moments of falling before His hand grasped me. No, it has not been easy. But. It has been worth it.
One of the biggest fears I have faced was the fear that if I didn’t get things “just right” God would take away this ministry He has given me. This fear has been at the root all kinds of potentially unhealthy behaviors: pushing myself in unhealthy ways, re-arranging my priorities, worrying to the point of not sleeping well, striving to make things work according to what I thought best, and racing through other priorities in my life just to be able to feel like I was doing things well enough. As a result, I found myself continually trying to fight back living a lopsided life…one completely upside down from the priorities I teach… all the while feeling like I was on the edge of living the life of a hypocrite.
But God is so good. He knew just how to help. After guiding me through the fears I have had in my relationship with myself, in my role as a wife, in my role as a mom, and in my home, He knew I was ready to face the fears in this area. And so, during the past six months, He has been leading me through the murky, fear-riddled depths of my heart.
I quickly learned there is a reason He left this area until last…it housed ALL the fears I had faced, and defeated, in other areas! But, in the area of ministry, there was a huge stronghold and God wanted to break me free from it. In an effort to encourage you by sharing the lessons I have learned I have been trying to figure out a way to explain the process I went through for almost a month now; but until yesterday I had no idea how. That’s when, in frustration about how to share this experience, I looked up “fear” in my concordance and was reminded of Psalm 23:
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
I used to be afraid there wouldn’t be enough of me, that I wouldn’t be enough. This fear caused me to strive in my own strength to prove to God I was worth the calling He placed on my life. OOops… false thinking: Of course there could never be enough of me! That wasn’t the point! God wanted me to learn to let go of my insecurities and trust HIM to fulfill the calling instead. That’s why He led me through my fears in the other areas of my life first; I needed to learn to rely on Him in the areas that are most important in my life so that I could be freed to trust Him in the area of ministry as well. Once I did, EVERYTHING changed!
It wasn’t easy, believe you me. Facing fears is scary. I wrestled with God. A lot. Mostly out of my own false belief that I had to do it all. It was not a pretty battle. At the end of me though, there was God, waiting patiently with open arms and I realized He would shepherd me well, and that I could rest in that completely. At that moment of surrender He stepped in. Because I chose to accept that I am not enough in my own strength, and chose to give up control of this ministry to God, and asked Him to lead me through the ministry challenges He has allowed in, He has shown His grace and love in numerous ways that I could never have come up with on my own. That’s the first lesson in all this, and the most important: That God will show up when we ask Him to and listen to what He tells us.
As a result I have learned God WILL provide all I need. Every blessing listed below began as a major challenge I had no idea how to overcome. I share them not in boast, but in honor of God. He alone provided and He alone receives the glory for He provided it all, including:
- New friends who are willing to give up their day off to shoot video with me and have husbands who love to create and edit videos, free of charge, for the new class videos we are shooting and the commercial we needed to produce.
- Friends who welcomed the challenge of editing the newest version of Cultivating Peace just because they want to support what they too believe God has called me to do.
- Companies who are willing to reduce their charges so that we can afford professional flyers.
- Ministry leaders who believe God has given me something important to share with their women so they invite me to speak and then unexpectedly over-bless me with love offerings.
- Professionals in marketing and web design who feel led to help me learn, on their own time, how to navigate advertising and promotion in a God-honoring way.
- Publication professionals who feel compelled to give me discounted rates on the changes I have had to make on the book not once, but three times.
- Women who want so much to feel more of God’s peace that they sign up for a Bible study and workshop class, and then share their God-moments with me.
- Sisters in Christ who daily remind me that they are praying for me and encourage me.
I am praying for you.
Looking for a dynamic, personable speaker for your next church retreat or ladies meeting ?
Look no further!
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