This has been the week that I’ve been telling you a bit more about myself, since it’s occurred to me that many of you read my blog and don’t really know who I am.
So I thought it might be a good time to share what God’s been showing me lately, too.
I have always struggled with the idea that God accepts me just as I am. I guess I can see so many things wrong with me that to say that God loves despite that seems arrogant. Obviously He loves me, but He must look down and see all that other stuff, and be disappointed in me.
I know that’s not true; I’m just trying to tell you what I think.
One of the issues that I’ve had, along the same lines, is really hearing God speak to me. There are specific times in my life when I have heard God’s voice, and I talk about those things when I give my testimony. But to assume that God is talking to me at other times might seem presumptuous.
Again, I know this isn’t true, but it’s something I struggle with.
So this week I had a very interesting experience. I had been struggling with my speaking ministry. I really believe that a speaker should try to lead women into an encounter with God; that we should issue a challenge, and take people somewhere. I don’t think we should just entertain, or say something interesting. Not that we shouldn’t be entertaining; I try very hard to use humour, as you can see in this video. But the goal is to take people to a deeper level with God.
For various reasons I was struggling with this, because it seems that most conferences in Canada hire big-name American authors to speak, whose goals don’t seem the same as mine all the time. This week I was questioning whether my approach was right.
In the middle of this I took a jog, and I decided to listen to a podcast of a sermon by Helen Roseveare, a medical missionary to Zaire that I admire so much. In her sermon, she used three Bible references: Romans 8:29, Philippians 3:10, and Hebrews 12:1,2. Anyone who has listened to me speak very much will know that each of those verses is the main verse for my three main talks.
I had that sermon recorded to listen to for a month, but I hadn’t gotten around to it until that day, when this was what I was struggling with. And I do believe God wanted to tell me something through that. He said, “I am with you in what you do. Keep at it, and I will bring the fruit.” And I felt so much better!
I had a dream later that night. I was at a seminar and Jesus Himself was there. He was only going to give that one seminar, and my whole family, including my mother, was so excited. I wasn’t. I was crying. I was hurting. And I thought to myself, “If Jesus really is as good as He says He is, then all I want him to do is to look at me at some point this morning and tell me, ‘I know you’re lonely, but I do love you.'” I didn’t think that was so much to ask.
And He didn’t. He talked to everybody but me. But I didn’t wake up depressed. Instead, I felt so relieved, because I felt like God was trying to reveal to me the root of some of my restlessness lately.
I may know He loves me on different levels, but He wants to take me deeper. And I still have a works based view of God: that if I’m not doing all I can, God’s going to be disappointed. Instead, I think He wants to tell me that He loves me, and He has planted me here, and I don’t need to be afraid.
These aren’t things I didn’t know. But I may have known them in my head, and I may have known them in my heart, but it seems like each year God wants to open a different part of my heart and show it to me anew. And it’s really neat.
So let me ask you: what do you struggle with? Do you struggle with perfectionism? Do you struggle with knowing God’s voice? Do you struggle with feeling His pleasure? I’d love to get a discussion going!