What a week!
I would love to just type out the entire first chapter of Colosssians, since that is where God clearly put me over the last few days, but I will just try to share a bit. When I started this blog last March, it was with a sincere motive to be “real” about life and my journey of following Jesus with a whole heart. The last year and a half of my life has been quite a spiritual adventure! About 18 months ago, as I was really just minding my own business, God began to speak something to me that sounded so ridiculous that I repeatedly repented for the thoughts I was having! I had been asked to lead a small team of volunteers at my church in the ministry I served in. That itself was a stretch for me. If you know me, then you know I am married to a leader, best friends with a leader and have had much experience and contentment in helping those that lead me. Never, ever, ever had I seen myself as any kind of leader. (As a side note, let me just say that I think God chooses the most unlikely with the cheekiest of grins.) Anyway, not long after I began in my new and small leadership role God began bombarding me with this notion that I would one day lead the whole ministry. As I said, I repented over and over thinking I was having a pride issue! It sounded ludicrous and I never breathed a word to anyone. But there it was, nipping at my heels and hardly letting up. After a few months of this, on a rare Saturday morning when I had my house to myself, God showed me in a very real and clear way that it was His voice I was hearing speaking to my heart. That indeed He was placing a dream in my heart at a time when it sounded completely bizarre. I cried like a baby. I wept. I finally accepted what He was saying and I will never forget what I told Him…”well, if that happens we’ll certainly know it was You and have a good laugh.”
I did not tell anyone. I did not really spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. I had no idea how or when or really even why! But every so often, something would happen that would confirm what He had placed in my heart. My role continued to grow as I gave back to God what He had given me. There has never been a day when I was not acutely aware that to the degree I let Him lead me would be the degree I could lead others. It would take me all day to describe and write about the twisty path God led me down. But about a month ago, God and I had our laugh together. Actually, it didn’t turn out to be a guffaw of unbelief. It was a deep and reverential acknowledging of my heart that He is more than I could have imagined. And He has placed in my life this honor that is more than I could ever handle or do well in my own strength. And I think He likes it that way.
So where does the 1st chapter of Colossians come in? Well, over the last month or so I stepped into this new season of leadership over this ministry, I napped (and sad to say grumbled somewhat) through the exhausting first weeks of pregnancy, continued in my job at my daughter’s preschool, attempted (and failed at times!) to be the loving mommy and wife my family needs and watched the laundry at my house reach record peaks. Now, for some that may sound like a blip on the busy-radar. But just being real, I am not a life on high-speed, full plate kind of girl. I like it nice and smooth. Do-able. But, in ways that I find so God-like, eventually as you follow Him He will give you something that is not “do-able” in your own personality and strength. Why? Because He wants to overwhelm us? Punish us? Nah! Because then you don’t stay limited by your own talents and abilities. When God gives you something that calls for much more than you possess, you are going to be on your knees quite a bit. You are going to strive to be that vessel for Him to fill if you want to see the miraculous take place. You are going to need specific guidance and need to hear His voice in the details.
Colossians 1:18-20 (the message)
He was supreme in the beginning and — leading the resurrection parade — he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe –people and things, animals and atoms — get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
I woke up one morning this week, after praying several “how am I going to do all this, God?” prayers to find a random text message on my phone. It was only a verse, Colossians 1:17-18, sent from a lady I dearly love. I hadn’t discussed with her my overwhelmed state. I had barely talked with her at all over the last few weeks! And here were these verses on my phone, reminding me everything gets started in Jesus and finds it purpose in Him. I sat myself down at my kitchen table and began reading Colossians chapter 1. I reached the verses above and God began to touch and minister to me in the ways I needed. See, Jesus is spacious! He is roomy! And everything of God finds its place in Him without crowding! Sometimes we try to fit things into our lives that aren’t God and they cause us a lot of heartache and pain, no doubt. Sometimes we try to fit “good” things that aren’t necessarily “God” things into our lives and it not harmonious! But see, in God’s providence and wisdom He began preparing my heart months and months ago,when it made no sense, for this new season of my life. I know that I know I am where God wants me to be! But as I travel this new path I have much to learn about the how’s. And this week God so sweetly began to teach me. There is no doubt that my marriage, my children, a new baby and leading/investing in ministry is part of God’s will for me. So, first and foremost I have to trust Him. Let my Faith root me deeply in the peace and security that everything in my life finds its proper place in Jesus.
This week God has been giving me specific instructions and wisdom for my life. I share my story and my current circumstances for two reasons this morning. If you are overwhelmed with life, even the “good stuff” of life, give God a chance to speak to you. I encourage you, if you truly long for harmony and peace, to let God show you if some of the things you are trying to fit into your life are not from Him. They might be good or harmless, but they may not be your assignment! And secondly, if you know in your heart you are right where you are supposed to be but are struggling with “the stretch” of it all, be reminded that if it’s from God it will fit as you yield to His leading in the details. It will probably be more than you could do or figure out on your own. It will probably force you to get on your knees, to be more sensitive and obedient to His direction. But God loves you! He has an assignment for us all! But we are never meant to carry it out in our own strength or by our own wits.
It’s more than you can do so you will need more of Him. An amazing adventure!