A Swift Kick in the Backside

A few nights ago I found myself completely run down. It had been raining for hours, and I had spent what could have been a fun, stress-free day with my family wrapped up in worry and trying my best to mask it, which we all know is completely exhausting.

By about 6pm, completely spent, I collapsed onto the bed and decided to take a little mid-evening snooze (which is something I do probably only twice a year). Then, about 20 minutes later, I woke up and decided it was time to move past the thing that was making me feel so rotten. After all, I still had a few hours left before bedtime, and why not make the most of them? Was the issue still there that had wrapped me up in worry? Yes. Was the issue still going to keep me wrapped up in worry? Well, that was my choice, and I had chosen to make that impossible.

So, I wiped the sleepy look off my face, pushed my hair up into a bun, snuggled my little boys, and valiantly announced, “Hey, we’re going outside!” We opened up the door to our Airstream and charged outside, and as soon as we rounded the corner of the camper, I heard a couple of voices say, “You must have known we were talking about you!” and there was Matthew talking with the couple who had been camping on the neighboring site for a few days. Of course, I didn’t know they had been talking about me at all, but I was thankful for the distraction from my world of worry, so I walked over and said hello. The wife Jan immediately started telling me how she had been sad that I seemed to have turned in for the night because ever since her husband told her that we traveled full-time with our kids, she had been wanting to talk to me. We ended up chatting for an hour or more about camping, homeschooling, and so much more, and before I knew it, I found myself smiling and feeling like the me I really am again – not that ball-of-stress woman on the bed earlier.

Jan’s story was one of hearing the voice of the Lord and stepping out in faith, which is something I really should be a pro at already, but alas, I am still learning. She told me about how she knew God had been calling her to leave her career and homeschool her children for several years before she decided to take the plunge and do it. She talked about how even after making the decision and knowing it was the right thing to do, there were moments of struggle to trust that God would provide, but He did. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. -sometimes at the last moment and in the craziest ways. She talked about how the past 10 years of being home with her children full-time has taught her so much, and how it has meant so much for her children in their teenage and early adult years. She told me I would never regret saying yes to the voice of the Lord, and that I would never regret leaving any career to follow my missionary dream and be with my children more. And then it hit me – This was why I had come to this park – This was why I had pushed myself outside that door and into the evening. This woman’s encouragement was a divine appointment that Someone did not want me to miss.

I told Jan that I was so glad I came out to meet her because I really needed a shot of encouragement that very hour. I told her how I had actually heard the voice of God last year asking me to step out of my full-time job and back into full-time ministry and homeschool, and how this very month was my official start. Then I admitted to her that I had actually spent the entire day thinking about where the work and money was going to come from to make it possible.

Over the past week since I met Jan I have thought about our conversation nearly every day, and although I know that there are so many men and women in the world who have made so many sacrifices to obey God’s voice in many areas, and so many who have sacrificed great careers to be home with their children (whether home is a little ranch house with a picket fence or a rolling silver bullet with a new address every other month), I am so glad to have met this lovely woman and to have heard her beautiful story because it was just the swift kick in the backside I needed for this week.

No longer do I want to allow worry to steal my time, talent, attention, and energy – especially when there are so many promises written for me. No longer do I want to allow unbelief to protect my comfort zone and keep me from all that I was designed to be and do. I want to be one of the people who are what He says and who display the truth of His promise. I don’t want to be defined by my surroundings – I want to define them. I want to have the abiding faith that attracts promises from God that I would not get otherwise. I want to live with infectious hope that creates an atmosphere for legacy. (adapted from Bill Johnson’s most recent message “Hope: the Womb of Legacy” at ibethel.org.)

By His grace, just like Abraham, I won’t “tiptoe around God’s promise, asking cautiously skeptical questions.” I will “plunge into the promise and come up strong – ready for God. Sure that He will make good on what He said.” (Romans 4 MSG) And we “won’t be able to round up enough containers to hold everything that God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5 MSG)

Because “that famous promise God gave Abraham – that he and his children would possess the earth – was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise – that’s a business deal!… But if there is no contract in the first place – simply a promise – and God’s promise at that – you can’t break it! That’s why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way – and then simply embracing Him and what He does.” (Romans 4 MSG)

When we have a dream (no matter how big or how small) and we hear God say, “Go for it” through Scripture and over time, let’s go after it with faith – whatever it may be. And when we’ve stepped out there and suddenly realize we’ve put all our skin in the game, let’s keep going after it, trusting God and knowing that we’re giving Him more room to move.

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