I have been quiet the past few weeks but would now like to share with you a bit about what is going on in my world. Many of you already know that I will be attending the Proverbs 31 Ministries Conference She Speaks at the end of July. There I will have the opportunity to connect with other Christian writers and speakers and to also meet with a few publishers to discuss the book I’ve been writing since early spring.
Recently, I have been dealing with a slew of emotions, and yesterday was the icing on the cake. So now I want to tell you what God placed on my heart well over a year ago and pray that by doing so, you will be encouraged to move forward with God’s leading in your life.
I started writing this time last year at the prod of a few friends. It took several months to get started since I figured that no one has any interest in what I have to say. Nevertheless, during my quiet time with the Lord, I sensed God nudging me to write and to let Him take care of the results. If you know anything about me, you know that leaving life’s plans up to anyone other than “yours truly” is SUPER difficult. (Yes, this continues to be a Blog that underscores God’s sovereignty, in which I believe, but sometimes — OK, most all the time — have trouble acting upon.)
Let me Tell Ya Somethin’ was where I typed away my thoughts and feelings during the midnight and early morning hours, and soon the Holy Spirit ignited a fire in my soul that drove me to continue encouraging women who feel like they’re in the throes of life right now. Careers, marriages, motherhood, friendships, and everything in-between vie for their time and energy, leaving them both weary and wary. I know because I’ve been there. And the recurring question Why? kept coming to my mind and weighing on my heart. Why do we allow the things of this world to constantly take our minds off God? Why are we more easily swayed by a Facebook post than the Word of God? Why do we think we will live forever on this earth when we know that we will spend eternity in Heaven?
Y’all, I am so far from what I thought my life would look like that it’s still incredulous to me, even as I write this. I dreamed of wearing a power suit on Wall Street, but I live on twenty-five acres in small-town Gaffney, SC, and most days you will find me in mismatching workout attire. For almost ten years I did live the corporate dream, finding my self-worth in my sales quota and my bank account. But at the end of the long work-day, I always felt empty, like there was something else I should be doing with my time.
And, there was.
Last May I told the Lord that if He really wanted me to minister to women by writing, then He must remove any obstacles that stood in the way. Because I have such control issues and tie work to my sense of self-worth, I still worked part-time from home, and my life was becoming more and more stressful (not because of the job, but managing it along with everything else). Well, after I told the Lord to remove any distractions that prevented me from surrendering to His call to write, my boss called me the very next day to say, “This current part-time situation is not working out.” BAM. Although it wasn’t a “burning bush” moment, this was close enough for me. God’s will for my life on this subject became crystal clear.
I would love to say that since then, never-ending peace and constant joy has flooded my soul, knowing that I am now walking down the path God opened up for me, but I can’t. Catch me walking around the track at the YMCA, and you will find me in a literal conversation with God which usually goes something like this:
Lord, I think you have the wrong girl.
Lord, there are so many others who have more talent than me.
Lord, this is so out of my comfort zone; this is a mistake.
Ladies, if you only get one thing out of this post today, realize this: SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS REAL. The battle for our hearts and minds is constant, but the Good News is that it will end with Satan, the Power of Darkness, cast into a lake of fire by God Most High, the Everlasting Light. Amen!?
I only recently finished my book and presently have been working on proposals to present to potential publishers in a few weeks. In the book, I address fifteen lies that Satan tells us women in order to prevent us from shining our lights for Christ. Sounds like it might be promising, right? So, yesterday should have been one of the happiest days of this somewhat arduous journey. I received an email telling me that not only will I be meeting with one publisher, but three — WOO HOO! Nonetheless, despite this great news, my elation and hope soon vanished. As I scrolled through their requirements and read that they were looking for women who have thousands of followers on social media, regular speaking engagements and have published previous books, my heart sank, and my old “friend,” inferiority, coiled itself around me. I slammed down the computer, angry at myself for even thinking I could ever accomplish something like this.
Not my finest moment. This was not the proper response. Instead, I should have run to the Lord in prayer and immediately afterwards, rebuffed the Old Serpent by telling him, “Satan, you have no hold over this. WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.” However, despite my desire to be spirit-controlled at all times, my sin-nature does rise up on occasion (alright, I confess — often), so slamming the computer shut and throwing a tantrum like my two-year-old seemed altogether fitting just then.
Later that evening, while waiting for a friend with whom I was going to walk, I decided to go ahead and take a few practice laps. With tears streaming down my face, I literally cried out to God for help and guidance. And suddenly, the story of Gideon popped into my head. It goes like this:
“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” “And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.” Judges 6:11-18
God sent an angel to Gideon to tell him that God would be with him in the fight against his enemies. But what did Gideon do? He tried to disway God, basically saying, “Um, I think you have the wrong fellow here.” I understand Gideon’s reluctance — if God told me to go up against thousands of men with only three hundred, I would be a little nervous, too, not to mention dismayed and downright terrified.
Do you feel like Gideon or maybe Moses, who also made excuses when God first told him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt? The Bible is replete with examples of people whom God removed from their “comfort zones.” Think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She didn’t make excuses, but she did question God because His mission for her was truly above nature. “How can this be?” she asked the angel Gabriel. Do you feel like God is leading you to do something for His glory, but time after time you make excuses to justify your not being the best choice? Let me tell ya somethin’, in and of ourselves, NONE of us are good choices, yet God still chooses us to carry out His plans and indwells us with supernatural power, the Holy Spirit, to fulfill those plans. The Lord uses the least of us for the greatest good when we surrender our will to Him. Triune God is, afterall, in the MIRACLE business.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
As I write these words I look into the mirror to remind myself that God has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. Satan is the Father of Lies and knows exactly how to throw us off, to make us feel that we are wasting our time, that our work for Christ is in vain. He attacks me this way in other areas of my life, too, not just writing a book to encourage Christian women, and there is no doubt that he is now doubling his efforts as the possibility of sharing God’s Truths through this book draws nearer. My only defense, and yours, in fending off the Enemy is through prayer, Scripture and other Children of God who impart Truth into our lives, be it from the pulpit or over the phone.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
God has a unique purpose for you and for me. He gave every one of His children special spiritual gifts and talents. He also left Believers the Holy Spirit to guide us as we use those gifts and to comfort us when we experience doubt and discouragement along the way. What is holding you back from starting that Bible Study or hosting a dinner in your home to share the Gospel or praying daily for the Body of Believers in your life and those around the globe? The ways to honor Christ and to bring Glory to Him are endless, albeit sometimes unfathomable, (at least in our finite minds), even controversial. Sisters in Christ, what are you waiting for? Answer your calling — trust and obey.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans. John 14:16-18