Fit to Serve Him

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

“You have been deemed fit.” Those two words-“deemed fit.” They had me sitting in my chair, fighting back choking sobs. For you to understand why, you would have to understand how many times, and for how many years I had felt “unfit.”

It started long ago, really. Society has placed so many rules on how people should look, act, dress, what jobs a person should have-especially if you look a certain way. Especially if you are a woman. If you do happen to secure a new job, there are expectations others have of you, likely based on who your predecessor was. And if you don’t meet these expectations, then you are not worthy. You even get a job description, and sometimes demands are placed on you and listed under that “other duties as assigned” listing that are not quite right, fair, or just. It seems we are always being measured. Sized up. Determined if we are “deemed fit” for whatever starring role we are at any given moment.

The expectations we have of our leaders who preach the word are just as hard to live up to at times. And I have felt the pressure of feeling unfit, unworthy, and useless underneath these unneccessary weights. The pressures placed on me by manmade expectations. How I wore my hair. Whether short or with color. My piercings. My tattoos. My voice. My dress. The programs I decided to run. If I moved too fast towards a vision, or too slow. Nothing ever seemed good enough. But I moved to please people anyway, until I lost someone important.

Me. I lost me. The me whom God created, because with all the people-pleasing I had no idea who she even was.

When God calls us to ministry, He calls us with the unique talents He has equipped us with, and if we let it, the world can highjack these gifts, and tell us we need to be, do, and use something totally different. And that is what I did.

I spent years doing what others wanted because it was always done before, and it would make others happy. I lost confidence, passion, vision, and stayed silent in an effort-that’s right to please others and keep them happy. And I even questioned if God got it right after all, and contemplated quitting.

But I didn’t quit.

It took almost 8 years, and a year in which I was actually not deemed fit, and had to be mentored for a year. A year in which I dug deep, and searched internally, and asked God to “search me and know my heart” and reveal anything that needed to be corrected (Psalm 139:23). Long, painful processes in which I felt unworthy to get to the culimination of being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene as an Elder this weekend.

I was asked several times this weekend what it felt like to get to this point. To stand up front. To be prayed for. To receive the ordination certificate. Recieive this prize.

“Like your wedding day?” No. Not quite. I also performed a wedding this weekend. And no, I remember mine as well, and I wouldn’t put them in the same category. You plan differently. You choose who is there. The moments, months, days before are (usually) filled with joy.

“Like a graudation?” No. I mean, maybe for me. I was the first to graduate from a 4 year school in my family. Definitely to get a masters. So yes, triumphant. And, going to school with 3 kids and a job was hard. But…still not the same battle this was. I never contemplated quitting.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timonthy 4:7-8, NLT

I turned to my husband right before we walked to be prayed over and I told him: “I know what it feels like. It feels like the scene in Rocky. When he defeats…Creed?” He quickly corrected me…”The Russian, Drago. This is like Drago. Good versus Evil.”

Yes, and instead of receiving a heavyweight belt. I received a crown of righteousness. Because as the General Superintendent laid his hands on my head and prayed, that is what it felt like. Like I was being crowned.

I had fought a fight, because the enemy wanted my doubts about my calling to overtake my soul. He would have been tickled pink if I had quit. But I didn’t. I kept the faith, and remembered what the Word had taught me, and I remained faithful to Him. To the gifts and talents He had given me, and the mission He had called me to, and the prize awaited me.

Have I arrived? No! But, I am a living, breathing testimony that if God can do this for me-He can do this for so many like me. I am privileged and honored to be called by Him to be his hands and feet.

Promises of God: A Reason

Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16, NLT

“Everything happens for a reason.”

A phrase I have had a problem with a time. Two. Three hundred. And some. For me, at times…it seemed like a pat answer usually given to ease the hurts and struggles of others. We don’t know what else to say at these times. Maybe we do actually see something good coming out of this, and so we want to see the positive. A different perspective.

My problem with it? In my times of hurt. Struggle. Trials. Times I just didn’t understand what God was doing. I didn’t see good. I didn’t get it at all.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Sure. What reason exactly? And can He show me? Like now? Yes. To be real…that was usually how I felt.

But not so much anymore. The phrase has kinda grown on me. One can even say that it is Biblical. We know trials exist because of the sin that entered the world through Adam and Eve. Evil exists because of it, and it’s repercussions and it’s pains are a part of our lives now. We also have a part in these “reasons.” We are knuckleheads. We make unwise choices at times, and so we suffer for them. But I am not talking about these types of things. I am talking about the trials and situations that just make no sense.

If you look at the references to reasons and seasons Solomon makes in Ecclesiastes, Solomon was making a case for things being ordained by God by Him at His specified time:

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NLT

God has a purpose for the time in which He allows things to occur. And while it makes no sense to us, it makes sense to Him. While it may cause us pain. Strife. Stress. Annoyance. It is all according to His plan. To His purpose. One He intended for us long ago.

It’s just hard for us to realize this when we are in the midst of the struggle. Because in the heat, we want the furnace to be cut off. During the test, we want the answers. During the trial, we want to know the verdict. But sometimes, the answer looks more like this: We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4, NLT

The reason is often our greater strength. Healing. Hope. And a desire for others to know and have the same.

God gave us hard things so we can walk with someone else through their hard things. The way no one else can, or often will. That’s the reason.

God gave you your unique personality. The one no one seems to “get,” because that is the exact personality that can reach a people that others just can’t reach. He knows you are just the person who can. That’s the reason.

God gave you that vision, then put a mountain, roadblocks, and boulders in the way; because He knew He had something bigger waiting for you. Something He knew you would see through to the end. That’s the reason.

God moved those people. Let them hurt you. Leave you. Ghost you. Because He knew they could not go where you are going. They would have kept you from seeing this vision clearly. That is the reason.

He knew it. He saw it when He was forming you. He knew what you would go you. He knew you would be strong enough to endure it. He carried you through. And He knew you would use it to carry others to Him.

It was all for His reasons.

Promises of God: A New Path

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

I love to read. I love to write. Written words are often easier for me than those spoken, and all through school I looked forward to English classes. Well, until it was time to study poetry. The process of breaking out words, stanzas, and trying to articulate what the poet was trying to convey? I just didn’t get it. Because a whole glob of feelings and experiences could be written on those short lines. The poet chose those for these reasons, and my literal interpretation could often be way off from its original intent.

Like this one:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

This poem is well-known. Perhaps it’s the depiction and pictures often laid out alongside this one that come to mind first. A fork in a clearing. Two paths. Oh, which one to take? The pictures and Frost’s words always made me visualize the difference between walking on a well-worn path. One filled with lots of people. Or choosing the one that is overgrown and rocky. No one usually chooses the rocky one. The well-worn path is easier to navigate. There are people along the way on that first one. It has been walked before, and there are no signs of danger. It’s just easier.

When reading these words presently, I think of two other paths. The one the world chooses, and the path of God.

We can often stand at a fork in the “road.” Stand in the midst of our spiritual path, and wonder which way to go. Do we choose the path that is easiest? The one that promises riches, success, and fame? The one that is easy to fall in line with and navigate because so many have walked it before? Or do we choose the one filled with rocks? It doesn’t always offer a quick way out, or a get it fast solution. It is filled with directions that can be seen by the world as rigid or intolerable.

It’s the one often less traveled by, and it does make all the difference. The best part is our guide is along for the journey, offering us directions to navigate the rocks, hills, and valleys along the way. If we are willing to choose this path, He gives us a guidebook to help us walk along it. And if we stumble over a few rocks, He provides us the way to get back up.

If you are walking along that easier path, still stumbling, surrounded by lots of people but still lost. No one to guide you. Maybe it is time to choose the one less traveled by. There are people along this one, too. Who can point you to the instructions God has laid out for our walk in the Bible. And God himself, He will take your hand and guide you along the way.

It will make all the difference.

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Everything Happens For a Reason

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

“Everything happens for a reason.”

That phrase at times irritates me. Maybe because it seems to be thrown out as a response to people who are struggling through something hard, or asking that “why” question. We say this with the best of intentions, but perhaps we are really uncomfortable with all the unknowns of the current situation ourselves.

I’ve often been irritated by that standard phrase because I have asked my own “why’s” over the years.

Why was this person placed in my life? Why was I called to this, only to not complete it? Why is this journey taking as long as it is? Why did some people leave without warning? Why?

Most of those “why’s” have no answers. I may never know the answer on this side of eternity, which makes that “everything happens for a reason” phrase so difficult to stomach at times.

But it’s true. Everything does happen for a reason. One that’s outlined in what has become another one of my favorite verses-it’s all according to what God has planned.

Some things happen so others can grow closer to Him. Others so we can. Some things happen because we veer off course, and God has to get us back on track. Other so He can grow our faith. Some things happen and unfold in the ways they do because it simply wasn’t time, or He has something else for us. Others because of our fallen nature.

Everything happens for a divine purpose. Everything can be used by God for his glory. For His purpose. To show others His love, sovereignty, and power.

The good things, and even those intended to harm us; He is working everything out for our good.

I Won’t Give Up

I went on a decluttering and cleaning spree the last couple weeks. All in an effort to get the Christmas decorations up. In my sorting I came across the vision board I put together at the beginning of the year. One I had put together with pictures and notes of things I had a desire to accomplish. To finally start and finish.

I had come out of a dark time. When I sat down and began to dream dreams. Those placed on my heart some time ago, and never finished; I knew I was not going to let anything stop me from using my voice. My gifts. My talents.

For pursuing and working in the purpose He had for me.

Circumstances may keep us from completing our mission. People may even try. But here is the truth:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28, NLT

God. God calls us. God will continue to work through you despite the circumstances or roadblocks put before you.

God does that.

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
So keep on saying I won’t
And I’ll keep proving you wrong -“Say I Won’t,”MercyMe

This song was one I played over and over as I came out of that dark place. Out of the place man may have placed me in. Over the roadblocks put in my way. The circumstances that had me believing that He had finished working through me.

He hasn’t yet. And he hasn’t finished with you. Keep moving. Keep dreaming dreams. And allowing Him to use you. Tell those who think you don’t have what it takes, or that God hasn’t given you strength to continue that you won’t give up until His work is done.

I do not own the rights to video or music.

It is what it is

The phrase in the picture above. It’s one of my favorites. Coined by my bestie and I to remind ourselves to not worry over things we can’t control. It has carried us through tough things. Even trivial nuisances. I even have a bracelet to commemorate our adoption of the phrase.

However, I heard in a sermon on-line in the past not to say the phrase. Not to use it at all. Like…what???

But it’s my favorite. What do you mean, don’t say it?

For a while I felt a bit convicted about it. Caught myself every time it came out of my mouth. Stopped wearing that bracelet.

But then I started therapy. Started working on acceptance. Of myself. Of life in general. It’s ebbs and flows. What God allows, and what He allows to remain a mystery. What He controls. What He gives me the power to control. What He allows to remain, be. What for Him just “is.”

And I realized “it is what it is.” Most things about this life are simply that.

It’s the hard, straight-up, honest truth.

People don’t like me. “It is what it is.” I can stress over it. Mold myself to fit into boxes He never wanted me to fit into. Or I can accept the fact that some people just won’t like me. Just never will, and be OK with it. I like me. And so does He.

People disappoint. “It is what it is.” We are flawed humans. We hurt. It’s a part of our sin-filled nature. A manifestation of the fall. I can sit and wallow in the hurt, or I can forgive and move on. Create better boundaries, and hope I don’t get hurt in the same way again. Learn from it, so that I don’t dare do the same to anyone else.

Change will come. Both good and bad. “It is what it is.” Some change I will like and I will embrace with open arms. Other change I won’t like so much, and I will fight like crazy to avoid. But fighting won’t keep change from coming. Avoiding won’t keep change from coming. It still comes.

Life has ups and downs. It comes with some worries. Some big. Some small. “It is what it is.” It’s the price paid for living until we see the promised land. I can either wallow in worry endlessly, or I can relish in the fact that there isn’t a worry or a trial He has not seen me through. Even if some have been harder than others.

“It is what it is.”

I am not accepting defeat here. I am not laying down my flag and saying that life has no meaning. No purpose. Or that suffering will always be this way (though the Bible does tell us we will have suffering here….).

What I am saying is, for me…I am accepting life as it comes. I can go through it in a constant state of panic, defeat, or sadness. Or I can let life ebb and flow as it will. I can let God handle things as He will anyway.

It is what it is, because He is what He is.

Sending into the void

It was like any kid conversation. A stuffed animal. Used to talk about feelings. But not a typical day. Not really sure why exactly.

I hadn’t felt God answering me. I hadn’t understood the good in many things. I was emotional.

The one place I felt effective many days was here, in one of my many counseling spaces; because I had been setting some boundaries, and after many years of taking it home, I was finally learning to leave it here. Not take it personal. Not take on too much. Too much that wasn’t mine.

Oh, no the turtles hurt.” To which I asked what exactly the turtle did once he got hurt. “He asks Jesus to heal his wounds.”

I knew this was true. But I’m a skeptic in these situations now. I don’t trust where these questions come from some days. Where these conversations lead. I don’t trust that there could be an ulterior motive.

I don’t always like my doubting spirit.

“Yes. He may take a while to answer because he’s busy. But he always answers.” That’s what the child said to me. He always answers. He just takes a while. That was a solid answer. Because it was biblical.

He will bind up your wounds. He will answer when you call on him.

But see…I had been calling on him. For a REALLY long time. But I wasn’t so convinced he was listening.

And on that morning in particular, I was only focused on the things I couldn’t see. On the answers he hadn’t given me. On the prayers I just didn’t have the heart to pray anymore that morning, because I was so frustrated with the waiting.

Until I had someone say to me the very next day when I was discussing these prayers, and his silence, “Have you asked?” Of course I had. I had asked him every morning. Hadn’t I?

So on one particular morning, I asked him this: Lord, show me. Show me that all of this wasn’t for nothing. That all this praying and anything that I did for you will work out for your good. Just show me.

And I waited. And once again I heard nothing.

Until…

That morning we had a training at church. During our training we were placed into groups to share our thoughts on a number of questions. I can’t exactly recall one of the questions…the only thing I recall is the moment she pulled out the Bible. Her Bible. The moment she said, “I write little messages in it, so when I’m gone; they (her children) will have a piece of me, and will be able to know about Him, and what this means. It’s my legacy to them.”

I heard that, and then I heard this: “I told you, my word once sent out, will not return void.” It was a promise God had given to Isaiah that His Word would accomplish what He wanted it to-changed hearts, restored souls, for good, to bring light into the darkness. And isn’t that what I had been praying for all along?

And I lost it. I ran and hid in the bathroom and had a good cry.

Why?

Well, God hadn’t been silent. I was expecting my answer when I wanted it; and He…well, He answered during His time.

See, for quite some time I had written messages in a Bible also. I had given that Bible with all its messages in the hopes that His word would be understood, clung to, and touch hearts. I just couldn’t see the fruit, and it was bugging me.

Her Bible. His still small voice. It was a reminder, that the promise that God had been repeating to me from Romans 8:28, would be seen…even if I was not completely convinced it was true in this case. The promise that all things would “work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

So back to 7 year old faith.

He is working things out for good. He is healing. His spirit is working. He does hear us, and he is working on it; it’s just not in our time, it’s in His time. What we want right now, God knows…we may just have to wait.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t attach sticky notes, and messages to Bibles and continue our legacy. Sending out His word to fill the void.

In it…he’s still at work. If we believe like a child believes, and keep asking. Keep praying. Keep sending.

You are making your comeback

Ever fallen? I have. I do. All.the.time. I’m clumsy, and manage to trip over my own two feet on surfaces most can easily glide over. My last tumble? Broke my wrist, required surgery with hardware, and months of physical therapy to use that much needed wrist and hand again.

I’m not 100 percent. According to docs, I may never be. But I came back from it.

Ever been knocked down? I don’t mean by something or someone physically…though I have been. Even knocked out cold before by a neighborhood boy in middle school. What I mean is knocked down emotionally. Mentally. Like someone is taking hits at you day in and day out, and it’s just wearing you out. Maybe it’s even just life doing the hitting.

After a season of night falls and push backs. After the heartache of wrong turns and sidetracks. Just when they think they’ve got you game set match, Here comes the comeback -Danny Gokey

Comebacks. We all love the comeback story. The athlete whose career was good as gone, but gets back out on the field. The boy who is sick, but miraculously recovers. The one who loses everything from some natural disaster, but rebuilds.

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.  And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,  for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15:20-24

Comebacks are inspiring.

But they require some things.

What are the elements of a comeback? Money? Resources? Insurmountable wisdom?

No…it’s realizing that perfection is a myth. A standard that’s unachievable in our human strength.

It’s cutting yourself a break for making a wrong turn. Realizing that falls are inevitable when you are growing and learning. Think about it-babies learning to walk fall down all the time. They get back up and walk all over again, and we applaud. We can do the same. Get back up. Applaud our willingness and perseverance to keep going.

Oh, yes. Keep going. Even on the worst days. With a positive attitude. Knowing He has gotten you through the worst before.

You were knocked down (even out) but not defeated. He made sure of it.

It’s offering yourself some forgiveness, because we all take turns we shouldn’t. Paths that looked enticing and inviting, until we got too far into the trees.

Offering it to others, too. Because we can’t move forward without it.

Getting back up on your horse, and learning to ride all over again.

And knowing that if you fall…it’s OK. He will catch you, and give you the opportunity to get it right…all over again.

Those are the makings of a comeback.

I do not own the rights to music, lyrics, or compilation of this video.

Giving me a “right” hand

We had put it off for a while. The dentist. The youngest needed a mouth full of work, and with anxiety and sensory needs that kept him from even liking to have his teeth cleaned…we had put it off for months. But we had prepared him for this day. Explained what would occur, how he would feel before. That he would sleep during. Wouldn’t feel a thing.

Of course, as a mom-I was the one having all the feels. As he received the first anesthetic that put him to sleep in the waiting room. As he laid his head onto my right shoulder, and uttered he felt “weird.” As he dozed off. As the dentist and anesthesiologist carried him off to the back, I sat with his mask and glasses beside me. Held them in my right hand and held back tears.

Wishing I could hold his hand in that room. Knowing I had to wait here, but there was someone else with him back there.

As I sat in that waiting room waiting for updates. To be given the OK to go back and be “mom” again, I thought about my own experience on his side. In rooms with anesthesia needles. Only doctors and nurses I didn’t know there to hold my hand.

I had recently had surgery of my own. Not my first experience like his, but an experience nonetheless. A fall on my wrist was the reason. Now, I am right-handed. And while I don’t know the suffering of losing a limb, I know the ordeal of having to learn to use your fingers, your grip, and your dominant hand in the way you once did. While I had a left hand to help do some of the things my dominant right hand couldn’t do, my left hand couldn’t write. It couldn’t type. It couldn’t do the things that had been so easy before. Like pick up anesthesia weary kids and carry them to waiting surgery beds. This right hand…it wasn’t the same.

I also hate feeling helpless, so needing help turning door knobs, or picking up a plate got old, and I was determined to get my strength back.

But…here’s the thing-He was with me just as He was with my wee one. In those rooms, and through that period of healing. Because He is the one who is always beside us giving His “right” hand.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

And again in Psalm 18:35, we are reminded again: Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great
.

And what is the significance of being provided God’s “right” hand? There are over 130 references in the Bible to the right hand, so surely there must be a significant reason for this. In many references are made to God’s strength. His help. His victory. Something I needed when I lost the use of my “right” hand. Something I often feel I have nothing left of when it comes to being a mom.

And I know I am not the only one. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. You will have seasons when things seem easy. And then a roadblock comes along and the road becomes long and hard again. You wonder if you have what it takes, or if you are just messing your kids up. Or maybe they are messing you up. You really can’t tell anymore.

Why the right hand? Why didn’t God choose the left? Think about it-the right hand of God? It denotes a location of honor, and according to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, when thinking about the reference to the “right hand” in the passage above, Isaiah 41:10-the Israelites were God’s honored people, His chosen. The reference to God’s right hand was meant to provide encouragement to them. That they would not be abandoned, be left discouraged. That he would strengthen them, help them, not allow them to break, and prevent them from falling too hard.

You know who else is honored? Moms. Anyone who is “like a mom.” Or who cares for others.

And so He will do the same for you.

Give you his “right” hand.

So that when your wee one, reaches for yours when he is fresh out of anesthesia and flipping out, you are there to give it-oh so gently, while you rub his soft, long curls with your left one.

When you get home, look down at that hand, the one with little strength to pick up anything, you scoop that wee one up into your arms anyway, because he is yours. Like you are His. Knowing you won’t leave him, like He hasn’t left you. You will stay by his side through this fight that he doesn’t get, just like He stayed by you.

Like He has so many times before. By your “right” side fighting for you. As you fought for him. For so many. You. You honored one. You. You chosen one. You who may be weak and broken. Fallen down for a time. Without the strength of your hand, but never without your constant “right” hand.

I’ll roll with it…and not quit

Surrender. In common terms surrender is the act of giving up one’s power over something. In relation to God, it is one’s active choice to yield all decisions and all control to Him. Surrender is a bold act, and it is brave, courageous, and often we dive into it head first thinking that the road will be easy. The road to surrender is definitely not one of ease. It is bumpy. Full of fits and starts. Stop signs, and lanes that only seem to go one way. A roadblock up ahead, or two, or three.

Surrender may make you want to renege on your decision to surrender it all. Like seriously just give up.

Where am I going with this? Let me explain.

I choose a word to define changes I plan on making each year. I don’t make resolutions, because my resolve is to always make sustainable, consistent, and everlasting change. Not a year-long goal that ends when the new ball drops. So this year: surrender. I felt His tug on my heart (and my brain and body) to stop moving, and allow Him to move. To stop trying to control everything, and let Him handle it. It hasn’t been easy, so I am sitting back, and letting things be a bit.

Some things I have breezed through. Like a phone call later in the winter stating that there could be a barrier to preparation for my ordination service I hoped to be attending in July.

Oh, well if you have that one class left you may have to wait until next year.

He meant next year…like a whole new year. I really wanted it this year.
So you know how I knew this surrender thing was working? Up to this point anyway…
Because if this had been last year…you know like 2020 last year, I would have come undone. I would have been in a puddle of tears on the floor after that call. But I wasn’t.
I just said to the advisor: It would be a disappointment to wait even longer after such a long time, and working this hard, for just one class…but if that’s what God wants. Then that’s His will. I’ll roll with it.

Until, the time came. And another meeting came. And, well-I didn’t roll with it. I knew in my heart I was supposed to be surrendering. And, come on. That is what we all do, right? Thy will be done, God; but…can you please do it this way? In this amount of time for me? Thanks!

That class did in fact become a hiccup, among some other things. And I do in fact have to wait another year. And, no…I didn’t roll with it. I broke down. I spent weeks in discouragement. Convinced I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t cut out for this. I had done something wrong. God was mad at me. I failed. I didn’t measure up, and I was just going to give up. And I told a beloved friend this. And this is what I heard…January, have you ever quit anything? Really, you haven’t have you? So why quit, now?”

And he was right. I hadn’t. I always finished. I may have taken detours. Started at different times than others. Maybe a little later. Taken a little longer. Maybe even a break or two. But I always finished.

I am not a quitter.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

So, I started that last class this week knowing it was the last one I would have to take, and knowing it was up to me to continue to surrender to His will in all of this. Even if it was not exactly the way I wanted it all to turn out.

His timing. Not mine. Because if it had been up to me, I would not have quit that class back in December. I would have pressed through, exhausted, worn, and weary. And gotten nothing out of it.

He knew I needed to wait.

Because when I opened the book, read the intro and saw the author had also struggled with giving up in ministry. When I read about the heart to embolden women to walk in their unique purpose. When I felt the Spirit tugging and pulling at me-I knew this was the time.

I had wanted to give up. Walk away. I quit the class out of necessity, but I was on the verge of quitting the journey all together.

But He knew I was just in a waiting season.

I just needed to be patient. I just needed more time.

His time. Not mine. He knew I was not a quitter.

I remember a poem I had to recite in 7th grade. Not read. Like memorize. Stand up in front of class and recite by memory. I still remember it. Still remember many of its lines. I will leave you with a couple of those lines today…emblazoned in the memory a woman, much older than that 7th grader, but still determined to never, ever quit.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. -John Greenleaf

Don’t you quit. Don’t you dare quit now just because it is taking a little longer. Don’t you dare let the devil’s ridiculous voice convince you to quit. You, you…you just keep rolling with it.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9