Every once in a while there comes a time when we have to step back and evaluate our life. See where our priorities are. Understand our strengths and weaknesses. Determine what areas we need to grow. In other words, there comes a time we must “grow-up.” I am at such a time. At twenty-one I have a lot on my mind. A lot of life choices and decisions I must make. I guess it comes with the age. It’s that transition from childhood to adulthood. True in the worlds eyes I became an adult when I was eighteen, but that does take some grasping, considering for seventeen years I was considered a child.
My Parents have always told me I act older for my age, and I take that as a compliment. I am glad, yet I still have trouble grasping the fact I am an adult. Not so much that I am irresponsible, and act immature, It’s just unfamiliar to call myself an adult. For example I teach Sunday School at Church. I have taught for a little over two years. I teach ages 11-14, which when you think about it, I am not that much older than they are. Yet, I am considered an adult. My problem sometimes is remembering that I am an adult, it is alright to take authority and lead instead of fearing if I take on the roll of an authority figure I might not win their approval as fast.
When you’re a child, you can’t boss people around because you’ll lose friends. You don’t tell people what to do, because face it, that’s not right. But when you are an adult, teaching a class, you have to choose what to do, you have to discipline at times. When I say discipline I mean set rules and enforce them, like no talking in class unless it pertains to the lesson until the lesson is finished, or no texting and playing with cell phones when the lesson is going on, no bouncing of the walls, etc.. you have to enforce those rules, yet it’s not easy. I’d much rather let them do what they want, that way I don’t make them mad, yet a good teacher chooses to do the right thing and correct in a loving, gentle manner for the good of the student misbehaving as well as for the good of the overall class.
I hate thinking I have upset someone. I hate the thought of hurting someone’s feelings, or someone not liking me, but being an adult you have to learn to get over it. I have always been shy. When I was younger I was extremely shy. Though I am still very shy if I let myself be, I am learning to get past that little by little. Thanks to the help of God. I always feared people wouldn’t like me, or that I would say something totally stupid. Or maybe if I didn’t stay reserved and I decided to let my goofy side show, people would think I was crazy. Aside from being shy, I didn’t use to be that way, until sometime during my teen years those emotions just snuck up on me, and I have had to fight to deal with them ever since. Getting out of my comfort zone isn’t easy for me. I would much rather observe. One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was organize a Youth Rally in 2007. Really the organizing started in 2006, but the actual event took place in 2007.
I remember I questioned God and procrastinated for months until I finally mentioned it to my Parents. I was hoping they would disapprove, but that hope backfired! Once I got their approval and opinions, I still procrastinated and questioned God some more, because after all it was way out of my comfort zone. When I finally decided to just do it, and get the ball rolling I was nervous, and questioned my ability to even do something like that. I figured when I talked to people I would sound ridiculous, or wouldn’t even know how to explain why I felt God calling me to organize a youth rally in the first place.
I remember the first time I called the Evangelist who preached the rally, I got his answer machine and was relieved! I was relieved because it meant that much longer until I had to talk. I am the type person who gets nervous at the thought of talking to a stranger, on second thought I get nervous at the thought of talking to someone I know, not necessarily someone I know well, but just an acquaintance. I’m so shy I feel my heart beating faster when I go in a fast-food place, or a music store to order something. It reigns from a lack of self-confidence which is the devils evil tactic to get me sidetracked from God’s calling.
My Parents have always encouraged me, so have other family members and friends, so there is no reason for my self-confidence to lack, other than somewhere along the line I started listening to the devil. Another weakness God is helping me overcome. Sometimes I feel like my words will get all mixed up and I’ll say something stupid. Other times I feel I’ll get quiet and not say anything. But like I said, God’s helping me overcome.
Back to organizing the rally. If it wasn’t for my God, my Parents and those that helped I assure you the Rally would probably never have happened, or if it did, it would have taken a lot longer. At times I felt like I’d be a nervous wreck, most of the time I fought discouragement, the devils nagging voice telling me I couldn’t do this, what business did I have trying to let God use me, I was just a girl blah, blah, blah. Several times I wanted to throw in the towel and just give-in, like when the wording for the letter’s we sent to Pastor’s of Churches throughout the area. If it wasn’t for God and my Daddy, I’m sure the letter’s would have been a mess. Or the flier design and wording, if not for my Daddy’s great talent for communication and design the letter’s nor the fliers would have turned out so great, God and my Daddy definitely deserves the credit for those!
If it wasn’t for my Mama’s generosity to drive around three different towns posting youth rally fliers, the fliers wouldn’t have been distributed. I am thankful for her help!
Finally after phone calls, mailing letters, and distributing letters to various churches whose addresses I did not have, the night came for the first meeting to organize the rally. I’ll never forget that night February 15, 2007. Come to think of it, I’ll never forget that day. I woke up excited, but as the day progressed I began to have butterflies and I became very nervous. I seem to remember asking God if I could back out at the last minute and tell everyone I’d changed my mind.
Several times I questioned God asking if He knew what He was doing and was He sure I could do this. All through-out the day God kept reminding me He was in it, and would bring a verse to my remembrance I kept reading and quoting for most of the day, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
The time came to leave the house and go to the Church and I declare those butterflies in my stomach seemed to flutter around even more. I was so nervous. When I get nervous I bite my lower lip, pace back and forth, tap my fingers on a solid surface, and look around, needless to say I’m sure I did all those before the meeting started. Another nervous habit I am trying to break is clicking a pen, or tapping it on the table. Which I did that night. I remember looking at my Mama and she kind of shook her head and nodded in the direction of the pen I held in my hand, so I would realize what it was I was doing! I felt out of place, very much out of my comfort zone, until the meeting started, a prayer was said and the discussion began. Most of the time I got to listen. I was very much thankful my Daddy knew how to lead a discussion because I felt like a fish out of water. Some of the time I wanted to hide under the table. But I enjoyed every minute of it, if that even begins to make sense!
Through-out the planning of the rally I had to make decisions, I was thankful for the advice of my Family, Church family, and those involved in organizing the rally, I don’t believe any of them will ever realize how much help they were, encouragement they gave, and how much of a positive influence they were in my life, and still are. There are several things I remember different one’s telling me and though the Rally is over, those words still help me with things today. It’s amazing how God works through people like that.
We had one more meeting March 15, 2007 to make final decisions and all and set a date for the rally which was April 21, 2007. I won’t lie I started getting nervous the day before the Rally, and Saturday the day of the rally, wow I had a mixture of anxiousness, excitement, and nervousness. It was so cool! I would do it all over in a heartbeat if given the opportunity, which only God can give.
I don’t understand why God asked me to do that. In all honesty I don’t think I did anything. I mean I know God used me, but the majority of the planning, organizing etc… the credit goes to God, my Parents, and those who attended the organizing meetings because they had most of the ideas. If nothing else it was definitely a learning experience for me and a lesson in trusting God.
That’s just one area of life I can think of where I have had to make decisions and choices that were outside my comfort zone. If I go back a couple years before the rally, to 2004 I took a plunge out of my comfort zone and entered a talent contest. I didn’t win, but it was a learning experience I am grateful for. It taught me a lot about getting out of my comfort zone and that I sing for the glory of God.
I remember when I was trying to decide whether or not to enter the contest I heard a song on a local radio station where we lived in Alabama, the station is WELJ. 90.9 F.M. Where We Love Jesus! The song was “Jumping Out of the Boat” I had been talking to my Mama about whether or not to enter the contest and this song came on the radio and I just looked at her, and we both knew right then what my decision was. Actually she probably knew before that song what I would decide. Mama’s have a way of knowing things. At least mine does! A lot of times I believe she knows me better than I know myself! And honestly I don’t mind! I look forward to the day I get married and have children I can do the same with. Get to see the humorous looks on their faces when they realize I already know and their bewildered look of “How did you know that!” Or as I tell my Mama sometime “You already knew that didn’t you!”
Life is full of decisions. Choices we must make. Some I’d rather not make. But I must. Take for instance career choices. That has been a battle for me. I’ve known since I was a little girl God called me into the ministry. To serve Him along side whomever He has set aside for me to marry. Well, it’s quite obvious I am single, and I don’t see Mr. Right knocking down my door or calling up my Daddy for permission to “court” his daughter. So the frustration that builds up at times can well quite honestly be a pain.
How do you determine what you are to do while waiting? How can God use me to minister to people when I’m not married? I teach Sunday School, I sing at Church almost every Sunday, I blog every once in a while, sometimes I get to talk to family and friends about God and try and help them when they come to me for advice, but what can I do for God? Yes, those are things I can do for God. But I keep thinking there’s got to be something more. But what? That befuddles me at times.
In all reality I should pray and seek God’s guidance more than I have been. I know what God has called me too. I see it crystal clear, yet I tend to make the journey a lot harder then it should be because I want to know what I am to do in the meantime while waiting to get from point A to point B. The fact is there is a lot I can be doing now, and some of it I know, but I want to know what else I can do for the glory of God. Truth is I should be focusing on doing that which I know and let God see me determined and diligent and responsible for that which He has already revealed to me to do for His glory then He will add more for me to do once He knows He can trust me with the little things He has already revealed to me I should do. I am learning we have to walk within the light we have, and trust God to shed light on the paths ahead when the time comes for me to take the step into what seems dark now, when I get to that step, God will have turned on the spot light and He will continue to direct my paths just like He is now if I let Him. When you get right down to it, it all comes down to one of my favorite verses, my second favorite verse Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
Trust, something so simple, yet we make it so hard.
Faith: “Forsaking All I Trust Him.” One of my favorite acronyms I believe it’s time I follow. All God requires is our surrender to His will. Not our surrender to part of His will, but all of His will, because partial surrender isn’t surrender at all. It’s a compromise with strings attached. God wants us to let go of the strings, and fall into His arms of love and let Him direct our course, for He alone created our path and sees our future. Only God can see the beginning from the end. So it makes perfect since to just trust Him even though we can’t see, we must trust Him, for He alone holds the key.
There is a song I use to sing titled “Defining Moment” recorded and made popular by NewSong
Verse 1: “There comes a time in every heart, a time of real decision, when you reach the point of choosing how we will live our lives, all our hopes, all our dreams, will rise up from that moment. The moment we surrender and choose to follow Christ. He’s been waiting all our lives to hear us say, I am your’s Lord take my hand and lead the way.
Chorus: When you believe He’s all you need that will be your defining moment. As you live your life, walking in His light trusting Him completely that will be, that will be your defining moment.
Verse: All I have, all I am is resting in His promise. The promise that He’ll make me, everything that I should be. I will live I will die for the cause he’s set before me, to take His love inside my heart for all the world to see. All of heaven celebrates when they hear someone say, I am your’s Lord take my hand and lead the way.
Bridge: His amazing grace is such a mystery, How in an instant it can make a life complete."
Those words are so true. I have come to my defining moment. A moment when I must choose to follow Christ or forsake His call. I choose to follow Christ. I choose to surrender to His will, for only through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can my life truly be fulfilled.
I choose to trust Christ.