Leading by Living

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So… It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything… bad blogger, bad…sigh..I know I’ve been a little slow to write lately. I want to keep everyone updated on my progress, but I don’t want to bore everyone with the same facts all the time. Sometimes I feel like everything I write says, Hey guys! I’m not totally healed yet, thanks for checking in. And if you get tired of reading it, imagine having to say it? It’s like being single at Christmas… again. Everyone wants to know if you’ve met anyone nice, and all you can do is smile as big(ish) as you can at grandma or aunt so-and-so and say, “Not yet!”

This is where I live

And yet I can’t stop writing. Because in the process of this journey I have had some of the most intense God encounters of my life… and have met some of the most amazing people.

Take my speech therapist for example… She is a GEM! You know when you sit down to coffee with someone and ten minutes later you’ve already talked about your husband, kids and mom fears? And regardless of what their impression of you is you’ve already decided you’re keeping them forever? Just imagine that minus the coffee (sometimes) plus her electrifying my face for 30 minute intervals, and that’s our relationship! And so as much as I have days where I just can’t understand why these things happened, I also can’t imagine not having met some of these people, or some of the incredible life-giving conversations I’ve had with some of you. It’s just hard to imagine life differently. And these past few weeks I feel like God has really started showing me just how valuable all these experiences have been…

You know I’ve said before on here that one of the things that pulled me through my toughest times was meeting/talking with someone who was on the other side of where I was. So many times in life I’ve underestimated the power of leading by example and what it truly can do for those around us.

This past Sunday at church I was worshipping and telling God, “I feel like you’re giving me these opportunities to say yes. And I want to, I just wish I was a little further along in my healing.” To which I felt God reply, “And that’s exactly why I’m giving you opportunities… because you’re not where you want to be, you’re where I want you to be.”

What? Dang…

When you think about training in life, it always has a purpose it leads up to. Athletes train their bodies for a game or race, mom’s prepare to give birth, students study for a test. There is always an event to measure your preparedness.

In my mind I always imagined there would be an “arriving on the other side” of this journey. I imagined I’d write a final blog post that said something to the effect of “well this is it folks, my last post. I’ve come through and I’m moving on”. While I deeply believe that I’m continually “coming through” I find that there is less of a “moving on” and more of a change of scenery.

And where I keep waiting for that moment of “moving on”, I’m realizing that maybe God is waiting for me to wake up to the fact that He has plans for me in the places where I don’t feel prepared. It’s like I’ve trained for a race, I’ve built up the endurance, I’ve eaten the right foods, I bought the right clothes, and I find myself at the starting line without any shoes… and God’s saying, go ahead and run, we’ve got this.

What I learn more each day is that there is not a thing in our life that we will overcome or achieve that won’t require faith. That sounds elementary but hear me out. I think sometimes we have this thought that we’ll need faith as we prepare but once we’re prepared we won’t need it to step out. I want to propose to you today that, that is not faith. Faith is giving your “yes” when you want to say, “not yet”.

Several weeks back I was praying and God gave me this word. He was showing me how people have these huge “yes’s” in their hearts. They want to say yes to the plans of their life, the great adventures and passions they feel on the inside of them. But how at the same time, the surrounding situations in their life are saying, “not yet”.

God reminded me of Paul in prison. Paul could have assessed the situation and thought, ok, first things first, I need to get out of jail, get back to my people and then we’ll regroup and get out and start sharing about Jesus again. But instead Paul decided to turn that prison cell into a worship services. Instead of saying “not yet” he said “yes” and started praising God with all his heart in a moment where he was stuck. And that was the moment God met him and literally broke the chains off his body that were holding him back.

God showed me how Paul could have waited for his situation to line up. He could have just waited until he was out of jail, regrouped and continued on with what God had called him to, but he would have completely missed the chance to build history with God in that moment. History that said, when I don’t feel ready, when I feel stuck, my God shows up anyway. And through this journey I’ve learned that those are the moments that will change your life.

I believe it would have been really encouraging for Paul to see someone break out of their chains first. It would have added weight to his faith. But for him how much more incredible and personal was it that God showed up when he said “yes” and set Paul free? When I see someone overcome I’m encouraged… and when I overcome there’s nothing that can stop me.

So I come back around to my original statement. Sometimes the most inspiring, life-giving thing can be seeing someone else on the other side of where you are. But sometimes you go looking and you don’t find it. And what I want to say to you today is that maybe you can’t find it because God’s asking you to be the “yes” in a sea of “not yets”. There are so many more people that will come behind us… and when they come what will they find? They’re looking for someone to give them hope that’s what in their heart is possible, that they can get to the other side, but to do that… they need to see you, they need to see me. They need to see that someone else had the courage to whisper “yes” when their fears were screaming, “not yet”. Will they find us leading by living?

So today my encouragement to you is to take your eyes off what’s not yet done and put them on the One whose with you on the journey, and who is faithful to complete what is started. Do one thing today that you didn’t do yesterday, and take a step towards your “yes”.

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