During the next month or so, we are fasting at LifeSong every Wednesday. We are doing this because we are wanting to remove ourselves out of the way as we look to make some big decisions in the life of our church. We are fasting to hear from Him...to just plain and simple hear from Him. We are not asking for the details about our decisions, but we are joining our hearts in one accord as He speaks to us individually, so that we may contribute corporately. It may mean fasting from food, or fasting from things that take your attention and distract you. I won't share in which way I've participated, but I want to share just what God showed me this past Wednesday.
I woke up in a cold sweat on Wednesday morning. I had such an unsettling dream - the kind that just sticks with you all day. It proved one thing to me. I had better start praying right then! I have been in such a season of discontentment and loneliness lately. To me, I felt it was just the discontentment and loneliness of the human sort, but deep down I knew that wasn't true. It was completely a spiritual thing for me. I was discontent in my relationship with God, and you can imagine where that led me...right to the arms of loneliness! I found myself not even longing for God. I could go days without even thinking about Him. I just didn't care. I never kept myself away from surrounding myself with the things of God. I went to services every Sunday. I planned things for Women's ministry. I even went on a mission trip. It all left me unfulfilled. I guess the mission trip probably was really the straw that broke the camel's back. We were in Las Vegas. I've been numerous times before. I noticed the same things there as before, but this time, it drove straight to my heart. All I could see was what my life must look like on the inside.
Everything looked like one big distraction...one big mess. That's exactly how I felt on the inside. I was miserable.
In many ways, I would rather live in Vegas. It is more like what I'm used to. I grew up in places that were melting pots of people. They didn't live there all their lives. Everybody didn't know everybody, thus everybody didn't know everything about everybody. Sometimes living in a small town, for me, has proved to be the biggest challenge of my life. It was pretty much what was going on in my life at the time. All I associated with small town living was low expectations, no one takes initiative to have relationships and to show someone you really loved them was like speaking a foreign language. This was just so different for me. Growing up overseas, when God changed people, He gave them a joy that was amazing. They couldn't stop smiling. All I was seeing here was hurt. People act like they have it bad, but had no clue how good they really had it. They succumbed to the demon of busyness, and think that's how it's supposed to be. I was becoming just like my surroundings. I don't blame my surroundings, but I was definitely taking on that character because I thought that was how you are supposed to be. All it has been doing to me is making me sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This all leads to what God showed me on Wednesday. I have sooooooo been controlled by fear. It's been that way most of my life. Even in the comfort of being reminded of how I grew up as we traveled to Vegas, I was confronted with it. I am so scared to fail. I'm so scared to let people down. I'm scared to be set a part from the crowd because I'm different. Fear has just been controlling me. I kept myself in situations that never challenged me to overcome it...from my relationships, to my weight, to me wanting to try a new career and not doing it. I had created a cocoon of fear for my life. I was so miserable. God spoke to me on Wednesday to make a change. It's crazy how I sooooo have to go rock bottom and be hurt, be lonely, be the one to hurt and be the one to cause lonliess, before I realize how desperately I need God. I have sensed God speaking to me for the past three weeks now. You have to understand...up to that point, I had not heard a word from Him in a very long time. I had the right mask on. You may not have even known. I wasn't hearing Him utter a word at all to me, though! Suddenly I began to hear Him challenge me to really pray for our upcoming Ladies' Night (This Night) at LifeSong. I almost knew before getting there that He was going to do something good. He did. You can read about it here. Little did I know that Wednesday He would bring me to my knees and be desperate.
Am I over my fear? No! Am I allowing myself to be controlled by it? No way! I realized that I was trying to create situations within my friendships, in church, and my home that would be what I thought I had to have to be happy. It's not what God has called me to do. I have realized that He is totally not calling me to be what you, or anyone else, thinks I should be. He calls me to be what HE wants me to be. Sometimes the road to that isn't so bad, but most of the time it's hard. If it's hard for me, you most likely have witnessed it as I go through it. I won't be silent when things aren't going well. If I can't use my inconsistencies, trials, hard traveled roads to show how God is my Deliverer, then I might has well shut it down. God has not called us to share the easy. He's called us to be real. I don't want to live today and not be the most real that I can be. It risks being talked about. It risks being hurt. It risks being a failure, but it is so worth the risk to me. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." I love that He challenges us to not be in the box. He challenges us to live each day, realizing we have got more blessings than we can count, and when we realize this, we need to LIVE it and stop waiting on someone else to do it for us. We have to live each day and do what He has called us to do...not what He's called our neighbor to do.
In No Particular Order by Ree
8 hours ago