I stood there at the register in Walmart patiently waiting for the cashier to ring up my items, when I felt God impress on my heart to give her the cash in my wallet. What? It wasn’t a lot of money, but I dismissed the thought because I wasn’t sure about handing her cash. As I headed out with both hands on my cart, I glanced back and felt the tug again.
I paused and wrestled with the possibilities, “How do I just walk up and give her cash? What if I get her in trouble? That is crazy! Did God really say…?”
As I walked towards the exit, I noticed there was a bank in the store with a set of envelopes on the counter for deposits. I got an envelope and put the cash in it with a sweet note. I walked back and handed it to her and she placed it in her pocket with a puzzled smile.
Later that evening at a meeting, I shared some things I felt like God was wanting to shift. No one in the room wanted to make any of the changes. After hearing the questions and the concerns from others, I left feeling bewildered. My mind started to fill with doubt, again.
Did God really say….?
This is just one day, but I could go on and on about how often this plays out in my life. Unfortunately, I don’t always get it right. It has tripped me more than once. It’s really nothing new. This is an old trick of the enemy.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?
Did God really say?
I’m learning to pay close attention when I think “Did God really say?” because I know the enemy’s goal is to create doubt, confusion, and disobedience.
His goal is to get me disoriented enough to give up or mess up. It’s the main reason I took a break from writing this series. I started writing this series in the middle of a very stressful time and for deeply personal reasons.
It’s still stressful and personal, but I’m onto his schemes now. I am weary, but I am not giving up.
Did God really say?
Yes, He did.
Jesus, forgive me when I get weary and let doubt and confusion creep in. Help me to be strong against the schemes of the enemy. Help me to abide in you and help me to listen. Jesus, help me to hear you, believe you and obey you. Give me faith to know your promises are true even when my eyes do not see them. Give me strength to obey. Help me to be in fellowship with you at all times. Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Are you hearing, “Did God really say?”
Is the enemy using his classic tactics to get you off of your game?
What do you do to overcome the doubt and get back on track?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments below.
I haven’t posted much this year and I feel like I am so behind. I don’t even know where to start.I haven’t shared much here because I wanted to focus on writing my story.
I came to a defining moment in my story and I struggled to write it.
There were all of these emotions and personalities, and I was trying to write without saying too much. I always feel like I have said too much, as if I’ve already said it all.
But, when I look back at my blog posts I see they are all written in code.If you can relate, “code” language means I haven’t really said much.I say just enough to safely pull back if needed.
I am fluent in the language of code. It was my survival.
When I reached this defining moment in my story, I found myself writing in code again.I was trying to say just enough but not too much.
And, I couldn’t do it.
I closed my laptop on that chapter, and didn’t want to pick it up again.I didn’t pick it up again.
In the stewing, I came to realize that I can’t tell that moment in code.It has to be real, even if it is messy.
I couldn’t understand why I would write so many words, and then suddenly feel this overwhelming burden to be real. Really real.
So, I am writing it with this new perspective and it is challenging.
Writing (or speaking) in code shields my own heart from delving into the emotional sea of betrayal and pain. If I can keep it as flowery as possible, then I can smile as I type as if I am dissociating from the words on the screen.
But, when I deep dive I usually end up in tears and I struggle to pick it up again. Why go there, when you can watch Netflix and eat ice cream?
It’s a vicious cycle.
So today, on my walk I was listening to a sermon and when the verse in Hebrews 12:2 was mentioned, I thought … “Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.” Jesus, the author.
Let Him be the author. I want to be in control, but what if I let Him write it and be obedient to what He is asking me to do? God, be my author. Help me to write it. Write through me and help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and not on fretting.
As I snapped some pictures along the way, these images spoke to my heart and my struggle.
I was in bondage. Hidden. Afraid. Tangled in lies, fear, shame, and secrets. It was so dark. Remember what it was like?
I dared to believe that there was hope. I realized I was not alone. There were others like me.I wanted to get to the other side.I wanted to be free.
He rescued me. He brought me out of the darkness and into His light. I Am Loved.
He set me free, and I am clinging to Him.I am no longer hidden, but out in the open air of freedom.
Obedience makes a difference.Am I willing to obey? Imagine the impact of obedience. What does that look like?
The other voice in my head smirked, “Who do you think you are? No one cares and it’s already been said. There’s too much risk.Are you crazy?” It’s loud, but just as I round the corner there’s more beauty.
The harvest is plenty… but the workers are few.Don’t believe the lies.Do the work.
Are you feeling stuck? We all get stuck at times, but we don’t have to stay there.The first thing I tend to do when I am stuck is isolate myself, but that is not helpful at all. What helps me the most is to admit that I am stuck. This last time, I went to small group and it was just the leader and I. She started asking questions that led me to share what I was going through with her. She prayed for me and continues to encourage me. She also continues to check in with me and it has helped me tremendously. We were never meant to run the race alone.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for delivering me from the pit. You are the author of my story. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and to give you my all. My heart is encouraged when I imagine running across the finish line and jumping into your arms. Your love amazes me.
Worship: This song has been my jam, especially the remix. God Only Knows [Timbaland Remix] by for King & Country…
2016 was a rough year. It was also the year I was intending to put a lot of energy into my ministry, Journey Pink. I wanted to write a book, which I affectionately called my Pink Elephant. Pink because I loved the idea of it so much, and elephant because it seemed so ginormous and overwhelming.
I’ve been to conferences and I have taken online writing classes, but the reality is writing and speaking about Childhood Sexual Abuse is taboo. It’s off limits. It’s too dark. It is not a popular topic. It is not encouraged.
But, like the Samaritan woman at the well who finally found THE living water in her life, I have tasted that living water and I want to share it with others who are thirsty and longing for refreshment from the mud and the mire of shame.
This pink elephant was HUGE, and my mind was filled with doubt and insecurity.
Me: God, you have picked the wrong girl! This is Bigger than me. This is elephant size BIG… but it is also pink. God: How do you eat an elephant?
Me: One bite at a time. God: My grace is sufficient
Just when I started to take small bites, the big pink elephant was suddenly surrounded by baby pink elephants. These baby elephants needed my immediate attention. Baby pink elephants like my daughter getting hospitalized and the months of unknowns and recovery that followed. Or, the stalker situation that landed me in court and on Amazon purchasing Pink Mace. Fear hit very close to home with those baby elephants and He was faithful to show me how to take one scary step at a time with Him.
When the intense fear was at its peak, I spent a weekend in Charlotte at a conference and the keynote speaker shared about overcoming fear. She had experienced a similar year with an injured child and a stalker. I knew God was speaking to my heart. I longed for peace and healing from my overwhelming fears. I rushed to the altar in tears, and acknowledged that I was terrified and tired of being terrified. As the worshippers sang and prayed over us, His amazing love covered me and gave me great peace.
He also brought me confirmation. That same weekend, at Bethel Worship nights, a man gave a word that there was a pink elephant in the room. I have no idea why he said that and he did not elaborate, but once again – God had my attention. I smiled as I thought, “I will keep going. God is with me.”
And yet, I couldn’t stop the whispers in the back of my mind from that mostly mean voice that demands protection and safety.
“Do you really want to go after that pink elephant? Look what is happening in your life! Maybe you should take a hint and just chill out. Better to play it safe. You are playing with fire. Who do you think you are???”
Who do you think you are?
Side note – this is a very frequent thought that pops in my head and it can hold me back the fastest. I’ve learned over time that having an immediate answer will shut it down.
Who do I think I am? I am a princess, and Jesus is my King. I am his daughter, and I am loved, cherished and precious to Him.
Not all small pink elephants are challenges. There were times I wanted to give up, and the image of a pink elephant reminded me to keep stepping, one foot in front of the other. One day, when I was so weary and full of doubt, my youngest brought his prize from the gumball machine to me and encouraged my heart.
It reminded me that every bite is worth it. Yes, God I trust you. I will keep going. Help me to not be afraid.
He knows I struggle with trust and fear, and this tension keeps me from walking in my calling.
He is faithful, and it all came full circle last weekend when I shared at the Hope Restored Women’s Conference. At check-in, I was surprised to find out there was a package waiting for me from my friend, Angela. I met her at my very first writing conference in 2014, and when she asked me what I wrote about I couldn’t answer her and finally just said, “I’m not going to tell you.”
She kept asking and I remember how hard it was to finally whisper to her, “I write about healing from childhood sexual abuse.”
Angela knew this was a Pink Elephant weekend for me so she sent me a care package full of my favorites. Besides the caffeine and the yummy chocolate, her gift reminded me of how far God has brought me and how He continues to open doors and give me opportunities to write and speak.
It’s still not easy to speak and write about childhood sexual abuse, but it is so important and worth it! My calling seems so BIG and Overwhelming to me, but Jesus can handle Pink Elephants. I just have to fully trust and surrender, and let Him guide me, one bite at a time. I will savor every bite and remember all the ways He has met me.
His grace is sufficient.
He opens doors no man can shut.
He makes a way when there seems to be no way.
He left 99 for one and He calls us to do the same.
He has brought me this far, and He will not leave me.
I am not alone.
You are not alone.
You are loved, cherished and precious to Him, princess.
Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near. Psalm 23:4 TPT
What feels like a pink elephant in your life right now? Maybe you have a Pink Elephant Dream? What keeps you from walking in your purpose and calling? Is there an image or vision that helps you to keep going?