I’ve felt a bit paralyzed in writing you these past several days. My mind has gotten a bit crazy and every time I would attempt to sit down and put flat ink to white paper, I simply could not seem to get any words out. The enemy does this a bit. He is the king of paralyzing and determining I have nothing of value to give. And then He wins – temporarily. He wins a part of me, until I allow Jesus to balm my broken soul, again.
The past several days I have felt like the world is all just so very loud. I hop on Instagram and there are so many voices. Good voices declaring who God is and why we should follow Him. I jump over to Facebook and my thumb hits the screen and I see all the people following hard after Christ. And it simply doesn’t matter that I know that I know that I know that social media is a façade. It is like I am feeding a fake mentality – another shallow side of me – by letting other people’s statuses woo me into believing that they are doing it well and doing it better.
I have been begging God for a sign. Is this what you would have me? To spill my guts out over these words telling women that we can all be brave? Why me? Because even this weekend, I announced to my whole church that we would be studying Imperfectly Brave come January and my knees practically knocked behind the pulpit the entire four sentences of it. And the thing is, speaking is my thing, my gift — it is what my heart beats for — and I could barely even get words to form round “O’s in my mouth. Brave and all of its facets can allude me if I am not constantly hidden in Him.
And to knock me around just a bit more, this past week has been a week of sickness and out of routine at my house. Mind you, I am a routine feen. And when my boat rocks, my whole sea rocks. And silently and surely the enemy has curved his body into the oars.
Surely, you can relate. Because surely you have felt paralyzed like me? Surely we are in this together.
Like when the missionary today said that there are 5 people who believe in Jesus for every 1000 in India. That means that 995 are going to Hell. And then to know that there are 1.2 (maybe 1.6 but who is counting?) billion people that live in India and that their land mass is 1/3 of the United States.
I can practically see the people stacking themselves on top of each other. Like a tower, shoulder on top of shoulder, big toe in ear, hand pressing firm on shoulder, deep breathes to press further into another soul simply to stay alive.
And my mind starts swimming.
God, how do we do it? How do we tell them about you? I burn inside wanting to go and tell the children about Jesus. About a God who will slow down and listen to them. I want to hold their little hands and say that they don’t have to hope for reincarnation for a better life when the better life is right now. That there is this hope of a man who made them. They don’t have to stack themselves on another human being on another human being on another human being, 1.6 billion of them, in order to be saved.
It is simply Jesus.
So this afternoon, I took my 2 little girls and tenderly tucked them into bed and threatened no baking cookies if there weren’t naps (Is that ok?). I knew I needed time to be alone with God and be rejuvenated because maybe I felt like I was stacking my own tower and (maybe) I had already tipped over?
And what I can tell you after sitting in my gray chair and my blue blanket with sleepy eyes: I had been believing a lie. That everyone else was doing a rock-star, bang-up job and I was ho-humming along. I believed that my dreams weren’t from God. That my dream of the church being the hope of the world was simply that – a dream – and that dream would only find me in Heaven.
But, Lord, let me tell you something, sister. He made me a fighter. And heaven knows, if you know Him, He made you a fighter, too. Its what happens when we know Jesus. One of my favorite Christmas movies, The Holiday puts it this way. A good fighter has gumption.
Gumption (spirited initiative).
Knowing Jesus = Gumption
The example sentence in Webster Dictionary for gumption is this:
“She had the gumption to put her foot down and head Dan off from those crazy schemes.” Hello. Wake up, Whitney.
She had the gumption to put her foot down and head that black slithery snake from those crazy schemes. Jesus gives us the greatest adventure. Like the little seed in my heart that the church will be the most alive in my lifetime and I will see God’s goodness in the land of the living. That women everywhere will gather and pray and seek God will their whole beings. That we will be radically sent out to be brave in all of the far-places, near-places, home-places and church-places.
I needed to get my gumption back.
My current read is Beth Moore’s, Audacious, and talk about a come alive book. But her last words I could read before keeping my heart from spinning out of control was this :::
“If you only knew how courageous you would be, if you were caught up with me” (God)
Girls, it isn’t about what we get done or how strategic we plan. We can’t make enough plans to save the tower from toppling over in India or Bangladesh or China or Israel. We simply can’t carry through all of our lists and keep our sanity. We are one brush-stroke away from crazy if we begin to think like that.
But we can get so completely absorbed in Christ that He becomes our driving force every single day. And so that simply becomes my prayer once again; my mantra, my gumption is that Jesus would be the reason I wake up every morning. That He would be the reason for my dreams, my hopes, my family, my desire to love. That He would breathe supernatural new breath into it my every day and I would live the adventure He made for me.
There is only one way to move from paralyzation to adventure. Beg. Beg for more of Him. So, here I am, begging for it all over again. Beg with me? Come alive again with me. I promise, there is no greater gift this Christmas.