Tidbits of Treasure
These past few months have been very challenging for me. So many new experiences and challenges have come before me. I have had to take a close look at myself, my expectations, and my choices. God has been stretching me to step outside my comfort zone and to trust him. I am being shaped and renewed into someone new.
April 28, 2018 was the First Annual Women in Leadership Conference. Back in February, I was asked to be one of the presenters. What a challenge and growth opportunity that was. Three days before I had to present, I was still unable to pull the 33 pages of material I had been creating, together to form a 20 minute talk. Tears, fatigue and a fierce battle between doubting and wanting desperately to trust God, was erupting within. I have always been able to facilitate groups using other people’s material, but for some reason, using my own was mounting up to be a near impossible mission. I had so many ideas and avenues from which to approach my topic on perspective, that it was overwhelming. Not one area seemed to be enough.
On top of trying to put together my first ever conference presentation, I was also scheduling, organizing and coordinating a large group of individuals to prepare food and work a 36 hour weekend long event. To many this may not seem like an impossible task, but to a woman who has spent the last 18 years hiding in her home, away from the fear of letting people down or publicly displaying her inability to track time and remember what needs to be done, it was like sending me to the lion’s den. Doubt, shame and fear were vying for a place on this adventure as well. It was taking everything I had, including my sleep hours, to fight them back and walk in faith that the Lord wanted me right in this place. At this spot in my journey, I found myself like Moses, thinking, “Lord, please! Send anyone else” (Exodus 4:13 NLT). And yet, I wanted desperately to believe that I was more capable than what the enemy had me believing I was, so I forged ahead, and found beauty and strength in Him.
I have been at home raising my four beautiful angels the Lord has given me, for the last 18 years. While at home, I had lost myself and become a shell of any form of confidence. Considering I didn’t have much to begin with when I started my parenting journey, it was not hard to lose what I did have. I am learning to love Father, Son and Holy Spirit; to trust in his magnificent plans, and to replace worry with prayer. Slow to see and to hear, I sometimes find myself getting discouraged, but I am learning to see his plans at work for me. It is now, that I believe, the Lord is shaking loose the lies and teaching me about the strength of my faith and his faithfulness. He is stretching me, and I am enjoying the new adventures.
While on this journey I have also picked up a temporary job. Not a big job, but one that tests me. Through all of these challenges, I have enjoyed the experience of being able to send it all back to God, and let him lead me. I know where my help and strength comes from, and it is not from me, but from the Lord alone. For he is my maker and my designer. He is the one who has designed me for a purpose, who “will not let [me] stumble; the one who watches over [me] will not slumber” (Psalm 121:2-3 NLT).
Placing each day and all my doubts fears and challenges onto his shoulders leaves me with a greater peace than when I would try to do it on my own. I am part of new adventures daily and new challenges. Sometimes a day may still hold tears of frustration, fear and doubt; but I am mostly learning to lean fully on the one who loves me deeply. I don’t know if there will ever be a complete freedom from the low self-esteem I have grown accustomed to, I pray there will be. For now, I will keep my eyes on the Lord and commit daily, to renew my mind and focus on the truth of Christ and acknowledge that worry, only steals the joys of today, but does nothing about the sorrows of tomorrow. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34 NLT).