This month FACETS of Faith explores the question, what are you going back to? The topic stumped me (Tracy). I’ve been praying. And praying. And praying.
My fingers pecked across the keyboard. “I’m not even sure what You want me to write about this month, Lord…” Prattle to hopefully jump start my creative engine. It didn’t work. Battery dead. No Power. (And without His Power, my words WOULD be just mindless prattle.)
So I stopped, closed up shop, and did something else. No sense typing a bunch of nonsense, even if I was getting a little angsty with a deadline looming. You see, it’s really important to me I don’t just write what I want. I want to write what God is calling me to write, relevant and in season.
Finally, fresh revelation. The rescue made me as happy as seeing roadside assistance when you’re broken down on a dead-end street. A trinity AAA rescue!
What are you going back to? First and foremost, I’m going back to seeking the Lord. When I don’t know what to do, in situations big and small, I must continue to seek the Lord. I feel this is my first response most of the time (these days). But this is a good reminder to us all ─ God cares about it all. He cares about injustice across the globe, poverty and provision for people’s needs, how and whom we serve, what we do in our free time, and even what I write about.
Don’t think you aren’t important to Him. Don’t think your cares and concerns aren’t significant enough to put before God. They are, because you are! God wants us all to know how deep and wide His love is for us. It’s often through His response in small circumstances where He shows us how BIG we are loved.
Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.─1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP
Prayer without ceasing is only possible if we include God in everything. So let’s involve Him in every little detail. When He shows us the way and what’s needed, lift up a shout of praise and rejoice!
What are you going back to? I’m also reminded to wait on Him and His timing. There’s no sense trying to birth something before He’s darn good and ready to do so! It’s futile, so why not just give in to His holy calendar? Sometimes the closer we are to our due date, the less patient we are to abide in God’s timing. But that’s where peace presides. Imagine pushing and pushing in month 6 of your pregnancy. You have 3 more months, so what’s your hurry? Sure. You want your body back. Sure. You’re anxious to see your new little one. Sure. You’re ready to wear a belt again and perhaps sleep without having to get up and go potty every 30 minutes. But you’ve got 3 more months. No amount of your wishing, and wanting, and even push, push, pushing is going to produce what isn’t ready to be birthed.
Be still, and know that I am God.─Psalm 46:10a ESV
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this verse over the last year or so I might have the beginnings of a really good vacation fund.
But as irritating (and laughable) as it sometimes is when I get a fresh dose of this scripture, it’s also liberating. It’s not up to me. I don’t have to do anything until God says, “do it”. Once He gives the green light, it’s full speed ahead. The road is well paved, because He’s prepared the way and I’m just following all His signs.
Go A Different Way.
Say “Hi” To Her.
Buy That One Dinner.
Construction Ahead, But Keep Going.
As we listen to His voice, He keeps us on the path. His path. The one that keeps us in peace even as He stretches and grows us.
And that thought leads me to God’s answer for me (and perhaps for some of you too). What are you going back to?
His very personal answer for me… my life. He wants me to go back to my life. He’s saying. This is the way. Walk in it. Don’t put limits on your life. If you do, you’re putting limits on Me.
Are you putting limits on God and what He can do in and through you? Read the above paragraph again. Listen to what God is saying.
What does that seemingly grandiose statement mean? I am to go back to my life.
For any of you that have been in a birthing season, you understand it is extremely busy. A new baby to care for, a new business venture, a new job, planting a church, launching a ministry, it’s all a lot of work.
For well over a year I have been involved in starting up a human trafficking residential aftercare ministry. It has been an all-consuming, sometimes exhausting, tear inducing experience even as it has been full of joy and rich rewards to see God move. I expected spiritual resistance, and even attack, but not to the level in which I encountered it. Let’s just say I have a few battle scars. But man, I wouldn’t have missed that battle for anything! Like a lot of things in life, it has also been so full of unexpected blessing and life altering encounters. I have been given gifts I will take with me long after God calls me away from this ministry.
It has been a hard year or so. It has been humbling. It has been a year of hibernating (in a sense). I didn’t do much else besides eat, breathe, and sleep the ministry. It’s what was needed in the intense start up period.
I had to say “no” to many things I would have been interested in doing; I knew I couldn’t.
But now, it’s a new season.
While I’m still super passionate about human trafficking and doing my part to participate in God’s mission against it, He says He has more.
None spiritual speak here … that kind of freaks me out! More? Than this? This has been pretty monumental!
But this fight against human trafficking is not all that I am. I am much more. I am who God made me to be. I’m who He is making me to be.
The ministry is up and running and not all-consuming. It’s busy, but not birthing kind of busy. Now, He’s saying I can step into some new things and revisit some old endeavors I enjoyed. Perhaps, my role will look different. Perhaps the gifts God has entrusted me to steward He’ll use in a slightly different capacity.
This morning as I was getting ready, God solidified this new season for me. I listened to Christine Caine’s teaching about stretching and growth. I knew it was for me. Here’s a woman, on fire for the Lord, doing great things for Him, not putting limits on what He can do in and through her. (Talk about a woman with some passion and zeal!)
She shared how she has been stretched by God to do more than she ever thought she could. She had her doubts. She hashed it out with God. And then she said, “Okay, let’s do this!” (so to speak)
Hearing her talk, I knew it was for me. Perhaps it’s for you too. Do you have a lot on your plate and think to yourself, “I can’t add one thing more?” Maybe you can. But not in your own strength! Let God do the “pushing” for you and maybe, just maybe you can.
Trust His voice because sometimes that’s not what He’s asking at all. But sometimes. Sometimes, it is!
God is releasing me to more fully explore a leadership role in a writing group I’ve been a part of for a number of years. I’m excited about what He can do in and through all the amazing women He has gathered. These ladies are awesome! All love Jesus and want to do what He wants them to. I think about the leadership development opportunities there might be (something I’m passionate about), and all that any little investment I am allowed to make might be magnified and multiplied. They have big dreams in the name of Jesus, so who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with friendships like that?
I feel released to explore some ministry opportunities at my church ─ at least released enough to have some preliminary discussions of what things could look like. Dream a little. Explore. Noodle. Create in a slightly different fashion.
And I might be able to get back to some of the life coaching I was doing, which I absolutely love. It requires a full emotional tank, and now that I am not running on emotional empty from ministry launch, I feel more released to engage.
What are you going back to? If you don’t know, seek God through prayer. If His answer is “delayed”, don’t push. Don’t get ahead, but don’t lag behind. Wait on His timing to reveal His purposes for your life. Pay attention to seasons, circumstances, and what those might be saying to you about what God has for you. Abide in His presence and let His peace (even in the midst of crazy, crazy) guide your decisions.
I was asked earlier today how I felt about getting older. My honest answer, “Okay”. I feel very alive, because God is always doing something new in my life. He’s interested in my growth (and He’s faithful to grow me). But here’s the thing …. He knows I’m “all in”. I’m not going to give up even when the going gets really hard. Believe you me, it has from time to time. In spite of the tough seasons, I’ve got to say “yes” to God.
If we decline what God has for us, that’s when our lives spiral into decline. If we say “no” when He wants us to say “yes”, we’re not doing what we were made for. It’s not old age or even death that steals life from us. When we stop living, that’s when life leaves us.
How can you most fully engage in the life God is calling you to live? Follow His whispers, His signs to what will make your life great, because you’re becoming more and more the very woman (or man) God designed you to be.
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Don’t forget to check back in later this month to read Kim’s and Jennifer’s perspective, as well as our first male guest contributor who will close out the month’s topic: What are you going back to?