I have a lot of giants in my life. But most boil down to just one:
I have always been afraid of uncertainty, uselessness, and change. Ask anyone who used to work with me. I LOVE rules. For real. Who loves rules?! I just like things to be neat, tidy, and very predictable, and I like to know exactly what I am doing and how to do it. It makes me feel safe. But I’m pretty sure feeling safe is not the life to which God calls us.
It seems that whenever there is a certain theme in the multiple avenues I’ve been reading and studying, that is a sure sign that God is trying to reach me. I am following along with Jennie Allen’s Daniel study and it is amazing. You should check it out on her Facebook page. One of the things she said during the first part of the study was that to be the people through which God chooses to display his power, we must choose holiness over comfort. And her very first study question was, “what convictions have you been ignoring?” Good grief, why don’t we start with something easier? Oh wait, that’s not how God works. God wants holiness and faith over ease and fear.
I’ve shared before that since my illness and not having a job, I have felt useless, purposeless, lost, and paralyzed by fear of the unknown. God has been slowly teaching my stubborn soul to see each moment as a gift from him, and a new opportunity to see him working in the challenges. I definitely spend much more time with him now, seeking his guidance. He has led me to re-discover ignored passions like writing and song-writing. He is so much more a part of my life than he was even just a year ago.
I’ve been torn for such a long time between focusing on what it takes to ‘make it’ in this world and what God wants me to do instead. I’ve felt such a call on my life recently but I have largely ignored it. I keep thinking I don’t have the knowledge, the skill, the technology, or the right heart to do this. And what if no one listens or cares? Excuse after excuse. I felt like Moses, whose excuse was, “but I can’t speak well.” I felt like Gideon, whose excuse was, “but I am the least of my family.” Would God really choose me? I thought of David, who followed God’s call to defeat a huge giant when he himself was only a little bit of a thing!
For so many years I have ignored God-given opportunities because I was too busy and too focused on the life I was building for myself. Now I am ignoring them because I am too sick, too angry, too broke, and too lost. I may have earned an extra hand squeeze from Jason when one of my recent dinner prayers sounded a little like, “Give us a freakin’ break, please!” I thought, THIS is the girl God is going to use? Really?! God is going to call someone who is in the midst of turmoil, doubt, and fear? And the answer is so clear.
OF COURSE HE IS.
Fearful, inadequate people are exactly the type of people God uses. Because it’s not about the person at all. It’s about God working in the lowest of the low, to accomplish HIS purpose and not ours.
I’m struck by how similar my own response has been to Gideon’s:
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" - Judges 6:12-14 (NIV)
That. Is. So. Me. God, if you are with us, why has all this happened to us? In all Gideon’s “why, God?” questions, I find it so interesting that God doesn’t respond with a reason. Instead, he simply tells him to go in the strength he has to accomplish God’s will. Like me, I’m sure Gideon got a little ironic chuckle out of God attaching the word “strength” to him. He said he was the weakest in his clan and the least in his family. There are many days that I have thought I cannot possibly have an ounce of strength left in me. But it’s not our strength that God is after, it’s his. To ‘go in the strength I have’ means to go in the strength God gives me.
God is usually patient with me when I need clear confirmation and he graciously gave it to me. I had posted a song in a Christian Songwriters group. From there, someone found my music page and then stumbled upon my blog. He sent me a message about his own struggles with illness and said that he and his wife really needed to hear the words of one of my posts. God used me to touch someone I don’t even know. I shared it with my husband, along with an instantaneous excuse (my habit, I guess). I asked him if I should really be focusing time and energy on something that will not earn an income. Here I go again with the worries of this world! He, in all his wisdom said, “I think you already know the answer to that question.”
So, while God has not called me to lead an army or lead people out of captivity, he has called me to defeat the biggest giant in my life = FEAR. Although I fear the unpredictable unknown, I absolutely know God will have an impact, small or large, even if it is just on me! It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it is about him. I must become less so he can become greater (John 3:30).
As of right now, we launch Beautiful Rubble Ministries. I have no idea what it will look like in the future but for now I am in this writing thing for the long haul. I will continue to write and share what God gives me through this blog and through the songs he gives me. The “Next Big Thing” he has called me to is an online support group of sorts called Beauty in the Rubble. It will be a safe place for those who are experiencing illness, pain, or other life struggles to share in each others’ lives. It will be a place to share how God is building up beauty from our brokenness. If you or someone you love is experiencing struggles or brokenness, please join us at Beauty in the Rubble. If I can figure out how to put all of this together on the website, it will make more sense, but for now I’m taking the leap and knowing things will fall into place as we go along!
Through whatever direction God takes this ministry, I long to allow him to use me to help others through their dark places. God, speak and act through me, a flawed, fearful lover of rules and predictability. A broken person climbing out of the rubble of her life, into your life. Guide us through the dark places and show us beauty in the rubble.