Sometimes the first 2 words of this Truth are the hardest for me to actually do. I am a talker, I love to talk to everyone...I mean everyone!! But the last several days God has been downloading this into me...it's been a busy week of learning & sharing for me.
I know that I have shared that after more than 5 years of asking God to move us to Texas, He answered with a resounding "yes" this June. I love love love Texas, though I miss some that I love dearly. I have already found that the "lonely pit" does follow me where ever I go, if I choose to sit back and "wait" for God to bring those He has for me. I have to admit I was already wondering where are my friends are? Those He promised to surround me with...but God, He reminds me that I still have to move...and I still have to reach out. So, this week I stepped out when He asked me to.
Of course as soon as I replied with a "yes" rsvp, the enemy jumped up from his comfort zone and did what he does best...began dividing. First with some distant relationships, then with some in my own home. It didn't take a whole lot of coaxing for him to get a rise out of me and before I knew it I was listening to myself battle the same old demons that he uses to keep my focus off what God is doing and back onto myself. But God, He knows the plans He has for me, and He hears even the silent prayers of my tears...so He was quick to remind me that the changes He wants to make are going to mean some deep changes in me. He also reminded me that sometimes the best reply to satan's distracting ways is "perfect silence." This is exactly what God was asking me to do...however, I was wallowing in self pity and in my "old" way I chose to rise up and shout truth at those I love most. Which, as I am sure you realize, didn't go over very well with those I love. In fact, it caused the exact division satan was hoping for. Not only that but it caused me to lash out inwardly at myself and say things to me that I would never say to another person...not out loud anyways.
The day after the blow up I had registered for the Pink night out at Gateway's NFW campus. This was my first women's event with the new church God has us at. My sweet sister M had offered to pick me up and secretly I was so glad...it meant a ride of wisdom with a woman of Christ who's wisdom I knew would be God given and filled with truth. She shares His truth so gently, yet so transparently that I can totally receive it without a battle of the defenses that usually comes when my flesh doesn't want to hear something hard. But God, He had even more for me. When she picked me up I pretty much crumpled into the seat of her car into tears and vomited the chaos of my hurt heart all over. She listened, she then shared we were picking up another friend of hers, one I didn't know. Usually my stress level would flare up at the thought of not being able to hear exactly what God gave her...but this time it was almost a relief. In my spewing of the drama and pain we passed the exit to her friends house...she shared a bit of what God gave her, "it's not always about you." This gave me a bit to chew on while we back tracked to find her friend. We made it to pick up Mrs. K, she was waiting outside. Instantly I felt comfortable with her. She looked like someone I would have put into the "nothing like me" category before. But as soon as she spoke I knew that she was like me in one way, God was the most important piece of her life. It wasn't long before God shared a word through this beautiful young woman, "not everyone needs to know everything." Oh was that truth a shot between the eyes for me. We arrived with just enough time to get a seat, but in the delay her hubby could only get 2 seats together, with 3 of us, I knew that God had a plan, but what it was I didn't know. M came in after parking the car and when she came to our row, she saw that I was about 4 seats down from theirs and came over to me and said, "let's just move these ladies stuff down one, so you can come sit with us." So that's what we did.
As worship began I was so thrilled to finally get to see Rita Springer, I was introduced to her music at the first retreat of M's that I had attended and that song had me face down in worship to Poppa. Each song God whispered that same message, "shhhhhhhhh" I almost brushed that message off, until He blatantly shouted, "DROP THE MIC!!!" I stopped immediately and opened my journal, and wrote those exact words down, along with the title, "Rhema word." Little did I know that God was going to share that exact direction so much through out the rest of my evening...actually throughout the rest of my week. During one of the songs God whispered to me, "lay your hands on M..." I fought that direction for several moments but my hand lifted and laid itself on her shoulder and instantly I could feel the mercy, joy and peace pour down my arm into my heart. I didn't have any clue that me laying my hand on her was for me...not her.
The message of the evening from God to me was to lay down my life for others...to go deeper, I would have to let go of my comfort zone and move forward into what God asks me to do. Not that I have to allow the enemy to convince me that I have to fight the battles in my life, no quite to the contrary, I have to allow God to fight those battles and ...you guessed it, I have to "drop the mic." I have to let go of not one, but all of my emotions and also realize that other's choices, decisions and even their faith, is NOT about me and it is NOT for me to fix. In reality God just wants me to get out of His way and let Him grow them like He grows me...without any input from me. So while God will use community for my loneliness He will also use it to teach me self control. If I let go of my judgement and my opinions and allow Him to speak through others and to others, then the changes He's making on the inside, well they will start showing up on the outside...He calls it "bearing fruit."
The amazing women's pastor for the NFW campus in her total transparency had shared such an important message God had for me that evening...He never promised there wouldn't be storms, He only promised He would always be with me and never leave me in those storms...and that the happiness, joy and fun times I wanted came with community. I had to allow God to surround me with women that would point me to Him, that would challenge my self pity and self doubt. I had asked Him to speak to me and in His perfect faithfulness, He had spoken boldly and honestly through a total stranger. He wants to surround me with women who will let me be me, who will pray for me and who will not allow me to hide behind the wall of shame that satan is trying desperately to build. The wall God has been tearing down piece by piece, tear by tear, word by word. In the same way that He wants to surround me with those mighty sisters, He reminded me that He created me to be a mighty sister for them. His word, not everyone needs to know everything, well that was hidden deep in the message and even in the party time after.
I walked out of the sweet words from God into a hallway filled with women, most of whom I had never seen or met..but God in His perfect way walked me right into a sister that I had not seen since one of the retreats several years earlier. She is one that I love, dearly. I can't describe the joy of seeing her sweet face!! She saw me and squealed at the same time as I did!!! We both wrapped our arms around each other over and over again!! I can't even begin to explain the feeling of "home" I felt just being in her presence! She was there by herself so she hung with us for the rest of the evening. I was soooo glad to get to catch up a little with her...and I told her we had to make a plan to hang out!! She suggested lunch and I said, "sounds great!!" At the end of the evening we hugged and promised each other we would definitely get lunch asap.
After dropping Mrs. K off at home, with a slight hang out time in front of her house till her family got home, M and I headed to my house. On the way she shared what God had given her, I knew it was God because He had been whispering this to me for quite awhile...but before this it fell onto my deaf ears. She shared with me one of the most difficult things God had asked her to do in her life and also how much it had actually changed her life...even if the first 6 months were the hardest, now several years later it had made all the difference in the world. I realized that moment that God's plans don't always line up with my desires, or my fears...in fact His plans will cost me something...but in the end the gain He's offering is so much better than anything I could ever imagine. I know that GOd used her to bring peace to a relationship in my life and I also know that though He doesn't want me to share everything with everyone, He placed her perfectly in my life and has plans to work through her to create the clean heart I keep begging Him for, in me. She told me that she has been compared to sandpaper at times, this is a feeling I understand very well...but in my life she is like a fine grit sandpaper, while I am considered a coarse grit sandpaper...this truth brings me so much hope, just knowing that God is going to be softening the grit of my sandpaper...if I can abide in Him...and "drop the mic."