Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
The very first words I share with you as a member of the Encouragement Café (EC) family may seem ordinary, but my Lord JESUS knows that they are big steps for me! I have been a little bit more UNBROKEN since the day I met the EC team that visited Virginia in May. I have felt a little bit more UNDEFEATED in my ability to believe in the talents that other people see in me. I introduced myself as an artist, OUT LOUD, to someone I met the other day, and I BELIEVED those words in a new way.
I am so grateful God opened a door for me to be a part of this group, that I am constantly fighting back tears of joy. He reminded me this morning that in order to truly join a ministry, I have to actually jump in with both feet and do more than pray from the perimeter. So here I am!
THANK YOU Lord for opening doors I didn't know existed. Thanks to sweet, encouraging Lisa for being my cheerleader. Luann listened to my story about the first day my heart believed God was REAL, and she extended an invitation to join her band of Jesus girls. Lisa cheered me on.
Thank you to the ladies at Grace Mennonite Church who worked so hard to plan a Cup of Encouragement and who invited me to join them that day.
And THANK YOU to the Holy Spirit who whispered to me that morning as I prepared to walk out my back door, "Be brave and be ready. I am about to do a new and powerful thing through you, sweet girl. Take a pony tail holder (in case you get hot), a genuine smile (because that spreads joy), an outfit that you feel comfortable wearing (because life is too short to wear spanx or worry about pet hair on your dress), and a rock in your pocket (in case you find yourself up against the giants that you fear). Hold that rock and remember that it's not the rock that is powerful, but it is something you can hold, which symbolizes that I can defeat your enemies and fears.” He thinks of everything, and is eager to fill us with joy, laughter, renewed hope and courage every day.
Maybe like me, you've been feeling broken and defeated. Perhaps God has opened a door of ministry for you too but fear has you paralyzed.
I encourage you to pick up a rock, put it in your pocket. Then pray that God will fight your fears and fill you with His joy. Then go ahead, jump in with both feet to that place He has called you.
Then thank Him, as He goes to battle on your behalf.
Lord, we all hold back when we feel broken. Remind us that You came to set us free from fear. Help us to walk with courage into Your plan, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.