|These are my Doc Martens, and they
were made for working–
and stepping out in faith.
It seems that there are certain seasons in life that hold much opportunity for stepping out in faith. It is always a bit scary to step out because there is often the thought in the back of our minds that says, “What if God isn’t in this?”
Since June, I’ve been in this comfortable little ‘cocoon’ of God’s presence, spending much of my time each day sitting at His feet, soaking in the Word of God. But as I mentioned before, I’m at a place where it almost feels like God is pushing me out of the ‘nest’, so to speak….encouraging me to break out of the ‘cocoon’ and stretch my new ‘wings’ and fly. A lovely thought, really, but GOSH, it’s been a frightful thing.
One of the areas that I am having to step out is in speaking God’s truth in love. Being a people pleaser, I always only want to say things that make others happy, because that means I gain approval and people are happy with me. It’s a terribly elusive thing to chase after, approval, and can turn the best of people into the most obsessive kind of weirdos! I find that, lately, I’m given opportunities to decide whether I will seek another’s good or to ‘save my own life’, so to speak, with my words. Every single time I struggle with the temptation of making a person happy versus telling them the truth of God’s word.
I should mention here that there are times when Christians will “speak the truth in love” in a rude sort of fashion, and then claim that they are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. This isn’t what I’m referring to when I talk about speaking the truth in love. It is truly an art to be able to speak the truth in a way that the hearer (or reader) feels lifted up in spirit and not put down or insulted. This is what I strive for, keeping in mind the reality that what I express may be taken wrong or rejected completely.
Another area for ‘faith stepping’ is in tending to all the things that need to be done in a day or week. Being a very distractible person doesn’t lend itself well to walking in the spirit every day because my mind is constantly on what I need to do next (and after that, and after that) and how much time I’ve got to accomplish these things. As women my age go, I am honestly one of the least busy ladies I know of. I tend to protect my schedule pretty fiercely from all the ‘little foxes’ that might come to steal my peace, and distract me from what I know what God has already called me to. It’s not unusual for me to hear women express their feelings of guilt over not keeping their home clean enough, not homeschooling as well as they think they ought to, not spending the kind of time with the Lord they know they need, and the list goes on. I have been there, and have learned that I must prioritize my time so that I *can* get those things done that are so important to me, and that has meant (for me) that I need to be home most often, following a loose schedule/to-do list combination that affords me enough time to complete it all in a non-harried fashion. Even with all of this help I have from my routine, I still find myself feeling guilty that my mind is not stayed on the Lord as often as it was in my ‘cocoon’. It is when I feel those feelings that the Lord encourages me to go forth and put into practice all that I’ve learned, and trust that He is right there with me, all day long. A few weeks ago when I was journaling/praying about this, these words came to me, which I come back to when I begin feeling low again:
“We cannot walk on clouds for too long before we begin to neglect earthly responsibility. Nay, I must learn to set aside fears and aspire to glorify God in whatever I am doing. There is no need to falter in my confidence in God’s love for me, for it is everlasting.”
My third (but surely not last) area that I am stepping out in faith in is blogging. You all know that I haven’t been around the blog world for the better part of six months, and honestly, I didn’t really think I would be coming back…yet here I am. I deal so much with pride and the need for approval that it scares me to be back in ‘public’ talking about myself and what I’m doing once again. I struggle very much the way Moses did, because I truly don’t feel that I have anything to say that someone else hasn’t said in the past, and better. Yet, I feel the prodding of the Lord to ‘step out’ and trust Him for whatever will happen through my blog because I know that God would desire to use each and every one of us to touch lives. To be sure, I would be just as happy to merely touch my family’s and friends’ lives, if that were my only calling, but it seems it is not and so I forge ahead carefully (and prayerfully), if I can say it that way.
A funny thing about returning to blogging is that since I have returned, I have lost at least one reader every day or two. I have to admit that this does cause me to question whether this is really the way God wants me to go, whether I’m in the center of His will. Each time I discover another lost reader, I ask the Lord, “Are you really in this?” and what comes to mind is that His ways are not our ways, and His goals aren’t the same as ours. His goal is for our sanctification, while I, in my finite mind, think I blog to gain readership and popularity. Go figure!
If you’ve hung in with me this long, thank you! I really appreciate all of you more than I can say, and pray that each and every one of you be blessed with the ability to step out in faith in whatever area you may be struggling with. Thanks for ‘listening’, dear friends!