Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kiwi Anyone?

(The following post was written as an entry for the "She Speaks Scholarship Contest". To read more about the She Speaks Conference, click here.)

I was afraid and went out and hid [my] talent in the ground. (Matthew 25:25)

As the runner dove for home plate, the ball slammed into the catcher's mitt. With a shout of affirmation the umpire hollered, “Safe!”.

Isn't that what we all long to hear? We desire safety almost above all else. We purchase security systems, install locks, buy alarms and firewalls for home, office and computers. We pray safety for our family. We want to live safe little lives, untouched, but sadly unfulfilled.

I don't want to go through life pursuing safety, while missing the Savior.

We are held hostage and paralyzed by the things that frighten us. We need to make personal all that God has made possible, claiming His promises.

Beth Moore has said that we are eating apples and oranges when there is kiwi available. We're like little birds splashing around in a mud puddle on the sidewalk, when there's a large pond just over the hill.

Author Hilary Price writes, “It's time to step out from huddling in the security of the little pool of light at the base of the lamp post, with all of it's limitations, and go on the road with Jesus – what an adventure!”

“She Speaks” is the kiwi, the pond and the adventure!

I have attended the “She Speaks” conference twice in the past. I have chosen safe seminars, shared safe presentations, and sat safely in the back row. I have pursued safe dreams and kept the treasures of my heart locked behind doors of inadequacy, insecurity and fear. What has this pursuit of safety done for me? Left me living a life overflowing with 'should have's' and 'if only's', disappointed in myself for not fully trusting God.

Josie Bissett writes, “Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them.” Growing isn't safe. It requires stretching and seizing opportunities. God's dreams for me are big, but I have controlled the abundance right out of my life.

Tired of self-preserved living, I'm abandoning my safety in exchange for His security. Security implies such an assurance that there is no need for apprehension. Resting and trusting with full confidence that though life isn't always safe, God always is and He will not fail.

Safety says, “Don't register for the conference. The cost is great.”

Financially that might be true, but the cost on my life if I don't attend is a greater sacrifice. Another year passes. Another regret. Another missed opportunity. I don't know how God will provide, but I know He will.

Safety says, “Don't sign up for speaker evaluation or a meeting with a publisher.”

Failure looms and threatens in both these areas. Voices echo in my head that I am foolish to even consider trying. Failure and pain won't kill me, but meaningless will. A very dear friend encouraged me with this thought: “You can't claim victory if you don't get in the fight.” Again, Beth Moore writes, “Satan is standing on your God-given ground daring you to take possession of it.”

I've existed in safety too long allowing the enemy to claim land that is not his. "She Speaks" is an invitation to occupy my land. I need to take a stand on some broken, parched ground. It's time to live. It's time to allow God to stretch me. It's time to walk in obedience and “'Get your supplies ready... go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.' " (Joshua 1:11) Crossing the River of Fear, I'm heading to the Land of Promise.

Safety is completely over-rated. It denies and deprives us of adventures that God longs for us to experience. Adventures in faith. Adventures in living, letting go and leaning on Him.

Afraid, I have buried my talent in the ground, and along with it my dreams and desires.

The Master responds, “That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that!” (Matthew 25:26 The Message)

I'm trading my fragile dreams for God's phenomenal realities, trusting in Him to supply.

Standing on sacred ground.


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16 comments:

His Hers Ours and Autism said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisasmith said...

Joy!! I so identify with this...safety for me is not considering going to She Speaks because I will most likely be in the midst of chemo and radiation; however, God has asked who will go and I have cautiously raised my hand but the longer my hand remains in the air the more I start jumping up and down and screaming, "Here I am, send me, send me!!"

I love the quote about big dreams...we must see each other at She Speaks...we must because we have so much to share. I love you, my friend. xoxo

PS I had to delete that first comment because my friend was signed in on my computer...wanted you to know it was me =)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I think this a very worthy road for you to walk, and I'll be cheering you all the way. I do believe that God has a great wealth of kingdom living ahead for you, friend.

Walk your fear until it proffers faith.

peace~elaine

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Great words Joy! And you KNOW how I need to hear them!! (sigh!)

This really stuck in my craw...as we say here in the South.....these words that you penned: "Another regret. Another missed opportunity." Seems that is what my life is filled with so much of the time! How I envy your newfound freedom!

Still in the grip of fear,

Marilyn...in Mississippi

Joyful said...

Oh sweet Marilyn...fear still holds me tight...but I'm doing it scared. In my fear I'm following. Sarah Young writes: "...fear does not 'trump' trust: They can coexist." "When I am afraid, I will trust in You." "When you are afraid, don't blame yourself for having that very human emotion. Instead, acknowledge what you are feeling; then affirm your trust in Me - out loud or in a whisper. This affirmation protects you from the lie that feeling fearful means you don't trust Me. Even better, it brings you consciously into My Presence, where you can find comfort and hope." AMEN!

Walking this road with you,
Love ya,
Joy

Chef Diane said...

Amen sister stand on His mighty word,truths and promises.

It has been amazing watching the Lord work in your life, these past few weeks. Thank you for allowing me to witness His amazing love for you.

The song you posted is so precious to me. By his grace, I can claim such victory of
standing on the edge of doubt, beating my chest with the prewar claim of victory.
I know behind me there is someone who has faith when I don't,strength when I am weak
and supplies me with unconditional love. He tells me

"I am more than a Conqueror." With that promise, What can fear do to me?
Why would I want to be safe and live in a bubble.

I count it a blessing to share in your adventure friend.
Blessings and love,
Diane

Heather - On the Road... said...

Oh Joy -
I am so glad to see you stepping out in faith! In trust... even with the fear.

Fighting fear myself in areas.... and yet trying so hard to cling to God. He has been more than faithful.

I am so grateful to Him!

Love you, and can't wait to hear how God works and moves in your life....
Heather

Lori said...

God's glory is just sparkling right out of you, Joy! Your post delights me, my friend. I'm gleaming right now--- just thinking about what is to come!

Praise God whom all blessings flow!

Hugs, prayer's, and much love ~ Lori

Cheri Bunch said...

I hope you win, Joy!

I started to write for the contest ... my first line was, "I hope you win!" I got distracted from my writing and I have hardly been on the computer since. Missed my opportunity.

I was planning to give the scholarship to someone who commented on my post if I should win (the reason for my opening line). I have gotten to go to She Speaks so many times that I feel quite guilty for taking another's place. I just love to go, though because every year I am so encouraged by everyone. P31 has impacted me so much. You are one of the treasures that the Lord blessed me with by attending.

Joy, you are an extremely gifted writer! Sweet friend, I truly hope you win!

Blessings,
Cheri

Renee said...

This post has really touched me agan today....my first visit back since having surgery last Tues. The surgery went very well, no bad reactions to anything, and I am home recouping..we won't have the results of the lymph node biopsies for another week...and thus the need to hear your words on wanting to always live a safe life. Safe from harm, from cancer treatment becoming a necessity, from living my own dreams during the autumn season of my life. Your ponderings have challenged me and for that I am grateful. God was in the detail of every second of surgery and my hospital stay....and will be there in my recovery and in what the future holds. Sure hope your days are filled with all the excitement and joy walking with Jesus brings!!!! Amen!

~Grace and Peace said...

Go, Joy, Go! I pray that you go this year. I pray that you will talk to a publisher and show them the 365 blog posts that you wrote last year. Every single one inspired by the Holy Spirit. Don't let fear stand in your way. You're already in the Promised Land, now go conquer it! (As you can see we're reading Joshua right now).

Digging for Pearls said...

Joy,

Thank you for your comments on Lysa's blog today. You'll never know how much they touched my wounded heart.

Blessings,
Jodie

Traci Michele said...

Amen! It's so hard to step out of my comfort zone, but when I do, God blesses! Thank you for this post. I'm a new follower. Found you via Top 100 Christian Women's Blogs.

So nice to meet you sister!

Traci

prashant said...

Love you, and can't wait to hear how God works and moves in your life...
home jobs india

Laura Mullen said...

Joy, I read this today from a link on Marybeth Whalen's blog. I'm going to She Speaks this year (how, I don't know yet...but I'm GOING!) and I hope to be able to meet you there...I so identify with you. I have a blog of my own, and have really been working through stuff with God to figure out how to write and speak and otherwise totally shift the focus of my life. Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a note of encouragement and say I hope to see you there!
~Laura
laurarmullen.wordpress.com

Shelly said...

What an inspiration!!! Thanks, Joy!

I needed to hear that today!

I am stepping out in faith... just waiting on God's provisions!

I have been playing it safe way too long! ; )

http://shellysc.blogspot.com/