I've had a rough week. Couple weeks, if you want to know the truth. I figure though, I'm not the only one feeling this way so bear with me as I try and share it with you. Because sometimes when you realize you're not the only one struggling, it's easier to go through it.
As many of you know, God asked me to write a book a few years ago. It's changed shape and evolved and become something I'm really excited about, though it's far from ready. I've learned though the process however, that no longer can someone simply be a writer or author. If they're going to be successful, a healthy social media presence is required. They need to speak and put themselves out there in many ways other than on paper.
My mom and I laugh, saying we're "highly functioning introverts", so though it likely surprises some people, I have to massively push myself to get in front of people. I'd much rather be behind the scenes than in the forefront.
But God has made it obvious that He is asking me to do things out of my comfort zone and since I've told him for the past 14 years that I want Him to use me....really use me...I need to obey. Or else I'll be living in disobedience. And I certainly don't want that.
A few months ago a friend asked me to do something that at the time sounded exciting and I jumped at the opportunity. And then I became afraid. And put it off. And put it off some more.
Finally, cutting it rather close to the deadline, I did what was required of me. And I failed miserably because I had gotten so wrapped up in fear and inadequacy. It sent me into a tailspin that lasted about two weeks.
I was about to shut everything down. The blog, my Instagram and Facebook pages. I was going to send emails out to all the people I'd made speaking commitments with, podcast appointments with telling them I needed to cancel.
It all just felt so unsafe and scary. I just wanted to stay home and play with my kids. Be a mom. Be a good mom. A non-mulititasking mom. A stay at home mom that truly just stayed home and...well...mommed. I ached to be the kind of mommy that did things like create homemade play dough and actually live out all the fun summer activities and crafts I'd pinned on Pinterest.
Does that make sense? Have you been there??
Why, God?! Why can't I simply be at home with the kids? Why can't I feel called to homeschooling?
Why must You stretch me like this? Why must I be all things to all people??
And you know what He said?
You're not supposed to be all things to all people.
Just do the things I'm asking you to do.
Be faithful in little and I'll set you over much.
Christ directed me to the story of David in the Bible. How could a shepherd boy become king?! That's insanity! The stress! The inadequacy and feelings of being unprepared and out of his depth he must have gone through! I mean, can you even wrap your head around it?
But here's the thing. Yes, God will give us more than we can handle. Of course He will, He's God. If we could do everything ourselves, how easy would it be to forget we even needed Him?!
So yes, He will give more than we think we can do...but He will also prepare us.
David may have been anointed as king one day, but he certainly didn't BECOME king that day. There were years of training he'd undergo. Without likely even realizing it.
When David was a child, his bravery and trust in God allowed him to step up and be the only one to stand up to Goliath (and slay him). Through that, King Saul invited David to become his Armor Bearer. It never occurred to me what all this job entailed.
Since God in all His grace and mercy, knew when I needed to hear this story again and dive deeper into it, I just happened to get to the chapter in dear friend Logan Wolfram's book, Curious Faith where she speaks exactly of this.
Logan goes on to explain that to bear the arms of a warrior was a servant's role. It meant he would be close to the king during times of combat.
Because the Armor Bearer needed to be close and available at all times to clothe the king for battle, he would be in the tent with the king and the leaders of his army as they discussed strategy and politics. He would basically be a fly on the wall, watching and learning how to command men and lead well (and perhaps taking mental notes when the king was not leading well).
God was teaching him how to be a leader without David likely having any idea.
Let's not forget that anyone living the calling Christ has given them was NOT ready the day God impressed it upon their hearts. There is preparation. There is waiting. There is trust.
Jeff Goins sent me a copy of his wildly popular book, The Art of Work. I had pre-ordered it ages ago but somehow haven't been able to find it after reading the first chapter a year or so ago. So it coming randomly in the mail was such incredible timing. Jeff's words were needed at this exact time...in this exact season of being terrified and feeling small.
I have been praying through it and God has been speaking to me in massive ways because of it.
"We will have to act in spite of feeling unprepared", Jeff writes. He reminds us that "the gifts do not precede the call."
In other sections (now massively highlighted in bright pink), Jeff shares story after story of people who have stepped out in trust, saying "they all had no idea what they were doing. There was no plan. But they acted anyway. They didn't just know. They chose."
I took two weeks off of blogging, days and days off from social media. I needed to clear my mind, realign my heart with His and ejected myself from all the noise. I concentrated on my time with the Lord and spent time with my family. I cleaned closets and bedrooms. I moved furniture and rid ourselves of excess stuff. I prayed. And then I played. And I read a ton.
In His faithfulness, He is strengthening my spirit once again. Bringing joy back. Bringing a vigor and purpose back to what He's calling me to do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still scared spitless. But I'm no longer spending evenings cuddled next to my husband watching a show at night, literally trembling with trepidation of what Christ is asking of me.
A close friend texted me the other day...
So that, dear friends...is exactly what I'm doing. And if you're in the same season as I am...I pray you heed her words and do it, too.
p.s. aren't these scripture cards fantastic?! You can order them over at Thou Are Exalted.