Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Grown Up Pep Talk

I have been walking down a road recently, that seems dark and scary. A road that can certainly lead to rejection and maybe even a few broken dreams. One that I am even hesitant to start because I have to go by myself… and let’s be honest, no one likes to walk alone!

You might read that and wonder, “well if it’s dark, scary and lonely why would you even go?” and the only answer I have for you is that He told me to. God has pointed me in this direction. He has brought me to this doorway, opened it for me, and said “go”... but He won’t make me take the steps. That’s my job.

It has me all in my head, thinking about what could be down this path. Rejection, failure, loneliness, criticism, confusion or self-doubt. We all have roads like this… decisions that need to be made as to whether we take a step forward into the hard or we side step it to take an easier path. Or even step backward to stay right where we are, frozen in the decision itself.

I find that when I get into all of the what-ifs in a new journey - especially a road that is up to me alone - clinging to the promise that He will not send me somewhere He isn’t going too is critical. But I have to make the choice. I have to take action. He will be right there with me, but it's up to me to put one foot in front of the other.

I hate it when God gives us choices, don’t you?  Someone kindly pointed out to me recently that He loves us enough to give us those choices. He has given us freedom to make decisions. Instead of forcing me down this road, He has brought me to the cusp and said, “My daughter, I love you. I am for you. I will not send you somewhere I do not go too.” He has said, “I have begun a good work in you and I will be faithful to complete until your time is up.” He has said, “You can do this. You are strong enough because I am enough.

Sometimes though, I have to fake it till I make it, y’all. Sometimes it’s super hard for the Truth that I know in my mind to finally connect to my heart. 

I desperately want to be that daughter, though. The one that He says I am. I want to be confident in who He has called me to be and what He has called me to do. I want to jump up + down when He says He’s got a job to do, saying “pick me! pick me!” I want to live out the words, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” But for me, sometimes, it’s just flat out hard to believe.

Because I know that we live in the real world. I live in a world as a sinner, full of sinners. I live in a world where there are winners and losers, successes and failures. I live in a world that celebrates gain and counts the loss. But that’s not how He sees it, is it? He’s not after the success or the failure… He’s not counting my wins and losses. He’s after my heart.

I want God to know my heart, and to know all of it. I want to be all in for the sake of Jesus, because when I am in it all for Him, I’m not thinking about the potential rejection or failure, but thinking about walking in obedience to His Truth.  When I stop focusing on what could be down that scary path, I can finally see the One Who goes with me down that same road.

The Word tells us that He will not lead us where He doesn’t go. That is the Truth. The world tells me that I can’t do this, but the Word tells me that with Him all things are possible. That is the Truth. The world tells me that I’m not big enough, important enough or even smart enough to do this. But the Word tells me that He can do all things through me. That’s the Truth. Even the scary and hard things, even the ones that, frankly, I’d rather not do!

Maybe you find yourself needing this pep talk today too. Maybe you find yourself thinking that there is no way you can do that thing He has asked you to do. Perhaps it’s confronting a friend, or taking a step toward a job change, or folding the laundry for the 118th time today, knowing you need an attitude shift. Maybe you need to apologize to your husband for the ugly words you muttered last night or you need to ask for forgiveness from your children.

Whatever that thing is, let this settle into your spirit right now, y’all. He is for you. He is for us. He’s not on the other side of Heaven thinking about all of the ways that He can make today harder. He’s not on the other side of Heaven trying to humble us for no reason. Or worst of all, not even thinking of us. He loves us. And whatever path we find ourselves on - or at the brink of - today, He is cheering us on. He has a plan for this journey and we can do it.

Father let me believe that You have gone before me down this scary path. Help me lay down every single one of the baby steps I get the courage to take as an offering up to You. God, let me recognize the blessing of fellowship with You - the blessing of having You go with me… beside me and before me. Lead me down the path today. May I lay my head on my pillow tonight a little further down the road than I was when I woke up. Give me progress today - even if it’s one step forward and two steps back. I do not want to stay stuck on the brink of something You have for me. Do not let fear get in the way of all You have for me, Father. May I find treasures in the journey that I can take with me tomorrow when I find myself right back here in the same place. God, You are so very good.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31, 32

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10

“So that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6

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