I Want to Obey

Last week there was a discussion about forgiveness.  Forgiveness is done not for the other person, but for yourself.  That is something I have heard and experienced a few times in my life; however, last week there was a conversation that really stuck with me.  Forgiveness is about your relationship with God and ultimately it is between you and him.  That is something I hadn’t really considered.  We are called to forgive.  Therefore whether I forgive will ultimately effect my relationship with Christ.

This is the other thing that stuck:  You may not have it in you to forgive.  You literally may not have the feelings necessary to forgive.  You literally don’t feeling like doing it. That gave me so much freedom.

This is a journey that is between me and God, which means I am able to be honest and say “I don’t have it in me.”  I can tell God, “I don’t feel like forgiving.  I literally cannot feel what it takes.”  I can come broken.  I can come stubborn.  I can come honest.  I can come repenting and begging for help and every time he welcomes me back.

Tonight I am struggling with anger.  Anytime there is conflict and injustice the rage comes streaming back.  Anytime I see my sisters fighting to feel love and acceptance from our own mother I am sickened.

I am taking time to blog and open up to God via this little slot on the internet so I am able to process some of my anger and know that forgiveness is something that is between him and I.  I don’ have what it takes to forgive tonight, but I do have the desire to obey and build a stronger relationship with him.

So I think in this moment, it begins with honesty.  I want to obey.  I want this ache in my chest to go away.  The anger I feel is only killing me.  I don’t want to forgive, but I want to obey.

It begins with honesty.

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It’s Worth It

I wasn’t sure how to start this post, but here it is.  The lyrics of the song Come As You Are by Crowder touched the depths of my soul tonight.  As I was driving home from graduate class, processing the hour long conversation I had during counseling earlier in the day I began to cry.  The kind of tears that are big and fat and turn your cheeks into rushing rivers, those are the kinds of tears I was crying.

Grief.   Utter Sorrow.

I took a few minutes and allowed myself to feel sad.  I allowed myself to come as I was and I showed my broken heart to God.  I laid down my hurt and I found mercy.  My pain isn’t instantly gone, but I just kept telling myself that God knows every tear.  I couldn’t make legitimate words, but as the tears fell I thanked God for his ability to decipher tears.  I am thankful for a God who is patient.  I’ve been fighting so hard.  I’ve been telling God how scared I am and he’s still, even in my reluctance and my BLATANT disobedience, been faithful in showing his love to me. Even as I am sobbing driving down the highway, God was wrapping his loving arms around me.  The lyrics of this song washed over me and covered me like a warm blanket after playing in the snow too long.  I cried harder out of gratitude and just soaked in the lyrics:

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

I never wanted to believe that the people who are closest to me that I love the most may literally be incapable of providing my needs.  For a few weeks now we have been talking about how God will meet those needs.  How God will provide what I need.  How I will find validation in Him.  I believe those things.  A couple weeks ago Jill told me a story of how God showed her love through the comfort of her pet.  I began to think of all of the ways that God has shown me love and I’m making a list.

My Sisters- The love that I feel for each of my sisters is so strong it is something that I will never feel again and for any other people.  This is the kind of fierce love that I can imagine God has for me, except WAY stronger, because his love is perfect.  Also, how much must he love me to GIFT me with them?  They are mine, God gave them to me and I cherish each of them.

My nephew- It is absolutely impossible to not feel the love of God in the little boy.  When he giggles the pure JOY that he brings is just unbelievable.  He has created such a bond with each of us and brought my sisters and I closer.  I know that he has been an absolute gift from God and I am so thankful.

My Cohort- My graduate class is wonderful.  Each week we become closer and closer.  I love the community and the unity that I feel week after week.  The understanding that is provided through these people is a gift.  My need to be understood, loved and needed is met through different people within my group.  I literally don’t have words for the thankfulness that I feel towards each and every one of them.

My students- Some of my best and worst days are given from my students, but I have learned so much.  I know that each and every one of my students has been a gift in one way or another.  They have taught me things about myself, about the world and about teaching that I will always cherish.  Each and every one of them a gift from God, a God that loves me!

He is a God that understands each of my needs and meets them in very REAL ways.  It’s just taken me some time to realize.  I don’t understand the love of a parent well enough to understand what love has looked like outside of what I have tried to fill the void with, but as I’ve reflected on Jill’s story about God meeting her needs with the love of her pet, I began to see that NOTHING in my life has been an accident.  I don’t understand why my life has been what it has been and I may NEVER understand, but what I AM starting to understand is that God has placed people, and very specific circumstances in my life to meet every need that I have if I am willing to grasp onto it and hold it close.

Tonight, I am brimming.  I brought my broken heart to Him.  I came to him JUST as I was (blubbering, tear stained cheeks and all) and he comforted me.

Maybe you need to hear the song.  Maybe you’ve had a tear-streaked-cheek kinda night too.

Come as You Are.

It’s worth it.

Marti’s Messages

Week 3 of the rest of my life:

It goes a little something like this. Struggle, hesitance, fear, resistance—Counseling. Jesus. Prayer.

This week I really struggled with the thought of giving up the old. The old has “worked” for so long. The old is ALL I KNOW. All of these coping mechanisms, all of these masks are being taken away. It’s down right terrifying.

How will I feel loved? How will I know I have value? How?! For so long I’ve met these needs through people pleasing, working super hard, trying to overachieve, seeking approval, sexual relationships. It’s filled the void for so long. How will I understand who I am without everything I’ve ever known?! You’re telling me Jesus really does this? I’ve learned the idea of it. I’ve heard the stories. I believe the stories. I just don’t think I believed them for me.

Tonight I was introduced to the Core Needs:

 Love

Significance

Belonging

Understanding

Safety & Security

Purpose

 Then I was introduced to the idea that we are given messages about our worth and ourselves starting at a very young age. Who gives us these messages?

Parents

Siblings

Church

Neighbors

Friends

Co-Workers

Then—The hard part. The painstaking part. The part where I have to analyze what my messages have been. The negative ones. These are the ones she wants to know about, because there stems the dysfunction. In those messages are the roots that have borrowed so deeply into my soul causing this constant treading of water.   Immediately I felt fear. I know what my messages have been. I know what’s happened. I don’t know that I’ve analyzed them quite on this level and certainly not in front of someone I’ve only spoken to 3 times.

But—I did it. In this, there is healing, one painstaking adventure at a time.

The Following is:

Marti’s Messages

The message of abandonment: being left and forsaken.

The message of insecurity

The message of being unattractive and overweight

The message of being unimportant, uncared for and unloved

The message of being a disappointment, excluded and not fitting in

The message of guilt and feeling responsible

The message of being unwanted and undesirable

The message of not being good enough and being misunderstood

That’s a pretty hefty list of GROSS messages. Here is where I find peace. We didn’t leave the session on that note! After we read off every nasty, horrible, despicable message I’d been given, she looked at me and said “I want you to picture your nephew.”

..Immediate tears..

She said to me “I know he means a lot to you. I can tell you love that little boy and he holds a very special place in your heart. You want nothing but the best for him and you would do anything within your power to make him feel loved. To let him know he has significance and belonging, and that you understand him and want him to feel safe. That his aunt Marti always has his back.”

As much as you want all of those things for him, God wants those things for you more. She began to quote scripture to support what she was saying. I am the apple of his eye. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. She let me know that there is a pure kind of love that God wants to provide in my life and that his love is without condition. God understands the importance of feeling adored and admired. These are innate needs he placed within us, which also means he can fulfill them.

The journey is still hard. I am still hesitant. I still scare easily and worry that completely giving up my power means I may not get exactly what I want.

Either way Marti’s Messages are slowly being re-written.

One page at a time.

Overwhelmed

In a good way.  The past few weeks I’ve talked a lot about being overwhelmed in a bad way.  Life has a way of getting in the way of things, ya know?!  Well, this week I’ve been studying and praying a lot and I constantly am getting two reminders from the Lord.

1.) Cast ALL your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you

AND

2.) Rejoice!

This morning in church, the first song we sang was Rejoice by Dustin Kensrue. (Video!!)  It’s amazing how when God is speaking to you, He will constantly reiterate what He wants you to know.  This week God really wanted me to hear that He’s already got it under control.  He really wanted me to just rejoice in Him and enjoy everything that He is.  He is, He was, and He is to come.  Jesus is everlasting.

This morning as we were taking communion, I was rejoicing in the Lord.  Thanking Him for everything that He has done for me and continues to do.  Thanking him for the strength to face each day.  As I closed my eyes to pray, I began to see a vision of Jesus on the cross.  I was knelt before the cross and I was handing EVERYTHING over to him.  I should preface this by saying that for weeks now, as I’ve prayed I’ve been getting this constant vision of myself literally with both hands palm side up handing Jesus my mother.  I am on my knees, my head is bowed, my arms are stretched high above my head with my palms up giving her to Him to care for.  I’ve been putting her in Jesus’ capable hands over, and over, and over in my prayers.  So today as God was showing me another vision of handing her over, I was knelt before the cross as he’s nailed to it and I am handing EVERYTHING to him.  Not just my mom, not just my anxiety, not just my depression, but EVERYTHING.  My house, my schooling, my LIFE.  I left everything at the cross this morning and I heard scripture in my mind “Surely, He was the Son of God”.

SURELY HE IS THE SON OF GOD!!  SURELY!!  This morning, my circumstances haven’t changed.  It’s like I’ve said a million times, circumstances my not change, but your heart will!  And this morning…my heart is changed.  Surely, Jesus is the Son of God, and  It.  Is.  Finished.

Your sorrow, your pain, Jesus carried it up the hill.  So, rejoice in Him.  Be OVERWHELMED with his love and sacrifice for you.  He cries with you.  He sobs with you.  He’s suffered with you.  He died FOR you.

Be overwhelmed by him this morning.

I know I am.

All to Him I Owe

Today was an exciting day!  It’s SUNDAY!  That means it was a time of group celebration about our savior.  This morning I walked into church heavy burdened.  It’s been a rough week around this house and it’s not been because of my busy schedule.

Families are hard.

People are hard.

Dynamics are harder.

Mental illness is harder yet.

This week I felt like I was treading water pretty hard.  A few days I LITERALLY envisioned myself with water up to my ears; it had covered my mouth and the only way for me to get oxygen was to carefully breath through my nose between splashes of water to the face.  After work a couple nights this week I came home to a broken home.  One broken by the cloud of depression and illness.  As I tried to listen and minister and speak light, I was constantly met with a mind not capable of listening to my advice.  By the end of this week,  I. Was. Exhausted.  Friday night I slept 14 hours.  Then Saturday I took a 3 hour nap, and proceeded to sleep another nine and a half hours that evening.  So this morning, as I walked into church with all of the weight of the past week on my shoulders, I began to sing.

“I hear the savior say, thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness watch and pray, find in me your all in all.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.” (Jesus Paid it All)

By the second verse, I couldn’t squeak out another note.  Tears rolled down my cheeks.  I could feel big heavy tears drop onto my chest.  My strength is small.  I am a child of weakness and I need to watch and pray.  Jesus has already paid EVERYTHING for me.  I owe him my entire life.

No matter what is happening in my life.  No matter how difficult this home life gets.  No matter how sad I am. No matter how many battles I face.  No matter how many times I find myself crying in the dark before bed.  No matter how many times I plead for her to get better.    No matter how many late nights and exhausted days I have. JESUS PAID IT ALL! It is already finished.

In service this morning Pastor John said, “Too many times we spend our time asking ‘why me?! God, why me?!’ It’s not about that.  Good things happen to good and bad people.  The difference is how Christians stand tall when it’s raining.”  This again brought me to tears.  I have chosen to trust in Jesus.  I have chosen to take everything a day at a time and look to Jesus when I am at the end of my rope.  I have chosen to BELIEVE in the one who paid my debt.  This doesn’t mean that bad things will never happen to me.  This only means that in times of storm, I have him as my strong hold.

Tonight as I reflected on today and the week that has come to an end I did some reading in Philippians.  I was immediately comforted by a verse I read earlier last week and totally forgot about.

“For I know that through your prayers

and the help given by the spirit of Jesus Christ,

what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.”

Philippians 1:19

Tonight, I am declaring in Jesus Christ that no matter what happens to me in this life, it will be used for my deliverance.

I am declaring that no matter what happens to me in this life, I am choosing to stand knowing that Jesus is my all in all.

I will stand tall even in the darkest moments.

When the tears are falling, I will know that he has collected every tear in his bottle.

He knows my burdens and sorrows.

collected tears copy

Source

.Jesus paid it all and I owe him everything.

Almighty

As a follow up to yesterday’s post (that you can read here), we had a rough night as a family last night.  I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts that this summer has been a difficult one for my family and last night was another one of those nights.

 

It involves a grieving mother, too much alcohol, an overbearing-incredibly-sketchy-almost-ex-step-father, a whole lot of anxiety and a whole lot more prayer.

 

Tonight when I opened my devotional I began to read EXACTLY what God wanted me to hear:

“On some days your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives–giving up or relying on Me. Even if you wrongly choose the first alternative, I will not reject you.  You can turn to Me at any point, and I will help you crawl our of the mire of discouragement.  I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day. Trust Me, by relying on My empowering Presence.” (The devotional is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.)

A night that ended with me knelt at the foot of my mother’s bed praying and sobbing over her as she slept, certainly falls within the characteristics of my “demands seeming far greater than my strength”.  Last night, I could have folded under the pressure and given up. I felt sick enough to. The fear was paralyzing enough that I could have, but in the most hopeless of situations, I turned to Jesus and begged. Guys, I begged harder than I’ve ever begged. I prayed and I cried and I prayed and I cried.  I allowed God’s empowering Presence to comfort me, I asked Roman for prayer; I asked my sister for prayer. I asked my aunt for prayer. And I allowed God’s Empowerment to Comfort my Soul. Nothing within my situation changed, but what changed was that in those moments when I was pouring everything I had to God, I felt an overwhelming peace. God doesn’t always immediately change your circumstances, but he absolutely will show you how to rely on Him. I am learning this lesson time and time again. It’s a difficult lesson, but I am thankful every step of the journey.

Back to tonight–After reading the short devotion I went to the scripture associated with the excerpt.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you…Psalm 42:5-6

I realized in the very moment that I read that scripture, that God was showing me I’m not alone.  Spiritual “offness” (like I was feeling during the day yesterday) has happened before, there are cases IN THE BIBLE! I am so thankful for a God who takes time to show us we aren’t alone. I am thankful that when I was searching for answers yesterday and I wasn’t sure what I was feeling, God already knew and he already had a plan.

Tonight, though issues are not completely resolved,

I have peace.

I have faith.

I have a God who is all-knowing.

All powerful and

…..ALMIGHTY!…..

This is not a battle I have to fight, God has already won it. 

Struggling

Well, it’s happened.

I have been so busy, I’ve run out of time to fit everything that is important to me in my schedule.  This week marked the beginning of teaching and the 4th week of graduate school.  All the time I savored over the last few weeks of summer has now dissipated and I find myself running from one activity, one assignment, one group of people to the next.  Tuesday after I finished my first day of work, cleaned my classroom, moved furniture, met my new staff, attended staff meetings, learned the new paperwork and poured myself into my car, I had to go to the grocery store.

I remember thinking I don’t know how women do this. I don’t know how women go to school, teach full-time and then have children to care for after that.  I only have myself. I help out with my youngest sister and I really do a lot to help, but she isn’t my sole responsibility. In that moment I was totally humbled when I thought about everything my Mom had to do while we were growing up.

I’m not sure why this is such a melancholy post.  I am VERY excited about my teaching job.  I am loving every second of graduate school. I am still on top of everything I need to accomplish, but I just feel off.

I feel a little spiritually off today. I know it has been too many days since I’ve really sat down with the Bible and got my face stuck into it for hours and today when I tried, I couldn’t. Perhaps that is my issue.  God has spoken to me this week, practically DIRECTLY to me.  I am hearing him still, but I can’t quite decide what I’m feeling or thinking today.

I’m struggling and I’m not even sure with what.

Have You Any Right to be Angry?

Jonah 4-4So, how about you?–Do you have any right to be angry? Let me explain a little further. Most everyone knows the story of Jonah and the whale. Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh and Jonah was like “I don’t think sooo!” and he hops a boat to Tarshish. There is a giant storm that causes sheer panic to set in around the boat. Eventually the men on the boat figure out the storm is caused by Jonah’s disobedience to God, so first they try to row back to shore and drop Jonah off, but the storm gets worse and they are forced to throw him overboard. A big fish (whale) comes and swallows Jonah. Jonah prays in the belly of the whale and 3 days later God causes the fish to vomit him to dry land. THEN Jonah decides he should probably do what God called him to do.

I know I already talked about Gideon in another post, but isn’t it kind of funny that each person who is called in the bible has a different, yet similar reaction to being called. *-PANIC!-* Like Gideon didn’t even believe an angel coming to him, and required constant reassurance. Jonah just flat out took the flight option out of his panic. He was like “Catch ya later God!–I’m totally freaked.”

ANYWAY

Guys. I totally thought the story stopped there. Somewhere in my childhood, somewhere perhaps between nursery class and junior church, chapter 4 was omitted. The chapter where Jonah is mad at God for saving the city of Nineveh. He is MAD that God sent him to the city of Nineveh to preach their doom and that when God saw the people turn from their wicked ways he decided to spare them. He was mad! Mad enough he wanted to die. (*cue the drama* Jonah is a tad dramatic boys and girls.)

I think this is an especially important point to be made. How many times have you been called by God to do something, minister to someone, do a specific job, then the outcome isn’t what you expected and then you’re kind of (or down right) MAD. We are called and whether we admit it or not, we kind of romanticize what the outcome will be.

Ok, Jesus I will totally go and tell all of these people about You and they will come to church and they will give their lives to you and they will bow down and proclaim you as King and then they will go and they will build a church somewhere and bring tons of other people to you and it’s going to be this big wonderful EXTRAVAGANT thing all because you called me to tell them about you.

Uh. Hold on just a second. Who gives us the authority to determine the outcome? And then do we have any right to be angry when the outcome isn’t what we expected it to be?

Here’s what happens with Jonah:

“O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:1-4  (A little dramatic, don’t you think? Goodness Jonah, pull yourself together man!!)

And that’s when God says to him: “Have you any right to be angry?”

God uses another circumstance to teach Jonah a lesson. Jonah leaves the city and makes himself a shelter to wait and see what happens to the city. While he is there God makes a vine grow to provide some shade for Jonah and protect him from the heat. He is SERIOUSLY excited about it. Then, when morning comes, God makes a worm eat the vine and it kills it. Jonah is BEYOND upset. (You guys, he wants to die again. I mean, really.) God asked him again “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” Jonah 4:9

AND GET THIS (I mean, seriously Jonah…you’re a little dramatic brother.) He says, “I do. I am angry enough to die.” I just get this vision of a small child reasoning with a parent. I know this behavior may seem just as ridiculous to you, but how many of us…how many times have YOU or I acted this way with God? Like a whining child. As soon as something doesn’t happen precisely the way we intended, we are ready to “die” or to give up, or throw in the towel.

So God gives Jonah, and in the process ME, a little wake up call. He says this:

“You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and it died overnight. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:10-11.

                                          –>Are we angry about something that we didn’t tend or make grow?
                                          –>Are we angry about the outcome of something God has called us to do?
                                          –>”Have you any right to be angry?”

I’ll leave you with this. A couple weeks ago Roman had an issue at work and I told him “You have every RIGHT to be angry.” His response to me was “No, I have every REASON to be angry, but I have no RIGHT.”

Take a few minutes today to consider the things that cause you anger. Then consider the thought

Have you any right to be angry?

Blubbering Mess of a Man Baby

I don’t have children, but my sister has a son. There are days when she’s covered in pee, gone without a shower for days and taken a bath in perfume. All in the name of being a good mother.

So today…

There are some things that require documentation for pure hilarity. Please enjoy the following group message between me and 2 of my sisters.

 

2014-08-25 10.45.01   2014-08-25 10.47.57  2014-08-25 10.48.092014-08-25 10.48.17

 

 

The Lord is With You Mighty Warrior

HOLY CRAP. (For lack of a better term.) But really! That statement–“The Lord is with you mighty warrior.”–THAT is what was said to Gideon by an angel.

Let me set the stage for you. Israel is under the oppression of the Midianites, who were pretty strong nasty people, for seven years. The Israelites that were left built shelters in caves and up in the mountains in an effort to protect themselves. 

Here’s Gideon, working in a wheat field trying to get some food for his people, minding his own business and an ANGEL is just legitimately chillin’ in front of him. That ALONE would be enough to straight knock me off my feet. I just know it would. Not only was that angel standing in front of Gideon, then the angel talked and brought a message from God to him. “The Lord is with you mighty warrior.” Woah.

So long story short, God calls Gideon to save Israel from these nasty Midianites and Gideon is pretty scared. He’s like (ok, now I’m paraphrasing here guys.) “uh, you’re sure that you want ME to save all of Israel from these big, scary Midianites?!” and God is like “Am I not sending you?!”-Judges 6:14 (HELLO! Earth to Gideon, I sent an ANGEEELLL!) I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’m pretty thankful for a patient God. He could have just as easily been like, “You know what Gideon, I’ve sent an angel from Heaven and you’re still not sure what I want you to do? Ok, welp, I’ll find someone else then.” Aren’t you glad that we aren’t God?!

Moving on with the story. It’s battle time and Gideon has gathered quite a few men (if my math is correct he has like 32,000) and God speaks to him and says (paraphrasing again) “Listen, buddy. You’ve got too many people. I don’t want Israel to think they’ve done something super awesome on their own. I want them to know this was me! Send some men home.”-Judges 7:2-8 By the end of this discussion with God, Gideon is left with 300 hundred men. As in 3-ZERO ZERO! 300. (I’m having a heart attack FOR Gideon right now.) I’ll go ahead and spoil the story for you and let you know that God fulfills his promise and Gideon takes down the Midianites with 300 men.

.Gideon was called. Judges 6:11-16

.Gideon was scared. Judges 6:15

.Gideon asked God for a sign. Judges 6:36-40

.God gave Gideon several signs. Judges 6:36-40

.God fulfilled his promise. Judges 7:15-25

Please get that last part…HE FULFILLED HIS PROMISE!

Aren’t we all a little like Gideon? (and by a little I mean…A LOT!) God calls us to something, and we are flat out petrified. We need a sign. We need proof. We need confirmation.

Maybe he called you to something that looks unattainable. Maybe he called you to something that looks too big to handle. Maybe he called you to something that you had never even considered for your life. Maybe you aren’t even sure it’s God. (That happened to Gideon too, read it here-Judges 6:17.)

I encourage you to pray. I encourage you to read the Bible. I encourage you to talk to GODLY friends and family and ask them to pray. I encourage you to journal and have an open dialogue with God.

I know where you’re at. I’m in the same place right now as I prayerfully consider the callings that God has for my own life.

Now I want to add a little something here: I’m not saying God is calling us all to lead an army and take down a nation. K? But each of us has our own battle. Each of us has our own “Midianite”. Each of us has, or will have, something that God is urging us to do.

And he wants you to know…

“The Lord is with you mighty warrior.”