I didn’t schedule many speaking events last year. We began our year adding sweet little Luca to our family and it just didn’t seem to be the right time to schedule a whole lot of things. But as I reflect on things that fill my soul, speaking to groups of women is high on that list. Why though? Being in front of people, on stage, with a microphone has never been a dream of mine. I do believe, however, God planted the desire for me to share. To share my story, to share my words, to encourage and mostly to be competely dependent on him through it all. My word for this year is satisfied. Satisfied in Christ, above all things. Like a newborn babe resting contentedly with a belly full of milk, like enjoying a favorite meal after being hungry for so long, like a cold glass of water on a hot summer day, I long to be satisfied in Christ. So whatever I do and where ever I am, I am asking the Lord to bless my moments, to show me his face, to draw me close as I wash dish after dish, teach phonics and match, read aloud to a busy baby or gently pull him close. As I filter through the things that do not leave me satisfied in Christ, I am also reflecting on these things that do.
That being said, I’m not sure what God has for me here, but I will say yes if I am able. I will say yes to the Lord as he leads me. Sharing this from an email I had written just after speaking at a women’s luncheon a couple of years ago. I hope it encourages you as it did me!
It is always such a blessing for me to meet women and hear their stories, to reunite with women I knew so long ago, to start friendships, to be with sisters in Christ. But as always, the biggest blessing of it all, is to be pulled closer to Christ. Every single time I get to speak, to share the story that God has laid on my heart, I know that He is always speaking to me.
And I so often ask Him, "Why am I speaking to these people? I know nothing. I am learning. This is more for me than for them? Who am I, Lord, to share anything at all? "
He ever-so clearly says to me, "because I call you and equip you, Tiffany. This is exactly where I want you to be, in utter dependence on me."
Believers, the Holy Spirit lives within us, we can offer joy to the mourning, hope to the hopeless, a spirit of praise instead a spirit of fear, we can offer strength to the weary...and it's not because of anything we've done or said or accomplished. I am so humbled by this. It is only because of Jesus, His sacrifice and great love for us, that we even have the breath to speak the words of hope. How beautiful! How freeing!
Do you speak freedom and hope and love by the way you live?
Have you surrendered your ashes to the one who makes them beautiful?
From my little luncheon talk this weekend:
Our ashes are not always so evident. There is so much to surrender to Him.
Our ashes. Anxiety? Illness? Loneliness?
Our ashes. Pain? Suffering? Job loss?
Our ashes. Loss? Struggles in marriage? Failed expectations?
Our ashes. We give them to our Lord and he promises beauty, redemption. But not necessarily beauty of the world, but beauty of eternal, heavenly things, spiritual things.
Peace in the midst of chaos. Rest in the midst of strife. Joy in the midst of sorrow. Hope in the midst of despair.
Calm in the midst of the storm.
What are we waiting for?
We will never be good enough. We are human and we fail but the Spirit of the living God lives within us. And what is more beautiful, freeing, equipping than that? I pray that today we walk forward in faith, sensitive to that still small voice of strength inside of us, pursuing the hard, tackling the impossible, planting seeds. Jesus is enough. I hope you start your week believing that. Because of Jesus...I am enough. Live with open hands, surrender your ashes and start your week with boldness and bravery and strength in Christ.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of a faint spirit;that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3