This afternoon, I had a major “preaching to myself” moment.
One of my absoute favoite books is by Sharon Jaynes and it’s called Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. No matter where you are at in your faith journey, GO READ THIS BOOK! It is seriously incredible. I read it, fell in love with it, and then went on to buy 5 more copies to hand out to friends, and I have heard only amazing things.
Before I get on with the book, this is a little what my morning looked like:
Late last night, I got home from an incredible, 17-day trip through Europe. It was indescribeable. I saw amazing things, felt God so many times, and grew to love so many new places.
I was all fired up this morning. I grabbed out my computer, hit the blog, and began typing away. There were so many random but important things on my heart, and I just kept letting it flow out.
God showed me a lot on my trip, and I thought maybe it could inspire someone in even the slightest way.
Eventually my typing came to a stop, and then I began back-spacing. And it went on, until there were no typed words left on the screen. I whimped out, and instead of sharing what God placed on my heart, I closed my computer and took a nap. When I woke back up, I had a slight urge to start typing again, this time about something “different” or “more useful”. Every thought began to seem just okay, nothing spectacular, and definitely not anything that would help someone else out. Even though all these things inspired me and opened my eyes to God in a huge way, I stopped seeing it that way.
Feelings of unworthiness, Fear, shame, embarrassment, doubt, and whatever else we feel at times do a really great job getting in the way of God’s will for us!!
& heck yeah this is one of those times for me. Here’s the catch!!! I didn’t even realize this though! I sat back and just assumed I had nothing of worth to share with others. Some thoughts creeped into my head and told me that it didn’t really matter what I did.
This is when I started to feel like I needed some encouragement, and I opened up this book I told y’all about! I was flipping through and just glancing at some passages I had highlighted, and I came across a completely highlighted page. I immediately remembered reading this exact story and relating to it on so many levels. A couple years later, here I am seeing this passage and needing it once again. It’s amazing.
Suited Up for More
Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this but never had the right gear.
You slip into a sleek, black wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a heavy oxygen tank on your back. One arm. Now the other. Finally, you slip a face mask over your nose and eyes and place a mouthpiece between your lips.
But rather than heading out to the ocean to explore the marvelous coral reef, vibrantly colored fish, and swaying flora, you turn around, go back into the house, fill up the bathtub, and settle in.
What a silly picture. If I were there with you, I think, I’d march right into that bathroom and say, “What are you doing in that tub? Get out there in the ocean where you belong!” But then I remember I have done the very same silliness time and time again.
So many of us are equipped to live the abundant life in Christ but don’t even know it. We suit up then settle in. We resign ourselves to living the mediocre faith void of vibrancy, wonderment, and awe. Don’t head to the bathtub with your scuba equipment on. Head out to the ocean of preordained opportunity and experience all God has for you. You already got the gear. It’s just up to you to jump in.
I am telling you, this entire book is relatable and full of truth.
After seeing this passage with the day I had, I realized that I am whimping out and heading to the bathtub when I should be out in the ocean. God gives us the gear and even has complete confidence in us. We just have to make the jump. And I wasn’t doing that. Instead of pressing that post button and confidently sharing my faith, I backspaced each and every word.
No matter what your circumstance is, take the jump.
Don’t whimp out.
Smile at strangers. Talk about your faith to people you meet. Go the extra mile. Pray for your enemies. Be joyful through the tough times. Stick up for what you believe in. Be your authentic self. Make sacrafices for others. Share that God-moment. & don’t ever head to the bathtub when God has greater plans for you!!
Have confidence & letcha light shine, friends!
p.s. – Just a reminder to GO BUY THAT BOOK! I can’t say enough good things about it.
Take Hold of the Faith You Long For by Sharon Jaynes