Upon returning home from the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference, God has been urging me to keep taking the next step. While in North Carolina, my Father, the One who sees me, loves me and has a plan for me spoke much to my heart. I was reminded that I am His Masterpiece and His daughter...a woman with a calling she's worthy of walking out. Prayer and conversation with a wise woman challenged and convicted me, encouraged and equipped me. This friend knows my story, believes in my calling and is aware of my struggles. During our time together she spoke truth to me and talked with me about my mat. The place my mind and heart sometimes stays to be left paralyzed and defeated.
I've thought about this more and God reminded me that there are times He's led me off my mat and worked through me. I've stepped off the mat and out of my comfort zone...just last week I left the farm and boarded a plane, 10 years ago there's no way that would have happened. He brought other memories to mind and I was blessed to recall the faithfulness of our Father. The trip down memory lane didn't end there as God showed me a reel of completely different situations...times that tend to follow these big steps of faith. Friend, these steps of faith aren't limited to stepping out and doing things for God, but are often connected to the thoughts in my head and beliefs in my heart.
I know what the Bible, what God, says about my identity, my worth and His love, can believe it in my head and act because of it, but then I often regress. Satan attacks, criticism comes or I make a mistake and I'm right back where I've been...I turn around and go back to my mat. The one Jesus talks about in John 5:8 when he says, "Get up. Pick up your mat and walk." The invalid was told what to do and he did it. In the past few years I've been getting up and walking when God says, but I've forgot to pick up my mat. I've left it there and far too often returned to that sad, sorry place.
All this thinking has put some pictures in my head. I envision myself stepping out in faith, following God with confidence though my feet may be shaking and voice quivering and I see Him do things through me I never expected. Those are good things to see, but then I see myself coming back to a mat that is covered with lies - you're not good enough, you're not worthy, you don't deserve this, God can use someone else. My friend mentioned the difficulty in watching this happen and now as I type it out for you, and especially me, it breaks my heart too.
I know writing about this and shedding a few tears isn't going to change it, so I've been asking God to help me. I believe He's starting to answer that prayer as He brought a few passages to mind...
This idea of turning back is addressed in Genesis 19:26 where we read, "But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." She didn't turn back, she simply looked back and disobeyed the command God had given. Friend, we too are given a command...Jesus has told us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Have you ever played "Follow the Leader" and spent the whole game looking at the person behind you? It won't work! The same is true as you and I follow Christ...we must keep our eyes on Him and follow in His steps. That doesn't happen when I'm returning to my mat.
Luke 9:62 came to mind as well - "Jesus said to him,