Thursday, February 15, 2018

Run with Endurance


This has been a hard week for me. Emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. A sinus infection, a situation with foster care, a busy schedule, car problems...it all piled up. But the biggest issue was that I preached at church Sunday, and can I just be honest? I was SO nervous leading up to it, but when I got there, I felt completely at peace. At peace that this was exactly where I am supposed to be, and who I am supposed to be in community with. and what I'm supposed to be doing. That God had orchestrated my life up to this point to share this story, at this time, with these people. That he had anointed me to invite people into the story that he's writing with my life. 

And yet, I fell apart afterwards. I've spent the entire week "introverting" because I was completely overwhelmed with the response. I was not mentally prepared for the people who came up to say that what I shared really ministered to them, or that they were impressed with my "sermon", or that I should expect God to use me more in this way because they really see that in me. I wasn't prepared for people to see value in me in this capacity. So through all the positive comments and encouragement from people who know and love me, all I heard was Shame's voice saying "Who do you think you are? You have no right to share this. You have no right to think you ought to stand up there and speak. You have no right to be used by God in this arena."

And then I was so frustrated with myself. Frustrated for struggling. Frustrated for butting up against shame and fear. Again. Didn't I just struggle with this 6 months ago? Why is this rearing its ugly head AGAIN?! How do I finally break free of it? If #thestruggleisreal then I've been living it for the last two years. And you know what? I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the battle with shame and fear.

I got bent out of shape that this thing "popped up" again because I forgot that I am being perfected. That I am being transformed. The Christian life is not a life of mini-goals, or deadlines, or finish lines. There is ONE finish line and we are running toward it, building endurance, crossing hurdles, being  perfected, and being conformed to the image of our Father.

The track star doesn't get frustrated when he comes to another hurdle, he just keeps running and jumps over it. He doesn't stop for a pity party and cry because he already jumped over one hurdle already. He just keeps running with endurance. 

So when the storms come (not if, but when), when the lies are revealed that I believe, when I struggle with sin or shame or fear, I can rejoice because God has another opportunity to have his perfect work in me. He's revealing another area where I can be more like Jesus, NOT through will power, but through HIS power that works mightily in me.

And he did. He did work mightily in me. He showed me the lies I believe that caused this reaction to the attention after my sermon. And he's setting me free, taking me from glory to glory IN HIM. That's the only place I want to be.

Blessings,
April

PS: And because I'm trying to be brave and embrace this new season that God is calling me into, click here to listen to what I shared on Sunday. ;)

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