Mustard Seed Faith

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“Because of your little faith, He told them ” For I say if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” However this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17: 20-21

I am reading through the Bible in a year with a group of ladies from #the4500, whom I talked about in my last blog post. Honestly, I didn’t want to read through a plan, especially a year long with anyone. I was determined I was just going to do my own thing, in my own time. The Lord made it clear to me that because of the season I am in, I don’t need to do anything on my own and I need the accountability. Today is day 29 out of 365 days. I’ve missed 2 nights so far, but am caught up at the moment.

Friday night (1/25) one of the readings took us into Matthew, where we read about the mustard seed. It’s a passage I have read 100 plus times over my years of growing up in church. I’ve heard multiple sermons on this passage. I’ve had people quote it to me in different seasons of life over the years. It’s not unfamiliar with this passage in any way, shape or form. However, as I read it the passage was kick in the tail for me. I think I read those two verses multiple times before I continued on to finish reading the rest of the passages for the night.

As I shared in my last post, I am in a difficult season. It’s a desert I haven’t been in, in a good long while. I don’t like desert seasons. I don’t like feeling the way I feel. Really, who does? If I am going to be completely transparent with you, I told the Lord while praying “I don’t know that I have the faith of a grain of sand at the moment.” (Why lie to the Lord when praying, because He knows what you are thinking and feeling anyway)? The Lord reminded me the mustard seed is tiny, yet a great tree grows from it. The tree is strong, even though it came from something so tiny and seemingly insignificant.

I have NO clue as to what lies ahead on several fronts. I know what I hope and pray for. I know the story I hope to write at the end of this season. I also know it’s hard to want to pray, stay in The Word and go to church, especially when you feel the Lord is being completely silent, but it’s the only way to survive this type of season. I know I have to lean in and dig in. If I try to walk through this season independently and attempt to temporarily shelf my faith, I won’t make it. I guess technically, I would eventually get to the other side, but what will I have accomplished in the meantime? If I don’t pray, if I don’t stay in The Word and I don’t go to church, how do I learn? How do I grow? Where does my support and encouragement come from? None of this is fun. None of this feels good. I’d rather stay on the mountain tops, but I am not a better or stronger person if I live there.

I’ve also had a large number of people who tell me I needed to walk some things from my past and walk this current season because I will have a story to tell. I’ll be able to look at someone else sitting in my shoes and tell them about my “But God” story. I get where they are coming from, but honestly, I would love to coast and have life be a little more vanilla. At some point, on the other side of this, I do hope something I’ve walked or something I’ve learned can be a point of hope for someone else. I do hope I can help someone else walk through a tough season. Even better, I would love to be able to walk alongside someone else and help them avoid some of the things I’ve walked.

There are so many hokey, christianese things I could insert here and make myself sound super spiritually mature, but I won’t go there. It doesn’t help me or anyone else for that matter. This current season is hard. My faith doesn’t always look the way it needs to look. Sometimes having the faith of a mustard seed seems like attempting to have the faith the size of Mt. Everest. Be ok with knowing you don’t have a perfect faith all the time. Those who look like they do are just better actors than the rest of us.

Like I said in the last post, if you are struggling, please know you are not alone. Pick up the phone or shoot me an email. If not me, then reach out to someone you trust. I’m grateful for the women who are surrounding me right now. On the hardest days, their prayers and encouragement keep me going.

The Chrysalis

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There are times in life when things seem to be going pretty steady. It doesn’t mean life is trouble free or the stressors are non-existent, but for the most part things are trucking right along. There is something to be said for these times in life because you know what to expect. Then, there are other times when you know you are waiting for change to happen. It’s not always something you can explain, but it’s just something you can feel.

I know change is coming. I have no clue as to what is coming, but I know something is about change. It’s a weird feeling. There are changes I would like to see made, but don’t necessarily know what it will look like. When you’re a Type A planner like me, it’s almost anxiety producing to know the Lord is getting ready to move, but hasn’t clued you in yet.

The Lord has been working in my life for about 2 years now. I’ve had to take several hard steps and have had hard conversations. I’ve had to be honest with myself about certain aspects of my life. For the past couple of years I have loved the analogy of the glow stick. In order for a glow stick to work it has to be broken. It’s the broken part of our lives the Lord used to minister to others.

The image I’ve had in my head the past couple of weeks is that of a caterpillar in the middle of the transition to a butterfly. While my time as a caterpillar hasn’t been bad and I’ve enjoyed many things in that time, I feel like the past two years I have been wrapped in a chrysalis. The Lord has been doing a work on the inside where no one else has been able to see it. He has put several people in life to speak truth to and over me. He has been making changes in my heart. At some point, the next chapter of my life will be me spreading my wings and soaring through whatever it is the Lord has for me.

I have now had several conversations with different people in my life and they are all telling me the same thing. It’s times like this I know the Lord is speaking to me. I know what I am hearing when I read The Word and pray, but the Lord always seems to use others to get me to where I need to be.

Last week, I attended a Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) regional dinner. This is an organization I have been a part of for almost 3 years. I have joked I am the rookie in the group because I only have a blog and have yet to complete my book. I started my book well over 2 years ago and then my laptop ate everything I had completed. Not even my techy husband could retrieve it. I got so frustrated that I didn’t write for a while after that. Eventually I wrote 2 chapters and then I froze. See the Lord has made it very clear as to what chapter 3 should be and it terrifies me. I have avoided any thoughts of chapter 3 for a good long time.

We ┬áhave walked through a lot of life in the past 9 months. I did’t do much writing during that season. My blog went silent and I didn’t even journal during that season. I am now at a place where I feel like I can take a deep breath and cobwebs are starting to clear. This leads back to the CWIMA dinner. I had 3 conversations about my book. Two of the ladies I know well and the 3rd, I met for the first time that night. As the conversation unfolded my book came up and I admitted to being stuck on chapter 3. She handed me a bracelet that says “I Must.” Yep. The Lord hit me square between the eyes with the phrase on the bracelet. “I Must,” not “I can,” not “I will get there eventually.”

“I Must.” It’s about obedience at this point. It’s no longer a matter of, “I’d really like to write a book,” or “This could be fun.” It’s about walking in obedience to the Lord. I have loved writing and the dream of writing a book has been in place since college. Back then I thought I knew what the book would be about, but I had no idea where the Lord would eventually take that dream. Here I am. Two chapters completed. Now, to write chapter 3. Only those closest to me know the topic of my book. Once it’s closer to completion, I will share more information with my blog readers.

In the meantime y’all have permission to ask me if I am writing. I will wear and look my “I Must” bracelet on a daily basis until the book is complete. If you are facing what seems to be a daunting task and the Lord has called you to it, go for it. He will lead you. It will be scary as all get out. You may falter a little, but in the end you are walking in obedience to what He has called you to do.

What is your “I Must?” What is the one thing you know the Lord is asking you to do that you keep avoiding or putting off? My Wednesday night Bible study has started going through “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer. A line that jumped out at me during the homework for the first week was “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” Y’all we can be walking in obedience in every area, but one and we are still living in disobedience. Do not put off that difficult task one more day. Start today. Let “I Must” become your battle cry until you have completed whatever the task. Find someone or a couple of people to hold your feet to the fire until it is completed. I am here with open ears and ready to cheer you on in whatever your “I Must” may be. Walk forward in obedience from this day forward. The Lord will walk ahead of you and hold your hand through it!