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God Came There

The hall wore vertical stripes like a matron trying to hide her spreading hips. Yellowed light from 20-year-old wagon-wheel chandeliers froze cameras unable to resolve the flash-or-no-flash dilemma. Plates on tables presented forgettable food.

But God came there.

Joy and Ann

Through the words of timid but obedient women, He spoke gentle firm correction to this woman who had lost sight of His purpose in and for her and this blog.

God pointed out that obsession with comments, discontentment with personal status quo, and hiding in a technology shelter to escape from problems and stress are symptoms of a bigger failure to accept and receive His plan — whether large and public,  small and personal, blissful or painful.

We don’t get to choose our stories. God engineers those stories into our lives so that we can share the lessons He teaches through pain and sorrow and failure to others who are walking those difficult roads too.

As we absorbed these truths and began to ache with our failures, God comforted through the hugs of women, once tiny half-inch square photos on an LCD screen, now flesh and blood friends. He showered us with grace and second chances, forgiveness and mercy, reassurance that even this brokenness is valuable and meaningful.

Through Sally Clarkson, He challenged us to fill our souls and write from the overflow:

You can’t give away what you don’t possess in your own heart. Integrity of message comes from obedience of life. So many women do not have a backlog of a full soul. We need to fill our souls with wise counsel and the Word of God, before we will be able to share it with others.

Through Bonita Lillie, He reminded us of the author and value of my story:

You are the keyboard in God’s hand to reach the world. You are God’s instrument. There is no limit to who we can impact through this medium. This can free you to be who you are with the message that you have with the style that you have. No-one can give the message that you have.

Through Kristin Welch, He pointed back to my family:

I want my family to like that I blog. They need to know that it’s one of my jobs, but they need to know that they are a priority. Ask them what they are comfortable with you sharing on the blog, in word and in image.

Through Angie Smith and Ann Voskamp, He urged me to learn His Spirit’s voice and share His message (not mine):

You don’t have to come to the keyboard knowing what you’re going to say. It comes from God to us to heal us and then through our story to heal another. Story is the way the Spirit of God binds our wounds. When these words find their mark, God heals two hearts – yours and mine.

When we serve people, we think we are due some appreciation. But when we serve Christ alone, we are the servant of all and we are liberated from the bondage of praise and power and people-pleasing.

Am I willing to receive my identity in Christ and lay aside what I am trying to achieve?

I heard God last weekend. He assured me that my life and this blog are His, to do with what He wills, not (necessarily) to make me popular. And if I choose to gift it to Him as my act of worship, He will take my bread and fish and feed a multitude.

Faith Barista Fresh Jam Badge

Linked as part of this week’s Faith Jam on how God speaks to you, and to The Relevant Conference’s linky.

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Heart-felt thank-you to Miss Selby’s Soaps for sponsoring my trip to Relevant. Please stop by her site and check out her beautiful line of handmade natural soaps and bath bombs. She is offering all of my readers and all Relevant attendees a 20% discount on your entire order – use the coupon code “joy”!

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SPREAD THE WORD..

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