Earlier this week I posted about the journey I have been on with God as He breaks me free from the fears I have been living with. Today I share with you some more…
From Psalm 23
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
As a recovering wanna-do-it-all-superwoman the phrase “be still…” (Psalm 46:10) was very unfamiliar for most of my life. Being still meant I might not get “it” all done. It also meant I might let someone else down. Deep inside it meant I would not be good enough. All fears, caused by lies, that caused me to continually “do.” Weariness was always a part of my day…along with the guilt that because I was so weary I must not be doing things right.
In ministry work this attitude screamed at me to push harder to do more… be more innovative, be more professional, be more visible. The thoughts “Who am I that I am trying to run a ministry?” “I have never been formally trained. I don’t have a clue what I am doing.” and “There are so mane others out there doing it better than me so who would ever listen to me?” ran rampant. Yes, I would pray, but I would always get right back up and “do” to keep the calling I had been given because I was afraid that if I didn’t God might take it away from me.
That’s no way to run a ministry, is it?
Again, it came down to control. I was trying to control the ministry, rather than letting God lead. I believe that’s why God nudged me to re-write Cultivating Peace. What I thought was going to be a simple re-formatting became an entire overhaul! In the middle of it, completely overwhelmed, I cried out “God, I thought this was going to be easy!! What happened? What did I do wrong?”
His answer? Stop striving and just trust me. Yes, I hate when He reminds me of the scripture He called me into His presence with (Psalm 46:10 says “Cease striving and know I am God”) so many years ago, but it’s still a valid way for God to get my attention. Yet, I was still afraid. What if I missed an opportunity? What if I didn’t get enough done? What if the whole thing fell apart?
But, because I knew I was on this journey to face my fears I chose ignore those fears and instead chose to obey God and stopped.
Because God is always watching over me (and you too, my sweet sister) He knows when I need to be sheltered from the rough, hectic pace of life and He provides rest for me so I can be rejuvenated. He knew I had been struggling, and He knew I needed to be freed from all the lies and fears. All He needed me to do was to follow Him. When I did, it made all the difference. Yes, I was still busier than most, but the peace I felt when I followed him removed my weariness, energized my spirit, and guided me into periods of rest that completely restored my faith in Him… ”He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” I can honestly say that at this moment I am a changed woman in terms of leading this ministry. It is not about me, it is about what God wants to do through me. In that, there are no more fears about being enough…
So, what happened? How did I get here? Out of obedience (and, since I am being completely honest here…a bit of defiance that said If that’s what you want God I hope you can deliver!) I decided to listen to what God wanted me to do over what I thought made sense. Here’s what He did with that:
- He made sure I only had a few hours a day to write, which caused me to make a choice: work on the book until it was finished, or put it off and blog. I could not do both. I chose the path with the most peace, finishing the book, even though it meant I would not blog for a long time, even though I was afraid I would loose the momentum of that area of the ministry’s growth. As a result the book is more passion filled than ever because all my energies were put into it.
- He made sure that my family needed me in new ways so that I needed to be present with them, not focused 24/7 on ministry work (which I would do, given the chance). My daughter started high school. My son is still home schooled with me. My husband is working through his own growth. My home still needed to be cleaned and laundry still needed to be done. Because I followed God’s lead in limiting how much I did for the ministry I was able to live the balanced life I teach God shows us when we follow Him.
- He made sure I was surrounded by amazing women who committed to praying for me (THANK YOU!) through this process, as well as women who reminded me that having fun was a good thing (Yes, I am one of those all work, no play type of people…) as well as my family who wanted me to do things with them. Relationships are more important than the work I am doing and being present with the people He has placed in my life has not only nourished me, but has also given me new insights into how God is working. These new insights have completely enriched my blogging and speaking (not to mention the new material that went into the book!).
- He made sure that my platform (audience) grew in ways I didn’t anticipate. I like to blog…it gives me a way to release what I have learned so that maybe someone else could be touched by God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. But, I LOVE to speak. In the past six months, God has provided opportunities to speak to over 500 women! Blogging alone could never have reached so many women!
Looking for a dynamic, personable speaker for your next church retreat or ladies meeting ?
Look no further!
- No Leading Allowed
- The Next Book You Need to Read!
- Saying Good-by…for Now
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Worry-Free Parenting
- Already There
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Cultivating Wisdom
- Roller Coaster Faith
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Prioritizing Marriage
- Overcoming Doubt
- Making Space For God Link-Up: The Kindness Challenge