Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lead Where You Live

Have you ever had a word so stuck in your mind that you knew it wasn't just for you? I mean stuck like it's at the front of your mind ALL THE TIME. Yeah. This is that.

I thought I might share about this in my weekly devotional - Wednesday's Washing, but if I did I would be giving away too much info about an upcoming event we're having in our Ladies' Ministry, and I like secrets! In truth, I'm just scared, and that's largely what prompted this post!

I attended a women's conference last weekend at another church. Their Women's Ministry Leader and I became friends after I asked her to lead worship at one of our ladies' events. So when she invited me to attend their conference I did not hesitate and I brought a few of my team members with me, something I love to do.

Right at the very beginning of the conference the guest speaker encouraged everyone to just go all in - no holding back, allowing the Lord to do whatever He wanted in us during our time together. Well, I came to support my friend, hopefully get a few ideas, and I came in hopes that my team would be encouraged and inspired. But in that moment, I decided to do what I should've done before I ever entered the building. I opened myself up to receive all that the Lord had for me, and to do that I had to be all in. That should've been my first posture, but sadly it was not.

Here's a little back story which is going to help you make sense of what I'm about to share.

At our last planning meeting, my team decided to host a special night of ministry. We've done these before and its always such a sweet time in the Lord's presence. For this event, they thought it would be nice to have an outside speaker come in to share with our ladies instead of someone in-house. So I began my search, coming up empty so far, but not really sensing the Lord pointing out anyone in particular. The event is moths away but people's schedules fill up with stuff and life so quickly as I'm sure you can all relate.

Now, jump back to last weekend, sitting there on Friday night and listening to the speaker while she's giving her talk and just as sure as I'm breathing the Lord drops a bomb in my lap. "You do it." What the what? He didn't have to explain? I didn't have to ask what He was talking about. I knew, and I also knew that I probably shouldn't have prayed that prayer! (Just kidding.)

What few know about me: I come across as very social, an extrovert and the party waiting to happen, no matter where I go. That's all true to an extent but I am the world's biggest homebody! There is no more pleasant or lovely place to me than the deck in my back yard or the big comfy chair in my living room. None other! I am happiest in my space, and while I'll go up and talk to anybody (if I have to) I do not like speaking to crowds and it's my job! For years I envisioned myself speaking to the masses, but if you put me in front of them now, I might cry. I get over it after a while but the "before" is ridiculous! 

So for the Lord to tell me that I'm to be the speaker for this event, was a BIG thing. He knows me and the process I go through of calming myself down and all that entails. So He too, knows how hard this will be for me. Yet, I am always the one encouraging others to do hard things, to go farther than they've gone before, to press in, to step up, to be bold... I can't ask of them what I'm not willing to do myself, and everyone who knows me knows that I'm bold. Just look at my hair! I went from hair flowing down several inches past my shoulders to hair just a quarter inch in length, even though it took me over a year to take the plunge. All of this was going through my mind Friday night after I said, "Yes," to the Lord about speaking at our event. Then came Saturday.

Friday I had no topic and no idea on what I would speak about. I thought maybe I would share my story, but I wanted it to be from the Lord so I just asked Him to speak. 

In the midst of the speaker's message, just one word triggered something in me and it was like a faucet got turned on. That one word was my topic and the words were coming faster than I could write! I wish all of my writing experiences were that easy! I wrote for the remainder of her message and then missed the break-out session because I sat out in the lobby to finish writing. Every word, and every idea the Lord had for me to share is now written on the back of the map they gave us when we checked in at the conference, and scribbled onto a couple of sheets of borrowed paper from a friend. I look at those sheets and I am simply in awe.

The Father knows everything is there to know about each and everyone of us. He knows my desire to see my ladies and those He's put in my path, to be challenged to go farther than they thought they could, to press into God with everything they have and to do the impossible, or at least what seems impossible to them. He knows this about me because he put this desire in me, and so He is the One who pushes back and says, "Now it's your turn. Go farther, Dream bigger. Press-in when it hurts. Do the impossible!"

We need to be careful that as leaders, moms and dads, friends and confidants, that we are living what we telling others is good and right to do. Are we taking our own advice and showing up when life makes us wants to stay hidden? That whole "do what I say and not what I do" thing ain't gonna fly. People need to know we believe what we say we believe. I want to be that girl - leading where I live and blazing a trail for others so that they might believe they can do the impossible because they see if happening in my life.