This week I have been sharing how God broke me free from the fears I have had in my life, specifically in running Peace of Mind Ministries. He has shown me His lessons of grace, mercy and love through Psalm 23. You can find Pt. 1 HERE, and Pt. 2 HERE.
Today I share the lessons I have learned associated with the second half of verse 3: “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (vs. 3b)
I have learned over the past six months that when God leads I am given a path through life that provides all I need to handle whatever comes my way with love, grace and mercy–thereby becoming a living testimony to His love for all of us.
I used to be so afraid that I wouldn’t be enough that I would jump from path to path, searching endlessly for just the right way to be whoever the person or situation needed me to be. It was a very confusing existence based on others’ expectations, needs, and desires.
In ministry this fear of not being enough morphed into trying out everything everyone else suggested out of fear that if I didn’t I might miss some way of connecting with women. Blogging, video-blogging, give-a-ways, facebook pages, twitter feeds, following other’s comments, reaching out for others to follow me, attending conferences to get the latest ideas, checking in on facebook to see how I might post about God’s peace, creating monthly newsletters, and mailing out speaker and book packets to churches all added up to one big mess for me. Don’t get me wrong, I believe all these things can and are used by others for God’s glory. The problem was that I was trying to do ALL of them out of fear that I might miss something.
Pretty pathetic, right?
All of it was for MY recognition, not God’s. I was living for my own name’s sake, not His. Shocking, I know, but that’s what fear makes us do, isn’t it? Things we otherwise, with rational thought, wouldn’t engage in.
When I realized that I was worrying about how to do all “that” so much that is began affecting how I lived I finally realized I was in the wrong. You see, when God calls us into something, He also equips us for that purpose: “20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-22) All I was trying to do in my own strength and on my own terms was causing a lot of stress in my life and in my relationships. My priorities were slowly slipping out of order. The stress I was under to perform the way I thought I should clearly wasn’t being “equipped.” I was out of His will in all this.
With that realization came absolute repentance. I was in the wrong and I didn’t want to be. In prayer I confessed my obstinate behavior, my faithlessness, and my fears. I committed, again, this ministry back into God’s capable hands, and asked Him to lead me in what to do.
Thankfully, God knows me so well He knew just what to do to break me free from the fear of not being connected enough: He cut me off. No blogging, video-blogging, face-booking, tweeting, following, conferences…nothing. Do you know what happened? Nothing. I didn’t miss anything. In fact, because I had my head out of cyberspace and into Him and the people He placed in my life, I became even more connected than all that striving in my own strength ever produced.
- In my connected-ness with God I was not only freed from fear, but also restored from the weariness I caused trying to do it all (yet again…). He poured His love, grace, and mercy all over me, healing the wounds caused by the lies which caused the fears and restoring my faith in His leadership.
- Because I had spent time with God getting to where He wanted me to be and letting go of where I thought I should be, all the other relationships in my life were affected with His love, grace, and mercy too. I treated them better, loved them with God’s love instead of my own, and offered more mercy and grace rather than short-tempered curt responses. My relationships, despite the busyness, became more peace-filled because I was content from the inside out. I was no longer striving for the world’s accolades, but rather living for God’s praise alone.
- When I felt His release to go back to cyber space it was with a new purpose to PRAY for those I “saw” and then, out of those prayers and His Word, to write cyber-prayers, offer encouragement, and tell this story. It became LESS about connecting just to be seen, and ALL about connecting to share God’s love. That has made a HUGE difference in my desire to be in cyberspace…I hop on when I feel God’s nudge to check in and see who I can pray with and for, encourage, or otherwise shed His light on, as well as share what He is up to in my life. Am I a regular post-er anywhere? No. But gone too are the worries about being enough. Instead I have His peace whenever I am working on a blog (like right now) or something else for cyberspace instead of the fear I used to have.
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