Saturday, August 10, 2013
This Week's Thoughts on My First Week of Saying Yes To God
On Sunday, I began my journey through a new Bible study, specifically an online Bible study with Proverbs 31 Ministries' Melissa Taylor, Nicki Koziarz and over 20,000 women world wide. Together we are going through Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God."
I thought it would be nice to share as I go how things are going along.
As I was driving into work on Thursday morning, I thought about all the women out there who are doing their daily activities. For me this is pretty significant because sometimes I can get wrapped up in my own little world and I don't think much farther than what is directly in front of me. This particular morning, I became strongly aware that there were many women out there just like me who have started this study. They want to say yes to God in a big way (not that what they are saying yes to is always going to be big but the desire is strong so much so they are reading a book to help get them there). They are all living their lives and each has a different opportunity to say yes and be used by the creator of this universe for something He has simply set for them to do. Even though there are thousands of us taking this study, each woman has a special purpose that God wants for her to do and has uniquely designed her for. That is a big thought.
For now though I just thought of the wives, moms, sisters, and daughters out there doing their thing. Getting the kids ready for school, or enjoying some vacation time with the family, heading off to work or already knee deep in an important project. Each woman is taking care of life here and thinking of the eternal as well. It is a heady thought for my morning brain. I took a moment and prayed that God would bless each woman and the leadership of this study. If anyone was like me, they had probable discovered some snags in their plan.
Snags? Yep. I had some snags.
1- Nothing went according to plan.
2- My mind became consumed with...well, EVERYTHING
First of all, I had a goal and a commitment that I had set. I committed myself to an hour in the morning with my Lord. An hour that can be focused entirely on prayer and study. It worked great on day one. Day two...DISASTER. The two alarms that I set did not go off. I wrote about that here: And Then Nothing Went According To Plan. There is nothing more humbling than having nothing work out the way you had hoped right after you made a public goal. To say that Tuesday was a horrible day would be an understatement. BUT Wednesday rolled around and I began again. I could have given up on my commitment quite easily as it didn't work out so quickly (and my sleep loving side would have been all for it), but I asked God for his help. I set two more alarms and when they went off, I stumbled along and asked God for strength. He is so faithful.
TWO & THREE
It is funny how when you want to say yes to God, you often have to say no to yourself. This is what I had to do in several ways.
1- To God - "Yes, I am going to spend time with you God."
To me - "No Kelly, you cannot sleep in."
2- To God - "Yes I am going to listen to your voice God and your leading Jesus."
To me -"No Kelly, you are not going to continue to dwell on what hurt you today."
"I'm sorry Kelly, but didn't I just say that we weren't going to continue to think about this?" "Ummm, Kelly...shut up with that already."
"Kelly, I know life is not always fair, but it appears even more unfair when you keep letting that hurt you. Kelly, give it to God."
---Yeah that was Thursday and a little bit Friday. I had to tell myself no A LOT!
If I am going to focus on saying yes to God, I have to remind my own mind to stop picking on myself over things that I cannot control. I have to give them to God. I had a lot of painful moments this week and they were real and true pain. I wasn't hosting a pity party for nothing. The events were real, but they were events beyond my control and they were pulling me from my focus on God. God doesn't want me to not feel the pain that I am going through. He also doesn't want my pain to keep me from Him. I had to learn to let myself feel and then tell myself that it was time to lift my palms up and give it to God so He could fill me with better things.
In the long run, this week has confirmed to me what Lysa says in her book on page 13 "You don't need perfect circumstances to be a woman who says yes to God. You don't need the perfect religious attitude or all the answers to religious questions. You simply have to surrender all that's clamoring for attention in your heart with the answer God is longing to hear spill from your lips, "Yes God."
Let's just say that many times I have felt that as imperfect as I am, I simply could not be used by God. God will teach me. God will guide me. God will direct my paths. I just need to say "yes." To remind me to look at God and not at what my mind likes to throw out there, I have been playing this new song from Mandisa "Overcomer" A LOT.
Mandisa - Overcomer (Official Lyric Video) from mandisa on GodTube.