The longer I walk with the Lord, the more certain I am of this fact: God uses what we already know to speak to us. I have heard this subject preached about in several sermons over the years, and they have all been both eloquent and moving. Each pastor has taken his or her own spin on the context and made me firmly WANT to believe that God does use the skills and resources I am already familiar with to convey messages to me. However, it’s been difficult for me to believe this because sometimes I feel like God is asking me to climb a mountain without any tools at all!
One woman’s message was so heartfelt and powerful that I literally think about her and the story almost ever day. I think of her when I am imagining my future in ministry, because it was during that women’s conference (Celebration’s Shine, 2008) that God revealed a little about His calling for me. Particularly during her message, I realized a major part of my calling was to minister to women. Her name is Deborah Cobrae, and she is Senior Co-pastor at The Rock Church in San Bernadino, CA. She spoke humorously about a traumatic time when a large snake made it’s way into her home and how God provided her with duct tape as her tool for removing it. You’d have to hear the story on your own because I’m not doing it justice in my words. Suffice to say, it was funny and moving. Her point was that God used what she was familiar with to rescue her from the attack. This happens in the Bible as well. Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, is used by God to take down Sisera with a tent peg and a hammer. These are tools she is very familiar with because she is a tent-maker. God didn’t ask her to use a bow and arrow or a blade; He provided her with the tools she used EVERYDAY to make a living. (Judges 4:17-24) He does this with us as well, and this has only become crystal clear to me in the past few days.
I just started my lesson on Romeo and Juliet with my ninth graders. Being the fourth year I’ve had the privilege to do this, I am always amazed at how excited I get each time I explain the material to a new class of freshmen. Each year I anticipate the student’s reactions and each year I am so excited when they latch on to the text and ask anticipatory questions about what will happen next! It’s my favorite lesson to teach, by far. I don’t know if it’s because it’s usually the one lesson my students connect with on a higher level, or because I adore the language and diction of William Shakespeare. Whatever the reason, this is one of my passions!
In the midst of teaching this year’s students how to read a script, God has revealed to me that He is ready to do some major healing in a specific area of my life. The mere IDEA of this healing physically hurts me, let alone how painful it will be to actually go through it all. I’ve asked God how to even begin to walk this journey when I feel so ill-equipped and unprepared. I had no idea what steps to take or how to even start to walk, but God sent me a message, and it’s very clear what first needs to be done. I need to change the personal dialogue I have with myself. In other words, God is telling me it’s time to flip the internal script that I recite in my mind on a regular basis. It’s time to change my internal monologue from words of condemnation to words of affirmation. It’s time to start playing the leading lady in my own life and not that doughty, unloveable friend. I’ve always been the star, but I’ve never allowed myself to accept the label. It’s now time. I’m going to mentally take on the role, and my thoughts and actions are going to exude this. I’m going to start memorizing my new lines today.
Now, this is language I can understand. God used my resources to speak volumes to me. I hear you Lord, and I accept the part you’ve cast me in. Thank you for believing in me, and for knowing me so well.
For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, I want to thank you and let you know how much you really mean to me! I also want to make you aware that going forward, I plan to get deeper than I ever have before. I am going to document as much as I can about what God revealing to me and taking me through, and I hope you can handle it. I learned a while back that I am not the only one who struggles with the issues I struggle with, and my hope is that God will birth my ministry through this very blog, and people’s lives will be changed for the better because of my ability to be transparent and bare. It’s time I take off the mask and let the world see that though God blesses me every day, there are still struggles. I read in Teri Washington’s book “Taking Off the Mask” that it’s very common for we Christians to walk round with a mask on covering up the true, hurting self. Well, I feel prompted to take my own mask off and allow people who are new to the faith or who are struggling with similar issues to see that they are not alone. In my embarrassment and rawness, they can grow. That, to me, will be worth it. I just have to trust God to equip me for the journey. In truth, I am quite certain He already has!