“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Believe me . . . trust was not on the top of my mind when on the receiving end of a phone call from my friends Melissa Taylor and Stephanie Clayton. As a matter of fact, I think there were a few times I reached the speechless point and all I could say was “yes mam”.
Have you ever said “yes” to something and then two seconds after saying it, you’re like – what just happened and what did I just say “yes” to? For me it was all of the above and one more – what were you thinking when you said “yes mam”.
For those of who you don’t know, I got involved with Proverbs 31 Ministries through Melissa’s Online Bible Studies. I signed up for A Confident Heart by Renee Swope because I was going to lead a small group of women through the book in my home. So I thought … this is a novel idea….I will tag along with Melissa’s group and steal ideas from her and use them in my group … after all, I just wanted to be a better small group leader. No selfishness on my part – right?
And, as I’m finding out along the way, one thing with Melissa leads to another. God has moved me from group participant to now serving on Melissa’s leadership team with a few guest blog appearances here and there to She Speaks attendee. So I just kept doing what seemed to be the next right thing and loving it – that was until the phone call!!!
The phone call brought all kinds of stinking thinking to my mind. Melissa and Stephanie began telling me about all my strengths and how they wanted to take me to the next level of leadership, which can really mess with your mind on more than one level. Stephanie had started talking platforms and I didn’t even know what a platform was – but according to her, God has given me one.
And here comes the kicker, they wanted me to step out of the groups I was leading and invest that time in hearing from God, listening to what He wanted and explore the gift of writing that they both seemed to think I possess. Not what they wanted – not what I wanted – but what HE wanted. Get the HE part, here – because I didn’t! I got to thinking about what I wanted. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone! The more I processed the call, the more I thought. The more I thought, the more “stuff” crept in. “Stuff” like pride and more pride and even more pride. And then along came fear – lots and lots of fear mixed in with a ton of self-doubt. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of having nothing special to offer. Fear of criticism. Fear of blank pages.
So much fear that I tried to call Melissa to tell her what she could do with her next leadership step for me -‘thanks, but no thanks’, was the stuffed response – but I got a busy signal. I never get a busy signal when I call. So I made my way home, opened Facebook and there was Stephanie having a bad day. How could I be the one to make Stephanie’s day worse?? I couldn’t, so I didn’t. I went to bed at 7pm. Realize that 7pm just doesn’t happen at my house!
So I texted Renee the next day and told her how I was struggling with leaving what I loved doing, what I was comfortable doing – but not mentioning to Renee my real fears – she gently nudges me to read Chapter 8 – “When Doubt Whispers – I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer” of A Confident Heart. Her advice, “read it for you and you ONLY and write down all you learn about Him and you through it, and then we will talk more.” I texted back, “how did you know”? She politely answered with a smilie face and the words “because I know you.”
As I reached for my book, it automatically opened up to Chapter 12 – a list of God’s promises. Promises that I’ve read over and over. He hit me square between the heart with the very first promise; “When (I/Donna) says, I can’t figure things out. God says: I will direct your steps. ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5-6)'”
God, Himself confirming the words and directions given by Melissa, Stephanie and Renee. Through His very words, I realized that I wasn’t trusting Him with my whole heart nor was I submitting my ways to His ways. I was doing the one thing that He asked us not to do to; I was leaning on my understanding – and trust me – a very limited understanding at that!
I wish I could tell you that all of the fears and even the pride have suddenly disappeared – but they haven’t. They have diminished and are slowly being replaced with trust for Him. And I’m praying that with every push of the post button they continue to diminish. The prayer of my heart is to make Jesus famous with my hands, words and life – not Donna – not Melissa – not Stephanie – not Renee – but Jesus!
Lord, I thank You that You don’t want to leave us where you find us – You want to draw us closer and closer to your heart. Cause us to trust you more. Lord, we believe, help our unbelief. Show us how to make You famous. Forgive us when we disobey. Thank You for your promises. Cause us to really listen to Your voice and then obey Your voice. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now for the fun part!! I will be giving away one copy of “Unglued”, Lysa TerKuerst’s newest best seller along with a conference call series for Melissa’s online Bible study for “Unglued”. For more info on the conferences calls click here: “Unglued” Conference Call Series Part 1 & 2. Winners will be announced no later than noon on Monday!