No Thanks, I’ll wait…

I remember sitting in a hospital waiting room as a 28 year old, feeling nauseous, weak and lightheaded… basically a tangled up mixture of drama. Oh, I cannot fail to mention that I was trembling…..I did tell you I almost fainted right? The deal was, I had JUST finished trying my best to watch one of my close friends deliver her baby daughter. Everybody can’t handle that. I really tried, but the expression on my face eventually scared HER!!! She went from breathing on cue with the help of her husband, to reaching out for me exclaiming, “Kelsi, its okay! I’m okay! Kelsi! Kelsi! I think she needs to sit down!!!”

I tried folks, I really did try! 

As if that wasn’t eventful enough… what happened next was an episode that replayed in my mind for years. As I was minding my business and trying to collect myself in the waiting room… [did I mention I was minding my own business?]  A woman seated across from me asked why I was there. When I explained to her that I was waiting to see my friend’s newborn in the nursery, she asked how old I was. I answered. She then asked how many children I had. I answered. Next, she yells to her mother (who was sitting right beside her), “Mama!!! She’s 28 years old and ain’t got no kids!!!” 

Normally, that would have been funny except for the fact that I was a young woman suffering from the “almost thirty, but I’m not married and have no children” blues. Now, ten years later, I still haven’t married, nor had children, but feel more encouraged and hopeful about my present and future than I did then. It’s all a matter of perspective. When you believe better, you feel better. 

There are a few things I know now that I hadn’t surrendered to then:

1. God has a plan for me. 

His plan for me involves timing, lots of detail, and relationships. Everyone whom God sends into your life works into the framework of purpose He has orchestrated for you. The same way there are people who work WITH God’s plan for your life, there are those who work AGAINST God’s plan for your life. Upon understanding this, you realize that each time you allow your carnal desires to trump your DIVINE destiny, you derail God’s timing and open the door to distraction. Allowing yourself to become distracted while God is leading, is a lot like missing an exit on a highway. Your thought may be that you will just get off at the next one, but often times the opportunity to “turn around” is much farther away than you would have bargained for and you typically don’t know how long until after you’ve missed the opportunity to take your exit.  You cannot be out of HIs timing and in His will at the same time. His timing IS His will.

 

2. His plan is BEST.

When you surrender to His plan, your life won’t look like everyone else’s. Why would it, when it is written that His people are a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9)? Those who are of the world chase their dreams. We chase Him and He gives us our dreams. There is a difference. You may wonder why you have had to endure with patience what others seem to obtain effortlessly and sometimes ruthlessly, but with God, time waited is NEVER time wasted. Anytime you want something badly enough to disobey God to obtain it, that object or desire IS your god, an idol. I promise His plan is BEST. Single His way today is much better than married your way any day! 

There are people around the globe who thank me for my ministry. It is humbling and I am clear that the revelation in what He gives me to teach and preach wouldn’t exist had I not been postured to receive it. It has been and continues to be a sacrificial posture. If I said it has been all smiles, I would be lying. Most of the time I don’t understand. Most of the time I’ve wondered why. Most of the time I am stretched. I am not special in the sense we are all called to some level of sacrifice, simply because we are all called to LOVE. God’s love is not a selfish love. 

I am quite confident that the marriage and family I will receive by way of obedience to God will be much more fulfilling and miraculous than what I would have mustered up out of natural desire. We are not called to natural, we are called to SUPERnatural.  The hard truth is many people “want”, but fewer people “WAIT”. Know that waiting and wanting are NOT the same thing. One can have “wanted” a husband for fifteen years, but only have waited for three months. Every time you take matters into your own hands, your “wait clock” stops until your hands are empty again. While we “waiters” aren’t the majority, we are NOT alone. People often ask how I remain encouraged after waiting “SOOOOOO long”. The answer is simple; I decided to believe God, therefore, I believe it will be well worth the wait.  Each day’s trust, patience and obedience is my offering. It’s an offering I can only render with His help. 

Be Encouraged and Confident in the fact that He has NOT forgotten you (Philippians 1:6)!!! 

Far Away Heart

I received a phone call the other day that rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t let on and I made sure to give the proper “christian response”. When the conversation ended, I realized that I felt a “certain way” about what had just been said to me and essentially, what I was feeling in my heart did not line up with the “mature” response that came out of my mouth. At that moment, I realized I had a choice; I could get back to the work I was doing before I was interrupted, or I could take advantage of the moment and use it as an opportunity for growth…. to the Father I went! URGENT CARE!!! THIS was an integrity issue!

I confessed that what I said and what I felt were at opposite ends of the spectrum. I was telling myself, that I didn’t care, but the spirit of truth inside of me wouldn’t allow me to believe the lie.  I also asked Him to show me the root cause of the “hurt feelings” I was experiencing.  I couldn’t say that the person was “wrong”… I mean, surely they weren’t having a great “do unto others…” moment, but to say they were flat out WRONG would be a stretch. Some people just haven’t progressed very far in the “do unto others what you would want done to you” movement- but that’s none of my business.  This wasn’t the time for me to scrutinize anyone else’s actions, I needed to get straightened out myself. I wanted to make sure that I got this “lie” out of my system. My friends, it isn’t enough for us to “do” what we feel God wants us to do, we must AGREE with Him regarding what He wants us to do. The first step is to obey, and the final step (with a process in between) is to AGREE.  Can you see how just “doing” is based on performance, but BEING (heart alignment) is about real transformation and holiness?

Too often,  we do and say the right thing so we can get the credit for doing and saying the right thing. We often give the deep Christian response when our hearts are actually far from it. HELP US LORD! This gulf, disparity, contrast, whatever you wish to call it-should bother us. If we know what the correct action is, then we must also want it to be the TRUTH that is residing in us as well. It is imperative that we take our stinging hearts to the Father immediately.

This was a good lesson for me. I don’t want to merely keep things right horizontally (between myself and others), but more importantly I need things to be right vertically, (between myself and God). I couldn’t rest with the lie in my chest!  I simply asked Him to “fix this darkness that isn’t lining up with Your virtue”.

Think about it….how many times have you said “oh, it’s fine” or “no, I’m okay” while secretly gritting your teeth? When you process the situation, you come up with every logical reason you SHOULD (in all of your deep maturity) feel fine, despite……., but the truth is that you don’t quite feel FINE. One aspect of worshipping Him in truth is OWNING OUR STUFF, seeing it the way He sees it and being willing to take it before Him to be dealt with.

Today, I’m pretty thankful for the phone call simply because I am better because of it!

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and  lead me in the way everlasting. ” ~Psalm 139:23 & 24 AMP

The Dish On My Ditch…

How quickly I fell tonight…into a religious ditch that is. I was reading the book of Hebrews and when I got to the fourth chapter and the second verse, I was ready to just lie on my back and scream. The Amplified version reads: “For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness)…” That’s how far I got when I felt the pain. It was this part…. “ABSOLUTE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS POWER, WISDOM AND GOODNESS”

I immediately realized AGAIN, the deficiency in my trust. Would I think more than once about the next months bills, if I really had confidence in His commitment to provide for me? And that word “goodness”; do I really believe ALL OF THE TIME that He is as good as I confess that He is? If so, why do I often find myself “casting down imaginations” when I ponder how I will fare in all of this? The wonderful thing about my prayer closet is that I don’t have to sound deep. I don’t have to feel the pressure of knowing the answers. In my closet, I have the sobering assurance that (as stated in verses 12 & 13 of the same chapter), whatever is floating around in this heart of mine, He already knows and has analyzed it. I am naked and exposed before Him. 

As I continued to read and ponder entering into His rest and “ceasing from the weariness and pain of human labors”, I was challenged with the question- “What makes you valuable?”  Can you hear me slipping on the pebbles? Do you hear the sliding? This is where I started stumbling. 

Immediately, I journaled, “When the words I speak infuse someone else with hope in Christ- when pressure is alleviated and faith is restored because of a prayer I prayed. You using me gives me value.” 

Well, at least I caught my mistake as soon as my proverbial rear end, hit the proverbial ground!!

My efforts don’t make me valuable! Even the most Godly, yielding and surrendering [to the Lord] efforts!!! When the Holy Spirit is at work in me, it is the HOLY SPIRIT at work- HIS ministry- HIS credit. Whether we do well or do wrongly, we are valuable to Him. We are valuable because He said we are. And because He said we are, He sent His sinless, begotten Son to die for us. There is NOTHING we can do to earn such justification! Inversely, there is nothing we can do to change His intentions or cause our value to decrease. 

Unfortunately, many of us learn the disciplines of religion before we learn RELATIONSHIP with God. This was the case with me as well. I followed the rules, because I was supposed to. I wanted to be a good Christian. I was so strangled by the law that in every way I fell short, whether through attitude or action, I condemned myself and loathed my weaknesses. Over time, I began to ease up on punishing myself and I would just ask Him to help me love Him more. I knew that as my love for Him grew, my heart would change. My attitude and behavior would change as a result of me wanting to please Him as opposed to gaining His approval- the approval I already had when Jesus died on the cross. 

Have you ever desperately looked for something that you had in your hand (keys) or on your head (glasses)? Exasperated, you realize that what you have been looking for was on your person the entire time!! What a waste of energy and effort!!! The enemy of your faith would have you waste a tremendous amount of time contending for something that already belongs to you. So, before you tire yourself out trying to earn something that already belongs to you, let me remind you that you are VALUABLE and you are WORTH IT!!! May your efforts follow those truths as opposed to you trying to make those truths follow your efforts. It just doesn’t work the latter way! 

Even if you stumble like I did tonight, just get back up again! Just BELIEVE CORRECTLY again!!!

You are valuable because He said so!!!