Before I rip open my heart and lay bare to you what’s inside, there is something I would ask that we all keep in mind, and it’s this: grace abounds. Grace abounds to the woman who is trying to figure out how to mother when she didn’t have a mother to teach her. Grace abounds to the woman who has a fire in her soul to live for God and work for His glory, but has nobody who has gone before her. Grace abounds. Grace is not only a bandage for our wounds, but it’s also the cleansing agent we need to heal from our past and transform us into greater Christlikeness so that we can move into our glorious future.
The call on your life has more to do with becoming who you were created to be than what you can do for God.
Let me take you back to ten years ago. A time when cellphones were optional, laptops were only for high-powered business executives, and social media was relegated to MySpace (I still don’t fully understand what that was, although I did have a page for a hot minute.) It was a time where we had more time, but the tradeoff was a lack of accessibility.
I was 36 years old, and God wouldn’t leave me alone. I was as reluctant as a minister of the Gospel could be. God was asking me to be an entrepreneur of sorts. I was convinced I had no business creating a ministry (also known as a business about God’s business.) Didn’t God know I had no one? I had no friends, mentors, or family to show me the way.
(This is why the She Works His Way community is so powerful and necessary. Thank you, Michelle and team! Together, we all can do whatever He asks, and we can do it well!)
Eventually, I gave in and gave God my “yes” to starting a ministry for the body of Christ concerning actual bodies– the place where God makes His home. It was just the kind of God-weird sort of thing that had to be God-wired, because no sane person would take the risk of looking like such a fool.
“Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!” – 2 Samuel 6:22 (NLT)
Ladies, I am here to tell you that I got lost. I got clobbered. My family suffered some casualties. Slowly, day-by-day, month-by-month, year after year, I got swallowed up in a sea of productivity. I gave my “yes” to God in a time when work was becoming easier to access at all hours of the day. Within the ten-year time span of my “yes,” the consumer-friendly, public consumption of technology was born and grew, and grew up FAST! I went from a woman who had no real use for a cellphone, didn’t own a laptop, and had an e-mail that she barely checked, to a woman who always had her phone within reach, reaching for her cellphone like a chain-smoker does a pack of cigs.
Slowly and insidiously, technology grew from being a helpful assistant to a beast of burden on my back.
This is where grace comes in. When I was tempted to feel shame, God refused to let me slip into a pit of despair. As I felt buried in the avalanche, He quickly handed me His grace goggles to look through. Looking back now, I can see that I was a pioneer. I was accomplishing the dream and fulfilling the call to help anyone with a body that had access to the world wide web. In technology, God handed me a gift and tool for His mission, a good thing to help me accomplish more in less time and to reach many people. Together God and I (and my fantastic team) have created much goodness for God’s glory because of living in such a time as this– the online era. He didn’t make a mistake in choosing me. God knew what He was getting when He called.
The problem was, I left no margin, no space between what I did and who I was. Instead of receiving the gift of time that technology provides, I filled that time with more doing. The truth is, if we don’t fill our time with something more to do we might actually have time to be still and know. We will have time to sit in our skin, feel what we are feeling, and think about what we are thinking. God had always purposed what I do to be secondary to me knowing Him in greater and deeper ways. It is in knowing Him more that I meet my true self, a self no longer a slave to fear.
Many of us need to learn to sit with the hurts, fears, and lies of the past. We need to acknowledge the present moment that is driving us into the captivity of productivity, keeping us from entering our promised land. The promised land is where fruitfulness replaces productivity and we grow at the pace of grace, a land that God continually cares for.
“The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” –Deuteronomy 11:10-12
Today I am calling all our collective bluff. We are all capable of getting carried away into this kind of captivity, a kind of enslavement marked by a lack of truly understanding who we are in Christ and what He is calling us to do.
Grace is not frenetic, anxious, or busy. All of our uneasy thoughts and feelings masquerade as kind taskmasters; helpful for accomplishing the next task but having no intention of ever letting us be free. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, things get built that last and people stay free.
There is healing to be done in all of us constantly. It is a healing that no “hearted” Instagram posts, Facebook “likes,” or happy e-mail responses can fix.
I pray that today this post saves at least one good-hearted woman with a God-sized dream from making the same mistake I made. I want nothing more than to see all the sons and daughters of God go all the way, finish the race marked out before them, and to finish it WELL. Do all that you can to leave lots of space for you and God to enjoy the journey as you enter the land He is giving you. You will know you have entered that space when it initially causes you some anxiety and fear. But you, dear heart, are the brave and courageous one– the one who shall be free.