Growing in Confidence

How do you grow in confidence? That was my word. Confidence. As I sat at the Global Leadership Summit almost two weeks ago, I was challenged as Craig Groeschel delivered the final message on leadership. He told people to pick one word from his list of five areas to focus on over the next year. It’s overwhelming to pick too many areas to improve. So choose one. One area to increase your capacity over the next year.dawn-sunset-person-sunrise-medium

I chose an area to increase my capacity. My capacity as a leader. As a thought leader. As a ministry leader. As a family leader. As a person. Confidence. Confidence was my word. How do I grow in my confidence and expand my influence and capacity over the next year?

“Rise up. Rise up.” Those were the words from God. To me. “Rise up because I have called you and I will equip you. Rise up and walk. Rise up and go.”

Yet here I am. Over two years later after receiving that message. I’m still here. Wait. No to the “Yet”. There is no yet. I have stood up in the confidence of Jesus. Not of my own doing. I moved to a different state. I started a new ministry. I have created. Not of my own doing, but of the one who has called me and equipped me to do so.

Do I stop here? Do I rest here? Is that it? No. Because I feel called to more. I know in my brain that He will equip me for every good work. Yet I often sit in fear. Fear of other’s words. Fear of other’s opinions. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of not being good enough.

Girl, read what you just wrote. Read what He wrote through you. Read what He just wrote to you. No to the “Yet”. There is no yet. There is no pause. There is no pause to wait for confidence to begin. There is no pause to wait for life to start. There is no yet. There is no yet to sit in the fear. There is no sitting in the fear. Don’t hold still in the fear. Don’t be paralyzed in the fear. Don’t hide in the fear.

Perfect love drives out fear. He is perfect love. Perfect. He perfectly loves me. He perfectly calls me. He will perfectly equip me. With. Out. Fear.

It’s okay to see the fear. It’s okay to feel the fear. It’s okay to wrestle with the fear. It’s okay to face the fear. Because when I feel I can’t go on I get to ask my perfect Heavenly Father to show me the Angels. Show me your armies who are fighting for me. Show them to me lined up, shoulder to shoulder, ready to battle. For me. Battle for me. Because there is no yet. No waiting. No idling. No more trying to do this on my own. No more trying to build confidence in my own strength. I can’t. I surrender. I surrender to the “Yet”. I wave the white flag to the “Yet”. I stop living in the “Yet”. I am not the “Yet”. No more living in the pause.

I am done waiting. I am done waiting to step into confidence. I am done waiting to step into the life You have called me to. Because You have already promised to do more than I can even dream to ask for or imagine. I know you will equip me. I know you will make the way. I know You will bless this. Because You have ordained this. You have said it will be so.

So I say no to the “Yet”. No to the waiting. No to the pause. No to the fear. You are no longer welcome in my life. In this moment, right now, I step forward into the confidence you graciously give and stand in confident expectation to be used by You.

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Finding My Voice

I have struggled in the past with having a voice.  There have been times in my life I wasn’t allowed to express my anger, or the fear beneath it.  I also was very timid in sharing my deeper views or feelings.  I think some of it goes back to that “Not Good Enough Principle”. If I don’t measure up, why would people want to hear my views or thoughts?   If I didn’t measure up, or wasn’t allowed to be angry, how could my other feelings be valid? Why would someone want to know them?

I think at times in my younger years I was sort of a shape shifter. I can get along with a lot of different people in a vast amount of situations. I can play the peacemaker to make sure everything is okay for everyone. Everyone except me.   Because I didn’t have the voice to stand up and declare what I felt in the situation. Or what I needed out of the situation. Because of my insecurities I held back. So I often ended up in situations I wasn’t okay with, or in situations that felt horrible. And that’s what remains. The bad feelings. And those bad feelings make a map in our minds and hearts. I get in new situations and start to experience those same feelings. Then I’m triggered right back to original situations where I was hurt. Where I had no voice.

I went through a season of healing those old situations.  Deactivating the map, so to speak.  It’s an interesting process. As I think about a hurtful situation I speak out loud. Saying the words out loud has made such a huge difference. I speak what I feel, how I was hurt, and what I need. Then I speak what I needed to hear from the other person or people. After this, I look for Jesus in the situation and talk to Him directly. I tell Him how I hurt, what I need and He usually answers me right away. It’s a pretty amazing process.

It might sound a bit odd to you, but it’s helped me gain my voice.  It helped me stand and embrace the calling He placed on my life.  I encourage you to try it too. Get out of your head. Stop the inside chatter that will drive you nuts. Speak the words. Speak the truth.  Speak them to yourself. To offenders. And don’t forget to tell Jesus. He is right there.  He already knows what’s going on, but He wants to hear it. He loves us so much and doesn’t want to see us hurting and in pain. So voice it. Voice it to Him. You have a voice and He wants to hear it.

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Quit Running and Wait

“Quit running from Him and the plans He has for you. Trust Him.

Find His heart and there you’ll find me waiting for you.”

I heard this message several months ago. I was dealing with another situation and at that time these words were for someone else. They loved God, they still do. But they were running hard. And fast. And far. It made me sad that I had words I could have spoke into the situation. But at the time those words would have fallen on deaf ears.

Over the months I’ve continued to pray for them. Every time they cross my mind I ask God to bless them. There is distance between us now. They were running so far I didn’t want to get lost in their mess. I knew I had to seek God myself and stay on my path, so I prayed for them from afar. I never delivered this message to them.

In the meantime my path has taken some crazy turns. I had to cling to Jesus. I followed God on the path He revealed to me. I see how I’ve been so busy the last several years that I haven’t been able to just sit. Sit at the feet of Jesus. He has brought so many great opportunities my direction, but have I missed out on some of those? Or others I wasn’t even aware of because I was so busy. Busy chasing kids, a home, a career, an education. I’ve trusted God, but have I really been seeking to sit at His feet. Have I been seeking His heart?

Wait. Sounds familiar. Waaaaiiitttt….back to the message. Ruh-roh. Was that for me too? !!! I’ve felt like I’ve really been seeking Him, but I was running fast. And thinking back to the time I received the message, well, there have been areas in my life that I had kept from Him. And I’ve been running circles around the plans and the purposes. Waiting for the perfect time. Planning it all out. Waiting until tomorrow when the time might be better. Doh.

As leaders there are times we have to press forward hard and fast to accomplish our goals.  But we can’t press so hard that we’re leaning into our own strength rather than receiving the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  Even in the busy season we must create margin in the chaos to just sit at the feet of Jesus.  To be still and listen for His voice.

I’ve slowed down. I caught my breath. I trust Him. I trust Him so much. So now it’s time to really find His heart. “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.” (1 John 3:21-22) I believe in His Son, I know He’s holding my hand and walking beside me. I trust the Spirit He gave me who fills me and stands behind me.  And knowing that, I can confidently walk in the direction He has called me.

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