February, 2014 began with much excitement and anticipation for the 28 days that it held for me. I had a full calendar, lots of trips planned, incredible opportunities for ministry, and the icing on the cake would come at the very end of the month: celebrating 5 incredible years of wedded bliss to my mountain man. What more could a girl ask for? It was as if God intricately detailed these 28 days to fill my cup to overflowing and then some. I had no idea what was in store.
By February 27th, I had a full heart and an exhausted body. Within just a few short weeks, I had been to Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Canada, and back to Arizona again to finish this travel frenzy with a weekend away up in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. What a whirlwind! I came into February 1st excited, expectant, and sprinting ahead 100 miles an hour. And like never before, I witnessed God invade my space each stop along the way. Here is what I learned.
#1 – God wants me to live not just delivered, but FREE. In Christ, I am a new creation. The old is gone, and the new has come. Still, my eyes were opened to the reality that although Christ had delivered me from a past of sin, regret, and shame, I hadn’t been living truly FREE – more specifically, free from fear. And while I stood on platforms, passionately teaching the Word of God, the Lord was shouting back at me. You see, the Israelites had been delivered from slavery in Egypt, but they wandered the wilderness for 40 years with the freedom of the Promised Land always slightly out of reach. Not free. Friends, be reminded today that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1a) Live FREE!
#2 – God’s calling on my life knows no limits or boundaries. Over the past month, I’ve stood on stages and spoke to groups of women ranging in age from 18-80, groups numbering 40-300, and each time, I quivered in doubt and fear. “What if I can’t relate to them?” “What if they dismiss or reject what I have to say?” “How can I minister to women that are old enough to be my grandma, women who have far more life experience than I?” Amidst all of these despairing thoughts, God graciously brought me back to this foundational truth: Whatever God calls me to, He will equip me for, and His grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Put your faith in the One who calls, not in the calling.
#3 – Love chooses to feel the pain of another and always prioritizes other’s needs above one’s own. I met an incredible amount of women this past month, and there was one common denominator among them all: Brokenness. Their stories differed in detail, but the reality of them all was the same. To truly love another person, I must be willing to feel their pain and put their needs before my own. There were moments this past month when I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. Still, there was a divine purpose for every person God placed across my path, and part of that was choosing to love them as Jesus would. All of this beautifully came together in celebrating my anniversary with my husband as I was reminded of God’s definition of love. Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. Love is not proud or rude. Love is not self-seeking or easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Love ALWAYS protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We are called to love.