Flight Uncomfortable now taking off under clearing skies

planeI immediately felt fear rush through my veins as if there was a fountain flow that couldn’t be turned off! I stopped to take a few deep breaths as I tried to exhale fear and inhale the strength and peace of Christ. I would like to say it was the last time I felt afraid but that would be words empty of truth. Fear likes to strike just as I feel a little more confident and as it did this one gloomy day, I decided to reach up and rip the mask off to see fear for what it really was….

When I felt God’s call on my life to women’s ministry it was a scary but exciting feeling! That particular day it was as clear as a cloudless sky to my heart and soul but as each day passed, thoughts of doubt began to fill that clear sky and the more the clouds came the more the fear rushed through me.

I didn’t know what God was thinking, why He would choose such a mess as myself, and what He had planned on doing with this woman who had been so broken. Days of encouragement came but just as quick the days of doubt ushered in. How was I ever going to get past these thoughts of doubt and this battle of “How me?”

God showed me I had to really see my fear for what it was, the fear of being uncomfortable. One of my biggest battles was letting go of my testimony and sharing with others. Opening myself up to that kind of transparency was very uncomfortable and it was the one thing that fueled my fear in every capacity. What would people think and what if’s ran a marathon through my mind and it seemed as if reaching a finish line would be impossible.

After sharing my story for the first time with a group of ladies in a small group at church on a Sunday evening much to my complete surprise, I felt freedom! There was such a rush of peace that flew through my veins as I took a deep breath and realized it wasn’t painful any longer! God took my story of pain, struggle, and weakness and used it to help other women and I sat there amazed as they shared with me their struggles, their pain, and their weaknesses. I can remember saying with a quiet voice inside my mind, “So this is why God, I get it now. Thank you for leading me to the edge and nudging my heart to let go!”

You see, it may have been the worse kind of uncomfortable to step away from the safety I felt in keeping my story in but it was so freeing to let God take it and use it for His glory! He showed me that day that no pain in my life has to be wasted and that He wants to use it to draw others to Him. I can’t say that it’s totally easy each time I share, but with the Holy Spirit’s leadership in my life its freedom that I can’t experience anywhere else!

That day God reminded me of scripture that He had shown to us while our daughter was facing some scary medical issues, and now these words rise up within me when that fear tries to enter my heart:

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-18

Stepping out of the comfortable into the uncomfortable may be scary but there’s nothing more rewarding than stepping out and trusting God! When He’s calling us out to something new and He’s leading us, there is freedom!

If God is asking you to step out of comfort and walk with Him into the uncomfortable turn the fear over to Him and watch as He transforms it into freedom! Not only do we experience freedom, but more importantly there is an overflow to the glory that God receives! Our stories can be what He uses to make an eternal impact that far outweighs anything we could ever imagine!

Lord, lead us as we seek to glorify you through our stories. We ask that you show us which ones and how much to share and release the fear that grips us, and replace it with that freedom only you can give. Help us not to be afraid of the uncomfortable but to board with you knowing you are guiding, leading, and protecting us along the way. We long to live for your glory! In Jesus name, Amen~

 

Right smack in the middle, there it is!

DSC_0959-001“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” {James 1:2-4}

How do I count my trials as joy? Could this be right? Really? Yes!

As hard as they may be while we are walking through them, we can truly count them as joy because we know that God uses them for our good and His glory {Romans 8:28}!

I have learned some valuable things to take forward with me in my walk with Christ and most of those things gained value through the valleys and the trials! If I am being completely honest with you I would have to admit, I don’t think I would have learned them any other way. I’m not sure if it’s because of my tendency to be stubborn, or if it’s just because hands on experience is the best way for me to learn, I know this, I learned best in the valley.

Those hard things we face become rootable teaching moments that God is using to prepare us for what’s up ahead that we can’t see just yet! I have learned to ask some questions that help me count them as joy and look for the teachable moments….

*What can I learn in the midst of this?
*How can this help me to become more Christ-like?
*What would be the one takeaway lesson from this that will help me grow?

And most important:
*God, what is it that You want me to learn from this?

When I ask these questions, my perspective and focus stays on Jesus, rather than on me. They help me to look beyond my circumstances and see Christ standing with me in the trenches as I muddle my way through!

There is purpose in the trial and because we know that purpose helps us to become more Christ like, we can count the joy!

Lord, help us to see You in the midst of all that we walk through in the day-to-day of life! We can count it all joy because we know You are with us, and we are being rooted deeper in You! In Jesus Name, Amen~

 

 

What fantastic news! I want what they have!

joy in Jesus“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” {Proverbs 15:30 NIV}

There’s just something about hearing the words, “Guess what! I have fantastic news!” that makes our heart and ears perk up! I love to hear people’s good news!

Every day that we are given to live, breathe, and to walk through this life we have the opportunity to share our good news with others! As Christ followers, we have the greatest news ever to share with everyone we meet!

The beaming light in our eyes because we know Jesus Christ causes the heart they look upon to notice there’s something different, and that difference can draw them in to experience the same joy, satisfaction, and life that we have found in Jesus!

A happy spirit, a friendly disposition, and a pure heart with kind words, are so contagious that without even realizing it we can draw others closer to Him! Isn’t that what it’s all about, drawing others to Jesus!?

Let’s choose today to be contagious in such a way that everyone who comes in contact with us will want to know this Jesus that we talk of and shine for just by how we communicate, love, and reflect Him!

Lord, wherever you place us today help us to share with others the good news of Your Son, Jesus! Help our attitudes and our words reflect and communicate your love today so much that someone will want to know You more just because of what they see in us, You! In Jesus Name, Amen~