What's New At Grace
Awkward and Reflective. The last two Sundays those two words stuck out to me from the sermons. To say there was “awkward” for me in 2022 is an understatement. I’ve learned though that when I feel awkward it’s because I’m too focused on myself. When I’ve been fully focused on the voice of God and being obedient to what He’s saying it has just felt “different,” rather than awkward or weird. And different isn’t bad. The whole Bible is filled with “different.”
The first “different” for me was when I said yes to God telling me to attend a Celebrate Recovery Step Study. I wrote about that in July, attending because I needed to get freedom from walking in the shame of what I’d done during my childhood. My Step Study Group and my Sponsor were amazing! But still the awkward hit off and on through those months of saying yes to God (sometimes in tears). And saying yes started this glorious domino effect of hearing Him better and better each time He spoke to me again. So thankful!
Another “awkward” was when God called me to begin intercessory prayer. I wasn’t even sure what that was. But by now I’m recognizing God’s voice better, and so I began saying yes to opportunities to awkwardly pray out loud for or with people. My yes also meant there were books to read, sermons to listen to, people to learn from, prayers to pray at 2am, etc. I haven’t done it all right, in fact, I’ve said no at times too. Hint: don’t say no to God. You’ll get off track with hearing His voice, and you’ll probably get some sort of consequence for your no. Oh man, but the times I’ve said yes in this prayer area I’ve seen God do MASSIVE things!
Another “weird” was when I had a prayer of deliverance prayed over me so that agreements I’d made, generational things passed on to me, or attachments made could be removed. I’d never even heard of a prayer of deliverance, but I was needing relief from my past trying to keep me stuck. And so I plopped on the ground and had two trusted godly friends pray and walk me through it all. And when God basically said “all right, that’s it” I got up and felt like some sort of barrier had been removed. You know when you wear latex gloves and you can still feel things through them, but then you take them off and you can actually feel the things? That’s how being in relationship with God now feels…as though I took off the latex gloves. Weird, right? But also, no more weird than some of the things we read about in the Bible.
If you thought that was all enough awkward for one person, well, there’s more. In the fall I began Fitness Instructor Training with Revelation Wellness. That in and of itself was a bit weird as I don’t look like a typical fitness instructor. I had to get over that real fast because again, I’m done saying no to God. (Lord, please help me to keep saying yes!) At one point we were told to ask the Lord to help us find healing from any incorrect body image. The Lord highlighted a time when I was a child. He showed me that what happened to me during that young age made me believe I was worthless. From that moment until this fall everything that I thought, every decision I made was all through a filter of “I’m worthless.” It caused me to make some poor decisions off and on. It also meant people could easily poke that “worthless” wound and hurt me. This false belief made me feel that I had to protect myself in various ways. I cried a lot when God showed me this was the word that sin had written on me. Next, I was coached to ask Him what he actually says about me. He said, “you are PRECIOUS.” More tears. It’s taken me a bit to truly believe who God says I am, but wow, the God of the universe calls ME precious! I reject the “worthless” filter! No one can poke that wound anymore. It’s gone. I am precious. Sweet relief.
Those were the big "awkwards;" there’ve also been many small ones. If you think that it’s easy for me to do awkward or weird things that God’s telling me to do, please know it’s not. A friend reminded me that we cannot operate with a fear of man AND a fear of God at the same time. And so sometimes when God whispers to me “go tell this special message to that person,” or “kneel in worship today” I debate Him. And He reminds me that I chose to fear God (revere Him, be in awe of Him) over fearing what man thinks, and I do the awkward.
So I invite you to look back on your life last year. Was your year characterized by continually saying yes to God, even in the awkward? And how about this next year? Will you commit to saying yes to God this year, even when it's awkward? I didn’t know that’s what I’d be doing last year, but looking back makes me realize there’s no better way to live! Asking Him for more, asking Him what’s next, worshiping Him with our all, and saying yes every time.
If you’re not sure what He’s saying, I encourage you to sit with Him and ask something like: “God, what are you calling me to this year?” And then pay attention to the picture or thought or feeling that comes after you ask Him. Whatever that picture or thought or feeling was, ask Him for more specifics. Talk out loud to Him even. And weigh it against the Bible. He’ll never contradict Himself and the Bible is HIS words. If you’re still not sure what He’s saying meet with one of the pastors, or ask my husband Eric and I if we’ll help you figure it out. There’s so much MORE of God for each one of us, no matter how long you’ve been in relationship with Him. Let’s pursue more of His voice this year so that when we reflect back in December we’ll see how He gave us “life to the full” (John 10:10) in all of our circumstances in 2023.
Office Hours: M-Th 8:30am-4pm