Yesterday I shared a bit of my undoing. It wasn’t a pretty time. I was hurting. Have you heard the saying that hurt people, hurt people? Yea, that was me. In my hurt I lashed out. In my hurt I blamed and acted in unrighteous anger.
And yet, God was there.
I didn’t really feel it at the time, but I know it to be true. Having walked a path of self-destruction and pain, and now seeing all the ways God has moved in my life…I can’t believe anything else. He was there. He was working.
I have shared here before that about a year ago I started seeing a Christian counselor. The first few sessions I just yelled and blamed and crossed my arms in anger. I wasn’t the problem. But at some point my heart was broken by the truth. And S.L.O.W.L.Y I started to seeing all the ways I had a hand in my current situation.
Apparently I have a chronic problem of being quick to point blame and slow to take responsibility. :/
Pride, as I said, has always been a huge problem for me. I clean up on the outside and start to look like I have it together and then I start taking credit…it is the first step to my falling. When I take back the reins in my life and stop asking God for direction, I go right off His path.
But as I started seeing my failings and started praying that God would work in my heart, things began to change. I began attending a Bible study at my church and shared my reality in that safe place. I found women who loved me for who I was, mistakes and all. They prayed for me and encouraged me. All those things I wanted to bring to a women’s ministry at church. It was already there.
Isn’t God good?!
I didn’t want to attend that study at first, even told my dear friend on a vox on the way to church that I didn’t expect anything good to come of it. (ha!) But I knew I needed something and so right before I went in I prayed a little prayer. Lord, give me just one thing I can hold onto for the next week.
And boy did He deliver.
It was the joy I desperately needed in my week. I left that space each Monday night feeling lighter. My circumstances hadn’t really changed. I was still dealing with the hurt I had caused…it wasn’t going away with one Bible study. But that group of women gave me strength to keep going each week. It was such a gift.
Weeks turned into months. Breakthroughs happened. I worked through some really hard things with my counselor and one week we talked about my passions. I wasn’t ready to get back into them at that point. I was scared and honestly exhausted. But I believed that if they were God’s call for me that one day I would pursue them again.
Then one day in Bible study we started talking about what we wanted to study next. One of the girls mentioned the book Fervent. I had read it 3 times at that point and whole-heartedly agreed. The only downfall was it didn’t have a study guide to go with it. That night something in my heart stirred.
The next morning I woke up early and in the matter of less than an hour I had 5 weeks of studies mapped out. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a guide. I nervously emailed the two women that were leading the group and shared what I had written. I was confident that I could write the rest of the week’s studies. 12 weeks in all.
They were excited and after getting our Pastor’s approval, I agreed to lead a study over the summer on Fervent.
I never felt like I was called to write Bible studies or lead them! But that morning God gave me the outline and the words to start that guide. I hadn’t written much in months and here I was pouring words onto the computer. It was all His and I was honored and excited to just be a part of it.
As we went through the book this summer I was reminded time and time again that this was His. Most weeks I prayed that He would just be present. I felt so ill-equipped to be leading at all. But each week the discussions were honest and heart-felt. There was transparency in that room and it always felt like a safe place to share.
If I had tried to write that study on my own doing, my pride would have gotten in the way. I know it would have because it is MY nature. But when God fueled it, by His nature, it was all grace. To this day I am humbled and honored that I got to be a small part of it.
And in one of those last weeks of the study I once again felt the stirring. To sit down and map out a plan for a 31 Day study on Fervent Prayer. And just as before, the words came quickly. Hundreds of words that were His.
THAT is how we know it is a passion from Him.
This time I have prayed for protection from the enemy. I anticipate his attacks and when there is discontentment in my home or my heart, I quickly call it out for what it is. And often times I will declare out loud that he WILL NOT get my heart, my mind, this time.
I don’t know what passions you are being called to. But I do know this. If it is for God’s glory you can be sure that the enemy is going to work HARD at getting you off track. As we develop a more fervent prayer life we need to be watching and aware of those times we are under attack. Pray for covering, God’s direction and for a humble heart. So that you can use your passions to bring God glory.
Lord, You are good, yes Lord you are.You walk us through difficult times, and love us even when we are filled with pride. You find us Lord, no matter where we are. Thank you for loving us that much. Fuel our passions Lord that we may spend our days using them for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.