These last few weeks I just feel....tired.
Between my husband being gone for a week with the youth at camp and taking care of the kids alone, VBS and training my energy is sapped.
I am co-leading an online study with (in)courage with Beth Moore's Children of the Day. It is so much good information but I have gotten behind and so then I feel like I am drowning and not really learning because I am just trying to keep up for appearances sake and that just feels fake, so I hope to get back to it soon and really take it all in as I have time.
Needless to say my "set aside" God time has been lost in the shuffle of chasing a 10 montho old and training for a marathon, neither a small task ;)
But I have found God is so faithful to me and although I am not learning probably nearly as much as I could be He is still speaking to me so clearly, I know it because it's the same message every where I go.
This idea that faith is activated as we move into it, not as something we sit around and wait for.
I have been listening to "Sun Stand Still" by Steven Furtick on my long runs and it's been so good. Probably need to listen to it again as "running brain" only lets so much in at a time. For all the amazing things that were said in the book the thing that the Lord is over arching to be the theme in this time is, you step, I'll work.
Even this morning I listened to a random sermon from Elevation and it was from the series "waiting room" and talking about what are we waiting for. That so many things God has already given to us and yet we sit around hoping He will make them happen in our lives. He referred to the prodigal son story and the older brother who was whining about "you never killed a goat for me and my friends" and the father tells him, you have access to all I have. The subtitle of the message was "go get your own goat".
It's really a practical thing that God is ingraining in my heart that is not lost on me in my training for a marathon. I started training for this thing on faith completely. I dislocated my knee twice at the beginning of this year and honestly, it never would have entered my head to even THINK about training for a marathon while I was sitting in that ER room or in those physical therapy sessions.
But when the chance arose, I took it. I think it has more meaning in my emotional journey of healing than I even understand, a way that God has taken my mom and I full circle in many aspects. I felt immediately that running a marathon with her was a chance from God that I needed to take the opportunity to pursue, even if the chances of that happening seemed slim.
Many things shot up in the beginning, my knee was really very sore for the first few weeks, but I just ran through it hoping I wasn't making it worse. My husband applied for a job in California which meant we might not be here for the race, but I paid for it anyway. I remember on one of my earliest runs just talking to the Lord, like, "OK here we are, you and me, and I need you to get me through one small run at a time" the word "Audacious" was brought to my attention. The AUDACITY to believe that I am under a year from having my second son by c-section, running on a recovering dislocated knee, well over weight seems illogical, but isn't that what faith is all about? I thought if I could get one word on my running bib like last time (which I chose Persevere) this time I would choose Audacious.
And so, one foot in front of the other, one run at a time, I finished them. My knee stopped hurting, training worked out (its hard to get so many runs in with kids not in school and working husbands) we didn't get the job in California, and last weekend I prayed again that I would be strong to the end, and I was.
Not to sound cocky, as you all know I don't perceive myself to be some elite runner, but it's like I have this confidence in the back of my mind. To put it in a phrase, "it ain't no thang". HA! But I really know it's God, how else could it not be? And here we are working on me, again. Him showing me things, prodding me, encouraging me, teaching me.
This idea that He already has everything I am asking from Him, but I have to step out.
I couldn't train for a marathon if I hoped God would just instill the ability in me as I walked up to the race on August 17th. I have to try, start in the little runs and work up to the bigger runs.
Why is it so simple for me in that, yet hard in other areas? Perhaps because I have already conquered the fear of the unknown in already running my first marathon. I know it's hard, but I know training makes it easier. I know what it's like, what to expect, how to manage my fueling, the rest and food it takes, etc etc. I have overcome the challenge that lies in ones mind that its impossible, I have done it, so I now know, it's not.
He is trying to take these same principles and ask me to trust Him in other ways, in other areas of freedom that look impossible, in dreams that I am afraid to step out in because I don't want to fail.
I think one of my greatest fears is being wrong about myself, that I am not capable, but God doesn't ask me to be capable, He asks me to step and trust. So whatever I know to do next, do that thing.
It reminds me of when I first started going on mission trips in high school and my mom was always worried about how we would pay for them. The money always came in from somewhere. The man at the parents meeting for Guatemala said, "God calls us to go, not raise money, so if He wants them there, it will come".
Waiting is active. I am waiting to be ready to run a marathon, but I don't just stand around to do that, I get my butt on the trail and do my part and expect God to meet me there with his power, and He has.
"Taking a step of faith" is an old phrase we like to throw around but it's true, sometimes we just have to step out. And most the time, it's not about these big career changes or life altering events, it's the little mundane things that God wants our whole hearts in that we hold onto certain we can never change them, that it's just "who we are", but God is not satisfied with that. The Holy Spirit is here to sanctify us, change us, and ultimately give us the freedom Jesus died for us to have.
I can say with all certainty that I am changed because of God's work in my life. I have a freedom now that I didn't have before, but here is the thing, I believe I have had it for some time, I just didn't walk in it. I instead listened to all the lies that filled my head constantly. I became their slave bowing before them like they were my task master, believing the accusations against myself and others, that in fact no one was coming to save me, there was no freedom to be had.
But then, I chose to step, I got UP.
I told that bully that I allowed to live in there to shut the hell up (sometimes its necessary) and start literally taking those thoughts captive, I mean lock them down. They weren't going to run my mind, and therefore my life, anymore.
I didn't know it was going to get better, I just knew I couldn't stay in that place, and so I stepped.
This is what God is showing me again. There are some things that we don't know for sure in life will work out the way we dream or envision. We don't know how it will get worked out, smoothed out, put in place, and we can not know any of the ending without having a beginning.
Faith is stepping out not knowing where you are going, where it leads, what happens next, but it's trusting He is good and He wants to show up for us. We've had access to the goats all the time, we just have to get us one!