WHEN OUR SOULS MAKE TIME TO HEAR AND OBEY

As much as I am grateful for this space – my blog – oftentimes, I don’t want to come into this space and share my heart.

I come and write here because it’s what God has told me to do. Not in a bossy, “you better or else” kind of way but instead, it’s that I’ve been gifted with words and experiences that are helpful and beneficial to share.

FINDING PURPOSE ON FACEBOOK

Last month, I returned to Facebook. Sort of reluctantly…

regina-mark-wedding-photos-stonebridge-blum-tx (57 of 342)
mister and me; february 2018 (this is my facebook profile picture – if you’re looking for me over there)

I get overwhelmed on that platform. So much is happening or can be happening there (and so much time is spent there) that I feel like I almost need a degree to navigate it with purpose and not lose my mind in the process. I went back to Facebook to collaborate with Hope for Widows Foundation. I’d already signed on to write two blog posts every month about my experience as a widow.

They have thousands of followers and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to connect with hurting people (ahem, soul tending) and to work on some more of my grief as I helped other women do the same. As well, it’s been beneficial for me to write for another audience outside of this one.

So, just like it’s sometimes difficult for me to write in this space – where I have all the freedom, I know the author, she’s cool – I worry I won’t say the right things over there in that space.

But here’s what happens when we obey sweet friends…

When that whisper to call that friend, to say that culturally unpopular thing or to lovingly speak that hard truth is put in your stomach. In your gut where no amount of busy can shake it. When you start to lose sleep and maybe even begin to try to do anything but the thing you were nudged to do.

You impact the world for good.

So I went to the space in the midst of the Soul Tending September challenge (which is super busy for me behind-the-scenes) and I shared this post.

vacationing in the Pacific Northwest - Spokane
these are the kinds of things I would talk to you about if we were to sit down and sip coffee together

Then I went back to the other things on my list, hoping it made a difference, but trusting that if I heard nothing, I had obeyed.

It’s only been a week, but in that short time, this post has garnered two responses. One was a spam comment about a man helping a woman save her marriage and singing his praises. (Spam reported). But the second one led to a woman reading my bio at the end of my post and reaching out to me on Facebook.

Initially, I wasn’t sure I could open up to her.

That I could believe the words I was reading. Her very vulnerable, real words sharing her story causing me to jump back to so many flashbacks of my own.

It took me a couple of days to start sharing (we’re writing back and forth via email) more transparently and even more vulnerably but it has been so good.

I share this to encourage you.

OBEYING HIM BRINGS ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS

Though you may not understand why you’re having to go through a difficult time. Or why your path looks like it does. Or maybe you’re considering quitting or giving up on your faith.

And let me just say friends – I’ve been there.

Many times. And though I’ve not ever walked away from God, I’ve not always obeyed when He’s called. I’ve flipped my priorities around and made idols of people’s opinions in my insecurities and wounding. And though my stubbornness, my rejection of what He’s called me to do has not made His love go away, I’ve made some parts of my life harder than they’ve needed to be.

I’ve opted onto the longer route.

I’ve chosen to navigate the torrential storm.

I’ve re-structured the map to take the same dead end trail.

All because I would not simply trust Him enough to obey.

I used to think it was because I didn’t trust God enough. But, as I grow, I’m realizing it’s because I don’t trust myself enough. I doubt Him and what He tells me to do because I doubt myself. I have seen my track record and look at it, pull it out and commiserate over it far more than I look to Him and His.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF – YOU ARE A PART OF THE SOLUTION

I’ve underestimated myself. I’ve allowed myself and my plans to get ahead of what He’s whispered into my soul. Then I took off running down the dead end path to nowhere (places I’ve been to before) and then shout over my shoulder for Him to catch up to me.

It’s kind of eery really. Me writing this blog post for another group of people I may never meet and having a woman be so eager to meet that she reaches out to a perfect stranger to share her story.

We watch the news and comment about things happening “out there” or “to them” oftentimes feeling overwhelmed because we don’t know how to be a part of the problem. And that’s part of the strategy of the enemy; to make us feel like the problem is so big that there’s nothing we could possibly do to make a difference.

But, that’s simply not true, you.

You are a part of the solution.

Consider this…

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

Loving God in verse 37 means spending time with Him, reading His Word, then listening and being willing to act when He tells you HOW to do what’s in verse 39.

Rather than getting overwhelmed by the news, the condition of our country, the wars you’re not fighting in, the arguments on social media about what’s right or who’s wrong – consider how you might get still, put a halt on the noise and read/listen to what God would have you do. This goes for me too. I am often caught up in the wrong things, giving energy to the noisy things, the bad news and a lot of stuff out of my reach.

I understand that opening ourselves up to God and what He might ask us to do might be frightening. Even terrifying at times. But, just because you underestimate yourself, don’t underestimate Him.

Sit with it. Listen to the sermon above (Planted and I Underestimated), invite God to whisper you your next step and watch how effective you become in loving your neighbor and helping others. You won’t be able to help it.

As you tend to your soul, you’ll have no other option but to help others do the same.

 

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