This legislative session came and went faster than our other three. As I have reflected on these last 150 days, I have asked myself what the difference was - what made the months seem shorter even if the days were long. My kids are older, so it’s easier to travel with them and without them. They are more independent, so when push came to shove and I needed a break just to catch my breath, they could be occupied by themselves.
Our support group is deep, and we are so thankful for our little village that makes it all happen. The travel, the mental game, the spiritual warfare - they are here for all of it and without them, this job would be so much harder.
And although both of these things may have contributed to making session feel shorter than the others, I truly believe that the difference maker here was that these last five months were filled to the brim with some of the greatest lessons God has ever whispered over me, and I wanted to share them with you - in hopes that they will encourage you as they have me.
I know I talk about this all the time, but if you’re new around here I want to pull you into my circle. I am constantly paralyzed when it comes to walking out obedience as God tells me to go. I instead wait - not necessarily until I have it all figured out, but until He has given me all the details.
How is this going to work?
What is this going to look like?
What time do I need to show up?
Let me be really vulnerable here. I am in the process of writing a book. There, I said it. It’s scary and hard, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what God has given me to do in this season. I have no idea what’s going to happen with it, whether or not it will come to life or if it will be a catalyst to something else, but instead of waiting around, when I sensed a ‘go’ in my spirit I started to walk forward - albeit slowly. Writing one sentence at a time, one paragraph after another.
In April, I took some meetings that were exciting. I testified publicly about my abuse. I was interviewed for some news stories and showed up on twitter for the first time. I mean, it was crazy and exciting and real vulnerable.
But I learned it’s okay to GO. No, not only is it okay to go - but that God wants us to go, especially when He’s telling us to. It’s okay if you don’t know what it’s going to look like, or if you’ll be successful in the world’s eyes or if you will fall flat on your face. Obedience is the key. The walking is the only part of your job, and when I realized that - it brought me so. much. freedom!
So, where is God telling you to go?
This is the other half of go, right?
Jesus told the disciples “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” Matthew 10:26-27
This is what I will spend the rest of my life doing: speaking into the light that the Lord has whispered in the darkness.
Everything that has happened this session affirmed this mission for me over and over again. God has so graciously given me freedom, healing me from the baggage I had written across my forehead. I know now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are men and women out in the world that need this same freedom - whether it’s from abuse or any other sort of bondage. And if I can be a vessel for God to use in freeing people from guilt and shame and regret, I will spend every waking hour doing that. Telling you of the freedom Jesus has so graciously and patiently given me, knowing He can and will do the same for you too.
What does God want you to tell others?
It’s no secret that this session came with its own share of ups and downs. There were several days we had security staked out at our house, and we each had countless ugly messages in our inboxes. There were many moments that were not so pretty.
But God showed me throughout these last five months that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. Not because I am strong, of course, but because He is.
I received an anonymous letter in the mail this session that was ugly and accusatory. At first, I thought to myself, this is it - this is when I hit that downward spiral that I was concerned might happen. The lies started running wild through my mind, right?
You aren’t good enough.
Why would you have ever thought you could make a difference?
You’re doing more damage than good.
You’re messing everything up.
Shame on you.
I sat in tears with the letter in my hand, took a deep breath and prayed. “God, show me what is true.” And He did.
He showed me that the good so often outweighs the bad. That we are indeed in spiritual warfare and this letter - this one moment - cannot take me out or derail the mission He has for me. That there will be naysayers and that’s okay. That I will never be able to make every happy or proud of me, and that too is okay. My job, along with going and telling is to trust that He is the God He claims to be - that I’ve experienced Him as.
Where do you need to trust God?
Oh, waiting. This seems contradictory to the first lesson of ‘go’, right? But actually that’s the thing here - that it’s NOT contradictory, but instead complementary.
So often going is coupled with waiting. He tells us to wait in some things and go in others. And even when we start walking, there is waiting there too! It’s as if it’s always - waiting - for us around the corner (see what I did there)? So what do you do with your wait?
In the waiting, we seek God. That’s it. Bottom line, end of the story, drop the mic. We read scripture, we pray, we worship, we praise. We journal and sit in His presence. And when you feel like He’s silent, you do it some more. I’m not telling you’ll hear an audible voice, but there have been many times in my walk that I have sensed in my spirit to wait. The most powerful lessons are learned in the waiting. Go, Tell and Trust were learned in the waiting.
What if we made waiting a practice in our life? What if we decided that every decision to be made first came with a waiting period where we laid it down? Gosh, that would take care of so much drama in my life, right?
What is God telling you to wait on today?
Gosh, these lessons are monumental in my life right now - markers for what has been and what’s to come. I hope that you’re taking this Sunday to look at your own marker stones of lessons and letting them seep into all the facets of your lovely and beautiful life.