I come from earthquake country. Having said that, I’ve never witnessed anything over a little tremor with walls shaking. So this year, when I found myself prepping for a possible category 5 hurricane, I didn’t really know what to expect feelings-wise.
As the storm approached and the noise of the wind grew louder, I grew more concerned. I lay in my bed thinking that anything can happen. At one point I was actually picturing the worst. I’m not much of an anxious person when it comes to weather, but this time it was different. My heart started to race a bit, my thoughts raced faster. I didn’t want to utter a word to anyone, why make my family worry, why put negativity out there? I spent the days and moments leading up to the storm prepping and feeling quite confident that everything would just blow over and all would be good. But when we were in the middle of it, my thoughts changed.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take the angst I was feeling, God brought to my memory the time the disciples were in a boat in the middle of their storm. (Matthew 8:23-27) The waves were sweeping over the boat. Things were getting bad and where was Jesus? He was asleep. The disciples ended up waking him up frantically asking him to save them. What did he do? He rebuked both them and the waves.
It was at that memory I thought, “If Jesus could speak peace to the storm and sleep fine, then so can I.” With that, I relaxed enough to fall asleep.
Now I know that there have been and will be storms of all sorts throughout my life. I can take heart in this true story knowing that, even though Jesus is with me, I’m still human, I still get afraid. Even though my faith falters, I can call on him to save me, and he will. When he calms my storms I remember that he knows hands on what it feels like to be in the middle of one. He knows how to speak to the wind and the waves to make it obey. If He can speak to the storms, then so can you and I.
Peace, be still. (Mark 4:39)
Photo Credit:ID 38387870 © Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime
A couple of weeks ago I witnessed my brother go to “battle” as an MMA fighter in the cage. Something was different about this fight. As a sister, I had all the nerves and butterflies but there was a sense that this fight was going to be different in some way and that it was. With it being my brother’s first fight viewed in homes nationwide, I watched in awe at what God did through his life.
My brother’s fight was the Main Event so naturally he was last. During the pre-fight interview my eyes were glued to the TV as he openly shared about Jesus. He commented how this fight was not about the opponent or even the fight itself, but rather an opportunity to compete and more importantly share Jesus with others. He then stated how the real “fights” in life are the battles we face day by day. In that moment, I felt as though he already won. He showed up and used the platform God had given him for sharing God’s love. When I thought it couldn’t get any better, I saw him face the crowd but his focus was on God. His music started playing as he entered the audience I heard the song “You Make Me Brave” playing, a worship song, not the typical harsh and sometimes vulgar come out music for fighters. With his trainer, corner men (and corner woman, his amazing wife) walking out with him he stopped, paused, raised His hands and without shame praised his God.
He entered the cage and in the natural lost the fight but I looked at the TV with tears in my eyes because in that span of time he won something so much bigger than a belt or a title.
You see, there will be many “battles” we face in life and oftentimes there is a crowd watching. Some cheering us on and others wishing to see us break and bleed. Nonetheless, HE makes us brave and we are required to show up, lift our hands and trust God to do His will through our lives.
Are we being brave in how we live? Do we show faith especially in audiences that don’t celebrate what we live for? Are we trusting God with our finances, our marriages, our families and so on? Are we brave when we look at facts contrary to God’s truth? Faith comes easy to talk about but much harder to walk out. In all these things, let us keep our eyes on God and allow Him to make us BRAVE!
Photo of: @parnelldavismma
I am excited for this fall season and for me it feels like a fresh start to a new chapter in my life. I have been really asking God, “How are you going to use me in this next season?” He hasn’t given me the answers right away, but has given me open doors of where He wants me to walk through and then show me the next step. In this season, God is teaching me to not be a “Wonder Woman” to the world but to Him. The movie, “Wonder Woman,” came out recently and has got me thinking of how we are God’s “Wonder Women” and what does that look like?
God views us women as strong warriors and not just sidekicks or afterthoughts. We are created in His image and so important to Him. Wonder Woman is the first superhero to be fully equipped in combat skill, yet purely motivated by love and not vengeance. This goes to describing the Proverbs 31 woman where she is fully equipped to do the work God has set out for her and her household, but does it in love. Her words have power and God gives her wisdom as Proverbs 31:26-27 states, “When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.” The Proverbs 31 woman is a noble woman and through God gets things done for His glory.
As I was reflecting on my life, I realized there are things that I needed to say “no” to in this season in order to be used by God more. God has shown me what things in my life are worth fighting for and He’s giving me a passion about certain ministries to keep pursuing. I don’t have it all figured out and don’t have to be everything to everyone. God is guiding me to follow His voice and not the voice of the world and how it defines “Wonder Woman.” Will you take this journey with me and allow God to define you in this season? God wired you to be you so don’t try to copy or be like someone else because who you are is God’s best, and you’re not just a lady to Him, but His “Wonder Woman.”
Photo Credit: ID 53063235 © Pablo Hidalgo | Dreamstime
Whatever is going on in my life, the world, or in the lives of those around me typically makes up for the varying content of my prayers. It’s also important to me to make time to go beyond what’s temporal and on the surface by praying for God to show me what I can do for Him. Asking Him to make it clear to me how my life and actions can bring glory to His name. Years ago the theme of such prayers was that I would go wherever God told me to go. I would repeatedly commit to being willing to do whatever He told me to do, go wherever He told me to go, and say whatever He wanted me to say.
This confession, if you will, certainly opened up some interesting doors in my life and sent me to some very unlikely places. My experiences and my adventures are not necessarily what this is about. Recently I asked a question (to myself because I often talk to myself. Don’t judge me, I heard it’s only strange if you answer back), “I wonder how many times Abraham moved before He got to the Promised Land?” Or more importantly, “How many stops did it take for him to get there?” Anyone who knows me has heard my story of how Abraham departing from his homeland, family, friends and life, as he knows it, to go follow God was a major inspiration for my move from Michigan to Florida.
I’m sure Abraham had no idea what he was getting into following God like that. I often wonder why God didn’t make it easier for the one who was later named His “friend.” (2 Chron. 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23) So I went on a brief search for just how many stops he made. It was something like 17 or 18 stops until He finally reached the place that God lured Him out of His comfort zone with. When I thought about how many geographic moves I’ve made, and how many theoretical moves I’ve made, I realized this is what it takes to go wherever God leads.
Flowing, moving water is this life giving, life sustaining force, whereas stagnant water is a rancid pool of death. Okay that was kind of morbid, but you get my point. If we aren’t moving, we aren’t living. I don’t just mean physical locations, but also growing in our mindsets, knowledge and understanding of the things of God, experiences, and how we treat people. To me all of those things involve “moving” as well. Abraham’s name was made great, we are a part of his descendants and he was regarding as God Almighty’s friend! It’s worth it to move. It’s worth it to be sensitive enough to God’s leading and allowing Him to show us what’s next. What are you waiting for? Go!
Photo Credit: ID 62777300 © Frantic00 | Dreamstime