Change includes a call to be fearless, and that is what I am writing about. Thanks for keeping up with Fearless. Fearless Part One and Part Two are also a part of a series called From a Chrysalis where I am relating metamorphosis of a Caterpillar into a Butterfly to our life as Christians.
And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid, From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him. Luke 10-11 NKJV Read the whole story passage from The Message here.
I remember when I first started attending church where they preached about relationship with God, and not just religion. I had been looking for a church home. I knew God had a church home for me and I was desperately seeking it. I was invited by my best friend of 19 years and I accepted. I of course drug my family with me. After one Sunday service, upon leaving, I said to the pastor there, “I’ve been looking for my church home and now I’ve found it.”
I was on fire for Christ at that time in my life. I could not get enough God in me. Everything I could get my hands on I took in like Johnny Five in the movie Short Circuit I needed more input. I remember saying to my pastor at the time, “I believe God is calling me into ministry.”
Then something happened. I’m not sure when but almost like a storm blowing in over last night’s campfire, my flames went out. As much as I wanted to rekindle them the sizzle just was not there. I asked God what is happening. Why can’t I feel you? Why do I feel a wall between me and other church members? Why is my family unhappy with me? I mean I am doing all the right things, or am I? So for two years I continued to serve him where I felt safe to. I tried to seek his face in all things. I continued to get more input. I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed.
Then I made the decision to attend Women of Faith. I did not know if I would have the money to go when it came time to actually attend, but I put it in the capable hands of God. When it came time to attend I became very anxious because I did not know all people attending or their expectation. Most of the women attending were in my small Women’s bible study group and I had come to know them more however this was crunch time and it was about to get really intimate. I mean who was I going to be in a room with, and snoring next to? Who was going to see me without my foundation? What about all those hormones? Sweet Jesus control my mood swings please!?
Well, we all got to the church and piled in the fifteen passenger van filling it to capacity. We called it the “Sardine Can,” and we were off. I was smiling and talking and having a good time, but I was still anxious inside. What fear I still had inside of me? I was constantly questioning myself. After arriving safely and having had very little sleep we met in the lobby that morning in unity, and excited to be on our way to “Celebrate Jesus!” That is what I had told my children we were doing when I left. I knew in the depth of my soul there was a reason I was there. Then once inside the convention center at the Pre-conference after everyone was seated, I was blown away. I was surrounded by 11,000 women all there with their Faith! I wish I could give you that picture. I was about to pee my pants with excitement. I closed my eyes and said in prayer, “Lord I know you have something for me here. I’m ready, please give it to me.”
Well, I can tell you he heard me! Beth Moore came out and began speaking to us she told us we had a ministry and that the competence comes from God and the spirit gives life to that ministry. That in Christ I am enough for that ministry. That he is after glory so show him off and to not lose heart. Most importantly to me she said do not self-protect right out of your calling. I said “Lord, I claim that!”
The next day it was followed up by the conference with the “Women of Faith” and once again I was blown away by the presence of the Lord and his messengers. Sheila Walsh had a word for me when she spoke and said that my American Dream may have died, but “God’s Dream” for me had not. My entire pack of tissues was washed away with tears in one statement, and I was FREE!
What I had told Pastor Wayne two years ago was true. I do have a ministry. What happened two years ago was me. I got in the way. I allowed my fears to make my God so very small. I had allowed God’s dreams for me to fail. I began to believe more in my disability than His ability. I now know why the conference was called Amazing Freedom. My fears have been released, and my flames are now a forest fire, and its spreading near you. Praise our Great and Awesome God. I’m stepping out! I am going to continue to until I know I’m where the God I serve, and will never limit again, has me right where he wants me.
I wrote that story in July 2007. Then one night shortly thereafter, while on my knees in my living room I asked God to show me his glory. He answered me with the following whispers over my heart “I want you to go to school” “Come follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” I knew in my heart that I was to go to school to become a minister. I knew like I had never known anything in my life before. So I said “How”, “Where”, and “Why” did you do this while my pastor is on vacation?”
I was stunned, freaked out, and more than afraid, but I knew to keep listening. It would be much easier if my knees had not been knocking so loudly.
Stay tuned for Fearless Part 4 as I testify about change and fearlessness.