Winter has arrived and not just outside. I can feel it on the inside, too.
All those good Fall feelings have waned, like I told you they would, leaving my head dreary and my heart chilly. Another 30-something birthday and the speedy passage of another year has brought out the cold pessimist in me.
Have you ever felt passionate about something—really passionate?—and then suddenly, without warning, the fire goes out?
That’s how I’ve felt lately toward this blog.
To be blunt, I’ve wanted to quit. How or why on earth The Lord led me to start writing, I’ll never understand. When He first revealed this task I seriously questioned His sanity.
Why would anyone care what I have to say? What do I really have to say, anyway?
These are the questions I asked of Him when I first began, and a year and a half later I’m asking them again.
His consistent answer?
Just obey and leave the details to Me.
Sure, that sounds easy enough, but I am a Details Person. My husband absolutely hates going to meetings without me because he knows I will quiz him for Every Last Detail; so much so that he videoed the last one he attended.
I am Rory Gilmore. I like to have A Reason. A Plan. A Goal. I need a projected outcome, a course to plot and follow. (Momma and Lorelai don’t. They’re great Pant-Seat Pilots.)
I find comfort in seeing where my steps are taking me; the possible success all my efforts might end in.
Learning to “just obey” has been hard. Correction. It IS hard. Especially when it isn’t convenient or things don’t make sense or turn out the way you expected.
For example, I originally named this blog “Not My Own” because I thought other girls would join me in writing.
Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet.
Like when I’m driving and suddenly realize I can’t recall anything about the last 10 miles, I have come-to without a clue as to how I’ve gotten here.
I’ve forgotten my current life motto: Just Go With It. I’ve forgotten that I don’t have the answers to my own questions, much less anyone else’s. I’ve forgotten I’m just supposed to be Real with y’all, to just sit down and write about Life.
Last night, God reminded me again.
Just obey and leave the details to me.
He’s had to tell me this many times over my life…
Like when I moved away for college even though it was terrifying and heart-wrenching to leave Home.
Or the time I took a job working with inner-city teens. How God used a 5-foot tall WHITE-white girl to reach 17-year-old gang members and self-proclaimed thugs, I still don’t know. I had no reference for that.
Or the time He sent that same girl, who hasn’t an athletic bone in her body, halfway around the world to conduct a sports camp to reach Polish kids for Christ.
I could go on, but the point is the same. Though I question my usefulness, God does not. He can use anyone—anyone—who is yielded to Him to do anything He desires.
Even a mess like me.
You see, I’ve been called to triple-whammy ministry. I am a blogger, a worship leader, and a youth pastor’s wife; three very public and highly criticized areas of service.
Thus, critical comments and self-doubt often invade the stereo in my head and put themselves on Repeat All, leaving me feeling inadequate and useless.
Me. The same girl God has saved and spoken to and used countless times before feels useless and dried up. Seriously, stick a fork in me because I think I’m done.
I’ve not for a moment doubted God’s abilities, I’ve just doubted mine.
But how? How do you go from knowing you clearly heard The Voice of God and felt The Power of His Spirit within you, to wondering if you’re wasting your breath?
I do not have an answer for that but I do know I’m not the only one who’s felt that way.
Elijah was a confident guy. He had to be; he was the only prophet of The Lord left in Israel. (1 Kings 18:22)
Elijah was so sure of God and His ability to use him, he challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a shoot-out at the Mount Carmel corral. With a simple prayer, he called down fire from heaven and watched God supernaturally devour an altar. In a flash God proved His sovereignty, as well as His ability to use Elijah.
But just a few verses later we find Elijah fearful, begging God to let him die.
“’I’ve had enough,’ he told The Lord. ‘Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now.’” ~ 1 Kings 19:4b
I’ve been there, just this past year even. I’ve known beyond a doubt that God used me to speak to someone, to serve someone or to help someone in need, and then turned around and doubted my ability to be used.
I worry whether my testimony is “good enough” or if I’m “writing in the spirit”; whether or not people will read it or if it will matter to anyone. I’ve forgotten why I started in the first place.
To be obedient.
That’s it. That’s why I do it. That’s the reason I should do anything, really.
I don’t write or sing because I think much of myself; I do it because I think much of God and what He can do through me. I know He can use an imperfect mess like me to bring Him glory and that He, in fact, prefers The Messy over The Polished.
I am not here to be The Model of Perfection; that was Jesus’ job. I am commanded to love God and my neighbor. (Matt. 22:36-40)
No matter how eloquent or comical or moving, my words or songs are worth nothing unless God gives the dictation (1 Cor. 13:1).
I want to be an ambassador, a messenger for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). Though I realize the messenger is often shot, I am willing if it will show Him my love.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, obey Me,” ~ John 14:15
That’s why I’m writing tonight. Maybe you can relate to some of this rambling and maybe you can’t. Maybe you think I’m too dramatic or whiney.
Honestly, it really doesn’t matter. My obedience isn’t about you; it’s about Him.
I need to remember that.
All I know for certain is I’m supposed to share my story with you, be Real about the struggles I face every day, and let God do with it what He may.
Like a good comedian will tell you, the best jokes are the ones you don’t make up. The funniest stuff is Real because people can relate to it.
We identify with each other’s realness and mess because it makes us feel normal and safe to be Real in return.
Vulnerability begets vulnerability. That’s the purpose of this blog.
Tonight, this is where I am. These are the thoughts I’m wrestling.
Maybe you, too, need to remember to just obey and trust God with the outcome? Maybe it’s a ministry opportunity you’re scared to take on? Maybe you need to be real with someone? Pour out your heart or share your testimony?
Sometimes God asks us to do things that just don’t make sense. Actually, He’s famous for that.
Whatever God is prompting you to do, just go with it. Put your faith where your mouth is and jump.
Just obey and leave the details to Me.