Do you ever think to yourself, I need to do this.
Not just I want to do this, but need to.. and then within 30 seconds you have yourself talked out of doing it. You rationalize over and over in your head the reasons why you aren't or can't or will never be able to do said item.
How often do we talk ourselves out of doing something that we know God is placing on our hearts because we sit and ponder all of the reasons why we shouldn't do it, why it won't work.
Fear, insecurity, doubt, what people will think, what people will say to you, criticism, the list goes on and on.
Last weekend, Christen and I drove to Cleveland, TN for the Gathering Conference. I had saw the announcement for it probably five months ago and told her we should go, and finally about a month ago we bought the tickets so we couldn't change our minds. Well, we could, but it made it less likely that we would.
We could have let the fear of driving 10 hours get to us. We could have made up plenty of excuses of why we needed to be home. As soon as we get something in our minds to do something, the devil will also start at work creating his own reasons why we shouldn't do it. But we can't let that happen.
That weekend. It brought so much encouragement and joy into my soul that I didn't even know I needed. As I was worshipping during one of the sessions, I was thinking to myself.. If I would go back and tell my freshman in college self that in 7 years I'd be surrounded by strangers worshipping the Lord on a Friday and Saturday night, I probably would have honestly told you that you are nuts. Hands down. I wouldn't have even known what worship meant at that point, growing up in a church that didn't include worship.
Back then, I would have felt the fear of being judged. Of people thinking I was "weird" for listening to Christian music, for reading my Bible, for talking about Jesus. Yes I'd gone to church every weekend growing up, but I didn't fully have that relationship with Christ in which I felt an actual relationship and closeness to Him that I'd talk about outside of church. Yes, I'd definitely told you you were nuts if you told me that's how I'd love to spend every weekend now if I could.
The topic of the weekend at the conference was all about stepping. Stepping into what God has for you, taking that step in faith even before you can see where it's going to lead. It all goes back to the fear.
Fear prevents us from moving forward. Fear keeps us from taking that first step. We don't know what's going to happen if we do, so we shrink back in fear that if we step, we might not make it.. we might not succeed, we might not be good enough, we might stumble a few times and think someone will judge us.
I'll tell you one thing though... and it's at the beginning of the song Learning and that is that fear is a liar.
God didn't create you to passively go through your life, hoping that something will happen to you. He created you with a purpose. You were His idea. I just heard that for the first time the other day and that just blew my mind. We have ideas all of the time, some smart, some not so smart, but God had the idea that He was going to create you. Individually. Uniquely. With love. Intentionally. With a purpose just for you.
I think we forget that sometimes. We think.. I'm a nobody, Why should anything good happen to me, I've messed up too much to deserve something good. I'd never be able to pursue that career because have you seen him/her do it? There's no way I could ever be as good as that person.
We compare and put ourselves down, and before you know it, we're missing the steps that God wants us to take because we've convinced ourselves of the exact opposite of what He wants for us so we never take that first step.
Sometimes we fail to give ourselves enough credit, or any credit at all. Take a minute and reflect for a minute.
Look back, at the past few years, the past year, at the past 6 months, at the past few weeks.. how have you changed as a person? Have you grown, spiritually, emotionally? In what areas do you see a shift? Are there areas you need to work on?
I moved back home in September and even since then, it blows my mind to see how God has moved in that time. I thought I was doing okay then, but now, I look back and see how I really wasn't if I got to the core of it. I might have looked like it on the outside, but if you checked my heart, you'd see clearly that I was struggling. It's amazing how God shows up every time.
Every time we think we're down to no good, that we're at our lowest, broken and uncertain. And it's amazing how God has moved and will continue to move, how He's worked and opened new doors that I didn't see coming to cause me to trust Him and His plan unlike ever before. A few months, and looking back, it's only God that could have worked like that- changed my heart, changed my perspectives, changed my thoughts, feelings, insecurities, anxieties, goals, dreams, changed it all.
It's incredible what He can do, if only we take that step and trust that He will be there to meet us. The first step is usually the scariest, but keep your head down, reflect on His truths, live with your heart open and full of trust, and be expectant. Expectant that He is going to use you in ways you can't imagine. Expectant that He will provide. Expectant that the fear you feel will seem so silly once you take that step and see what's on the other side.
God has a story just for you, and that story will come with chapters of happiness, pain, sorrow, peace, joy.. it won't be easy, it won't always be clear, but taking that step could launch you right into the place that you were meant to be. Don't let fear be the reason you don't move when you feel Him nudge you to move. Remember, fear is a liar and God is the Truth. What's there to be afraid of besides missing the absolute wonderful story that He wants to write for you?