A few years ago I felt a small nudge to take a chance and use these gifts I've been given. To write to encourage...to point people to Him. To be open and real about what God was really doing in this life and heart of mine. It was spotty...but here and there I ventured to share my faith on this blog. And then earlier this year when Derek got horribly sick, the flood gates opened so to say, and my heart spilled out. And the small voice I was hearing turned into a megaphone...and I could no longer keep my heart quiet and safe in the comfortable. You see, I have this icky part about me. People pleasing. It has something to do with wanting to be liked and pride. With people who know me - I have no problem sharing truth and challenging them and being true to who I really am. But in public, in work, on social media...I tend to be someone who doesn't like to step on toes or offend...who will gladly hold my tongue about my faith to be liked, to be cool, to blend in. [ew]. But God used those hard times and desperate moments when Derek was sick to tear me wide open and change that about me...hopefully forever. And so here I am, trying to listen to this strange calling and write and share and be uncool. There is a story here, one that I know the Lord is asking me to tell. And no, it's not earth shattering, not by any means. And I think, in part, that's what makes this so hard. I realize that I'm not a writer or a preacher or that person who comes up with those lists...you know...like 10 things you need to do this year or 5 things you should never say to your kids. Those are great, but those are not me. My story unfolds daily. I'm not polished, and I don't have intentions here for online greatness and fame and thousands of followers. I'm much more comfortable with the opposite. I'd rather be quiet, unwritten and unread. But God has other plans for this life of mine. This I know.
I've been reading Love Does by Bob Goff. I bought two copies, then I got two more from some dear friends as gifts. I think it's fair to say God wants me reading this book! I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in a sovereign God, one who works in the every day, thru these things we're more comfortable calling "coincidences" than God working. So when four copies of a book end up on my doorstep, I know it's time to start reading it :)
Bob's stories...oh they're good. Grab a copy if you can...or borrow one of mine...lol. Last night I finished the chapter JUST SAY YES. It's definitely inspiring me to say yes to what God is asking me to do..."to lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes". That's probably one of the reasons I'll take a chance and hit the publish button on this blog post today.
"Am I the right guy? I don't know, but I'm the guy being asked, and the last thing I want to do is miss an opportunity or make God mad, so I just keep saying yes. Maybe God is doing some inexplicable things in your life. Each of us gets to decide every time whether to lean in or step back--to say yes, ignore it, or tell God why He has the wrong person."Bob was referencing Moses before this little morsel. How God chose Moses to lead, but Moses didn't think he was the guy to do it because he's clearly not the best talker, he stutters even...there are obviously better guys for the job. But are there? Are there better people for the tasks God is asking you or me to do? Hmmmm. That hits this girl hard.
So why not take a chance and step into some unfamiliar territory if God is leading you there. [I'm telling myself this as I write this to you...but please, feel free to join in]. That's how we grow, right? Taking steps into the unknown and uncomfortable grows us and stretches us in the best ways.
This got me thinking about this year and where God has taken me. He's always doing something in us...always. Have you ever considered this? A lot of people are making resolutions right now about the year ahead. I'm sure I'll even throw a few around, it's not too hard after reading this post to guess what mine will be. But before I get to that, I'm challenging myself to look back at this year and where I've been...jotting a few notes down about what's been hard, what I've failed at, what God has taught me, how I've been blessed, how I've been humbled. Reflection. Sometimes we need a good dose of that before we go running ahead into new territory. So I'm opening books I've read and going thru the notes I've written and things I've highlighted to see what I've learned.
What if we all did this even in the most simplest of ways...trying our best to hold on and put into practice the things we've already learned. Instead of reading more books or diving into more theology and ladder climbing to "grow"...what if we just tried doing some of things we already know about. Like even the little things, which always seem to be the big things at the end of the day anyway. Like loving the messed up people in our lives. Or maybe extending some undeserved grace. Hmmmm. Things I already know about, but don't always put into practice. All this reminds me of one of my favorites from this year...a quote from One Thousand Gifts...
"I used to think that God's gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we should reach them. I find now that God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts."See. This reflection thing is like magic. It's been taking me to the best places. Give it a try. It's way more inspiring than any resolution!