The hard stuff.
You know those insecurities we don't like to talk about?
The ones we push down and want to forget?
The ones that follow us and we don't want to let the world know about?
That is often the insecurity we need the most freedom from.
Now, I could give you a list of my insecurities, but there is one that is a little harder to put out there than any other. A little harder, for me, to place in front of the world.
Because it holds me back.
Holds me back from kingdom work, from stepping into my calling, from stepping out of my comfort zone. And just maybe I am not the only one who needs freedom from this type of insecurity...
It was true. I had lost my faith.
I had suffered a trauma and I was angry and I ran.
Ran from the pain.
Ran from hope.
Ran from God.
And years later?
I ran back to His good and open arms that had never stopped waiting for me.
A few years ago, someone from my past threw this fact in my face as a means to hurt me. They told me they did not believe I had any faith now because I had run in the past.
They told me my faith was a lie.
I'd like to write that those words didn't bother me.
But they did.
I'd like to say those words didn't plant seeds of insecurity in my faith and in my calling.
But they did.
I stood tall and faced them with as much grace as I could muster at the time, but after? That seed turned into a sprout of insecurity - telling me my faith was not good enough. That it was tainted; not genuine.
Roots started to grow in the wrong direction.
I started to question if my past was too big (or my faith too small) for the calling placed in front of me.
Doubt was planted whether my words could give hope, whether I was right for the task, whether I was worthy of the work, and even if my faith was strong enough to face the potential trials ahead.
Those roots were on the verge of spreading and deepening towards greater insecurity in my calling, rather than who I am in Christ and what God can do.
But in this season, the cross shone ever before me.
Instead of losing faith, instead of running, instead of depending on me and letting those insecurities take over...l looked to GOD.
I RAN to the cross and looked up to the light shining out from it.
I began to spread my roots toward Christ, instead of the insecurity that offered nothing - the insecurity the enemy wanted to use to soak up my Christ-established identity and stop me from saying "yes" to the work God was calling me to.
And you know what? It was in this season that my faith was strengthened, and I felt God's faithfulness overwhelmingly. It was those same words that tried to bury me with insecurity that really sparked me to dig deeper into my faith. It is out of that season that I began to write more intentionally. That I said yes with a renewed fervor. And it is out of that season that I truly accepted the calling placed in front of me.
"For it is God who works in you to his will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philippians 2:13, NIV
No matter what type of calling it is, when we put our heart out there, insecurity can set in. We may even be scrutinized. Maybe judged. Perhaps disagreed with. But that's ok. Don't let insecurity stop you. Jesus said these things may happen.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33, NIV
Perhaps today, it is not even insecurity in your calling, but just in the future in general.
Each of these trials is an opportunity to depend on Christ.
Each of these opportunities give us a chance to dig our roots deeper in a secure identity as a child of God.
And now, each time that insecurity creeps in?
I know where to nail it.
There is a cross ever before me, may it be before you, too.
And each time I feel like giving up, each time I think I am not enough, each time I worry that my past is greater than my future, each time I feel that insecurity try to hook me in.... I take that insecurity and I nail it to the cross where it belongs. Because for a moment I may forget, but ultimately, I know that Jesus...
Welcomes back the lost.
Covers our sins.
Turns ashes into beauty.
Uses what has hurt us for good and for His Glory.
Never leaves or forsakes us.
And He equips us!
If you are thinking you are not worthy of your calling, if the future looks uncertain, unknown....remember this: God knows what He is doing. He called you for a reason, He knew this season would happen.
He will lead you, and equip you.
All for His good purpose.
"May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen."
Hebrews 13:21, NLT
May we all nail our insecurities at the cross each time they start to creep in, and then watch with expectation, the work He will do in each of us.
Is there a knock you have been ignoring? One you are afraid to answer? One you know you should answer, but you have a hundred reasons why now is “not a good time”?
Are you even listening?
A few nights ago, I fell asleep on the couch (which isn’t too unusual for me) and forgot to set the alarm on my phone.
At the precise time I should have set my alarm for (4:40am), I heard a loud knock-knock on the front door. It woke me up, startled me really. No one knocks on the door this time of the morning! It caused me to sit up, take notice of the darkness around me, and beckoned me to investigate who was at the door.
I took action when I heard that knock.
I woke up, got up, went to the door, investigated it, and opened it.
There was no one there. At least not that I could see.
I tell this story not because of who was or wasn't at the door, but rather because when I heard the knock, I didn't ignore it, I didn't roll over and go back to sleep, I didn't lay there in fear wondering what was on the other side, I didn't let someone else go to the door. I took action. I answered the call.
Do we do the same when God knocks at the door of our heart? When He calls us down a certain path? When He knocks on the door of an opportunity that we can't quite see the end result of? When He calls us to step out in faith, beyond our comfort zone?
The Bible clearly shows us over and over again, that God wants us to be an ACTIVE part of His plan and purpose. He wants us to take ACTION.
He wants us to listen.
Go to the door.
And open it.
I don’t know if God is knocking softly or loudly on your door. I don't know what is on the other side of that door for you. But I know who does. And you can trust HIM. Whether we answer the knock or not, God's purpose and plan will prevail. We just miss out on being an active part of it...
If Noah hadn't listened to the "knock", he wouldn't have built the ark, and wouldn't have been able to rise above the flood.
If Moses hadn't answered the "knock", he would not have parted the red sea, he would have remained in the palace.
If Abraham hadn't answered the "knock", his family tree would look very different.
If David hadn't answered the "knock", he wouldn't have defeated any giants. He wouldn't have become king.
If Elijah hadn't answered the "knock", he wouldn't have been able to help the widow, or raise a child up from death.
If Paul hadn't answered the "knock", he wouldn't have spread the Gospel like he did.
If Peter hadn't answered the "knock", he would still be fishing...
When you hear a knock today, will you get up and answer it?
Will you be listening for it?
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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