With the days that may pass quietly on this blog, it is not for a lack of words. Plenty of conversation is happening, but until now I couldn’t seem open my mouth and speak it.
I have felt so utterly alone in this, and it’s that sense of isolation that has kept me gagged.
See, I have a secret – sort of. Only a limited number of people know about this…so does it still make it a secret? It sure feels that way. This secret is haunting me. Well, haunting is not the right word…convicting me.
Not through guilt or fear, but a relentless nudging, prodding, and pulling that won’t leave me be. I’ve been on the run from this for 3 and a half years. For a season, other weighty matters pressed this way down in my soul, and I could ignore it most days.
Now, and I have no idea why now, it has emerged from the depth of my heart and won’t be silent.
However, there is not just one silent conversation going on in me – there are two. These are the words…
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She’s right, she can’t and she’s foolish to even consider it.
I know you can’t, but with Me you can.
I just simply can’t. Please don’t ask me.
I didn’t ask you, I called you.
Why would you call her? She’s got nothing to offer!
But I’m not smart enough. Strong enough. I am not enough.
She’s right. She’s nothing.
You are who I say you are, and you are My beloved.
Well, perhaps I am that to You, but that doesn’t mean I can do this.
She can’t do this.
It’s not about what you think you can or can’t do, it’s about what I am going to do through you.
Okay, wait, that’s what I don’t understand. How can You use me for this? There are a thousand other people who would do this far better than I ever could.
Yeah, let me name them. She’s not your girl.
You are Mine, and this is what I have decided – you’re it.
You know I love You, and I’ll do anything for You, but this? I’m just not good enough. I don’t know where to go from here.
She’ll go nowhere – that’s where.
You’re halfway there, but you have frozen on the path. Just take the next step.
Yeah, that next step is off a cliff for her it will be such a disaster!
I am terrified to move my feet.
I know you are, that’s why I am here to walk with you.
You know I want closure with this more than anything right now, but I’ve been stuck for 3 and a half years. I forgot how to take the next step.
She’ll never do it.
What are you afraid of that I cannot handle for you?
If you really want to know – fear of commitment, failure, success, judgement, rejection, being laughed at, being criticized, not being taken seriously, not getting others’ approval, giving up my privacy, asking “now what” when it’s done. Most of all, I am terrified at the thought of letting You down.
Letting Me down? I’ve called you to obedience. Only I know where to take it from there, and My measure of achievement looks very different from the world’s.
Get serious. There is no way she is going to go through with this. There is too much already in a day to do, and she’ll never muster the courage it would take to shut me up long enough to fully listen to You. She’s not connected, not talented, not anything it takes to do this – especially to Your standard!!!!
I only ask for obedience from you. The rest is up to Me. You are making this too hard. Just take the next step. Will you trust Me?
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I suppose sharing this on my blog is taking the next step, because it calls some accountability into play. Four years ago, God came to me and gave me a task. One I didn’t understand, but jumped in with both feet. I got totally lost in His project, and when I finally made it through the forest of His work, I was changed. He called me to write a Bible study.
Like there aren’t already a bagillon of studies written by much more skilled people than me. But I cannot deny that He unequivocally called me to do this. So I did.
When it was finished, I asked a panel of people to take the study and critique it. This group consists of men and women ranging from their 20’s to their 70’s. They represent at least five different church denominations, geographical locations and socioeconomic statuses. It was a great sample of people who generously gave their time and energy to help make this study the best it can be.
Then I asked for our pastor’s blessing on it. Check.
It’s ready for the next step. But am I?
Through this process, I have been wounded by some of the enemy’s arsenal and it ain’t pretty. He doesn’t play fair. To my surprise, but as my husband lovingly pointed out, negativity is an issue for me. I’ve been a self-proclaimed optimist my entire life as a tool for surviving a childhood riddled with pain, trauma, crisis, loss and fear. But somewhere, deep deep inside my spirit, a weakness for negative thinking (as a result of said childhood) is a small, back door for the enemy to creep in through the form of discouragement.
I had no idea how much discouragement can sabotage my thoughts, feelings and actions. I give in every time and hate that! Discouragement leads to doubt, which leads to all sorts of condemning thoughts like: Why would anyone give your study the time of day? Who do you think you are? Leave this to the professional authors and teachers. No publisher asked you to do this. This is the big time – and you’re a small deal. You’ll make a fool out of yourself.
Frustrated, I admit that I have bought that lie too many times and tucked this study back in the cabinet.
But, as a believer, I cannot tuck God’s voice in the crevice of my heart. He is irresistible and I love that about Him. He is speaking, and I must respond with either a yes or a no (her hands tremble as she types).
This will be a true walk of faith – especially because of the second thing He asked of me. First, He called me to write the study. Second, He called me to give it away for free. Yep, free.
He told me it is my offering to Him, and you know what? I am totally okay with that. So, with His help to get this study published, the goal is to offer it on this blog, as well as in all of the major book retailers as a downloadable study at absolutely no cost to the reader.
At first, my inner child whined, But it took me soooo long? I have so much invested in this project. Free, really? (Not that I wouldn’t WANT to give it away, but typically that’s not done in the book industry.)
His response was undeniable, Every person I call to take this study should have access to it regardless if they have any money to pay for it.
Well okay then. I just can’t argue with that. And thinking about this over a few months since He told me this, I have grown to completely embrace this idea and wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, today I get loud about the silent conversations that have been at war within me. This has been a major preoccupation and has consumed my daily thoughts, to the point where I feel I will be held accountable to Him if I don’t finish this project. As I lift my foot to take the next step, I do so with utter humility in the covering of His grace, begging for confirmation every moment that He’s with me in this or I’m not doing it (Exodus 33:15-17). I have no earthly idea what He intends to do with this study, but He has heavenly plans that will be revealed in their sweet time. He inspired it, wrote it, is pushing for it to be published and will send it to where He intends it to go.
May He give it wings to fly.
What about you? Have you had similar battles of words in your heart? Is there something purposeful and biblical that God has asked of you that you know you can’t deny, but don’t know what to do with? What is that next step He is calling you to? What keeps you from taking it?
When we take ourselves out of the equation, and remember it’s all about Him, the next step becomes crystal clear. Thankfully, just like with Moses, Abraham, Joshua, Mary & Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Nehemiah, and so many others in the Bible, God promises He won’t leave us to fend for ourselves. He doesn’t give us a wink and a grin and says, Good luck with that. He goes before us to lead; He protects us from behind; and walks along side us for company.
Let’s abandon our notions of success and failure, and realize all over again that all He asks of us is obedience. The results are up to Him.
It feels good to lay my discouragement, doubts and fears on the table and expose them for what they are – lies. God’s plan is unstoppable, and it’s with joy I jump up and down with hand raised high like a child who excitedly begs to be called on by the teacher saying, Pick me! Pick me!
I want to be a part of what God is doing. How about you? Whatever that looks like. Wherever that leads. God, give us courage to do what You ask of us. Strengthen us to complete the task. Encourage our wary hearts. Ignite an unquenchable, thirsty passion in our souls for You and this world You love so much. I’m all in. Are you?