Seeking God: True bravery

Seeking God: True bravery

Reading: Psalm 27:1-14, Psalm 109:5-6

Christ: Sometimes true bravery means waiting for God to act on your behalf. Be confident in my consuming love for you and have fearless trust in Me. I will not fail you, though My timing may not agree with yours. But “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 28:14).

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Think: Consider David, who being pursued by his enemies, prayed and consulted God first. When he had the chance to ensure his own safety and easily kill King Saul (see 1 Samuel 24) he did not take it because he feared the Lord and knew that it was not His will. David chose to let God take care of it, even though it meant allowing Saul to possibly survive and prosper longer. Do I ever take decisions into my own hands out of fear? What would it look like to trust in a stressful time?

Pray: Dear Lord, I am deeply sorry for the times when my actions betrayed my trust in you. Help us to bravely have patience and confidence in your good will for our lives. Amen.

Just hit send

Just hit send

Does anyone else do this?
You take forever writing an email because you keep doing more editing than actual writing, and then once hitting send, you immediately open up your sent mail and read and reread the same email you just spent 3 hours on, poring over it, rereading it aloud to yourself, and continuing to pick it to death and kicking yourself for errors found only after the fact. Something has to hit you over the head with a proverbial brick to snap you out of your reverie and continue on with the next task. (What was the next task again?)

This is typically how I compose and send emails at work, which admittedly is a huge time waster and not company-friendly. But it’s not just at work, I’ve always done this all my life. (If my manager is reading this, don’t worry, I’m truly trying to break the habit.) Outside of work and other administrative-type emails, I mostly write random encouraging emails to all kinds of people. bloggers i’m inspired by, family members, and friends I don’t keep in touch with often. I don’t keep a schedule of correspondence, I just do it when it occurs to me. It’s a bit of a fun hobby: I go through my list of contacts in my phone, and keep scrolling until a name screams out to me in my heart. Then I try to think of something that might make their day.

However, it’s that maddening email-editing craze that often slows or completely stops this spirit-guided process to encourage someone else. It’s a kind of fear I’ve only recently thought to take notice of. Throughout my intense editing session, I’m half listening to these foreign whispers. What will they think of me? Is this weird? Yeah, this is weird. No one ever emails me like this. They probably won’t even respond.

Sometimes I end up scrapping the entire email and not sending anything. That person continues on in their day, with no idea I’ve spent so much time trying to reach out to him or her. Like a light under a basket, no one ever benefits. And it’s obvious what is behind it all — Fear.

Fear of embarrassing mistakes, either in content or grammar.
Fear of being embarrassed
Fear I wont be taken seriously
Fear that I’ll be taken too serious (This happens quite a bit, thanks to my annoying habit of quoting obscure lines from my favorite TV shows that no one gets)
Fear I’ll be ignored
Fear of being annoying

Because communication through the written word is hard. It’s a difficult art to master, at least for me. When you have to convey anything that will have an effect on the recipient, it’s a big responsibility. Like when I’m trying to tell someone to do something without telling them to do it. It takes nuance, carefully worded sentences, and sensitivity to the reader and their particular environment. Our words have so much power. That’s why the Bible is chock-full of wisdom concerning the careful use of our tongues. They truly have the power of life and death.

That being said, there’s a point at which you just have to let go and hit send. Wanted or not, there it goes. It can be scary, depending on the message. Be it a resume, break in a long silence between friends, or a hard word of truth that must be spoken. Sending an email out there is like sending a vulnerable extension of yourself into the unknown. But unlike the lamp which sits indefinitely under the basket, we must get these messages out before the opportunity is gone. Funny how in order to encourage someone, we often must take the first step of courage.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

Is there someone on your heart today? Maybe reach out and send that email or text of encouragement, whatever it might be. We have no idea the journey our words will take, but if God’s spirit is behind it, there’s no doubt that they will soar on, accomplishing His will.

Not an email person? Here are some other ideas for brightening up someone’s day:

  • Send an E-card (sort of dorky but sweet) Dayspring has a great ecard selection
  • Leave a message on social media site of choice
  • Can’t go wrong with a quick text
  • Post an old picture and tag your friend with a couple of nice words
  • Go way old school and pick up the phone
  • Go even older-school and (if you can) arrange a hang out session in person

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments below how you like to let someone know you’re thinking of them.

xo, Molly

 

Perfect conditions to trust

Perfect conditions to trust

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo is an annual challenge for people all over the world to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. We push ourselves to produce quantity over quality (for now) just to reach this arbitrary word goal and “win” Nanowrimo for the year. I am one such crazy person!

I love NaNoWriMo because it challenges me to make time for my writing even when I don’t want to. I always have an excuse for why I’m not meeting my daily goals. Too busy, too tired, too uninspired to write. This morning I was feeling particularly low about how far behind I am, when I realized something: The conditions will never be perfect. Sometimes you just have to jump in and do it even though it seems useless. Ironically, this thought hit me at the exact perfect time in my spiritual life.

Recently I had a very heavy weight on my heart. Instead of laying it at the foot of the cross, I dragged it behind me like a dead weight and suffered myself in circles. But In Isaiah, God says he LONGS for us to turn to him. He anxiously awaits for each child to approach him so that he can take over our heavy loads and lavish even more love on us. Letting down my own load and picking up His, I can go further, faster, and free of anxiety.

The conditions of our spiritual lives will never be perfect and easy. Things happen and emotions go up and down, but God’s love is unchanging. A contrite heart he will not despise, so don’t hesitate to turn to Him in your time of need.

A Trembling Courage

I had a dream that I was being pursued by a group of thieves and murderers who wanted to kill me. I wanted to share it here because I’ve been working hard at my vocation in the past weeks and I just thought it was really cool.

 I was standing on sort of a hill and I could see the tops of their heads coming at me, the were wearing black masks so I could not see their faces. Instead of turning on my heel to run, I knew that I had a duty to stand there and deliver a speech of scripture to them. My voice was shaking tremulously and I had a very surreal moment where I couldn’t believe that it was me who was standing there. My thoughts were on the Apostle Paul who did the same thing, and who did much more than just read scripture, in much more dangerous and unknown territories.

Yeah for standing up for the Lord! Even though it was only a dream, perhaps it will come true. 🙂

 Psalm 25[aOf David.

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.

I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.

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small courage

I went to dinner with a few friends from work. I generally like the people I work with but this dinner made me think twice.

The conversation began continued, and ended with malicious gossip. Not just stupid he-said, she-said, but hateful degrading comments and names. Things that were said were probably not far from the truth, and admittedly I’ve probably thought the same things in my mind, but I had never heard them voices aloud. I never allowed those thoughts to actually take root in my mind to the point where I see a tangle of mistakes and sins instead of a human being.

For these girls, a person is their past. When someone sleeps with someone else, or in this case, many “someone elses”, that person is dehumanized and labeled according to the act. If someone was known for being oblivious, they jump on it like vicious cats on fresh kill. The conversation was so angry, mean and dead, I felt awkward and strangely younger than them. All too conscious of my differences, I never felt so out of place.

I did have a choice to speak up but I sunk down and stayed out of it. I was cowardly I thought of what they might say about me after I left the table. Besides, they would never understand what it is to be freed by Jesus unless they are.  I never desired their friendship but I see them every day. After leaving, I thought about the confession prayer that Catholics say every Sunday. “I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do…”

This is a very insignificant story, but it is indicative of the very small choices we make every day to do the right thing. I wish I would have said something. I’m not sure what, but in failing this, I’ve realized what a difference it could make. What if I had just acted surprised that they were talking like that? That would have been a clue right away that the sentiment wasn’t shared. I hope that I can make myself stand out just a bit more with courage.

Have you stood up in courage for the Lord lately? Have you failed in this area? I’d love to hear your story!