I have been blessed with many speaking opportunities over the past six years. I have spoken to a less than five women around a table at a shelter in a community building. I have been part of a panel alongside a professor and a pastor’s wife to an audience of more than 1500 women. I have spoken to men, women and children. I have spoken and I have loved every opportunity (the speaking part that is. The preparing part I don’t love so much). The more I was called to speak the more I longed for more. For bigger. For “better.” But God has done an amazing thing in my heart and mind lately and through this faith trial, He has made me yearn for something I have specifically prayed never to be called to, let alone care about. That something is not bigger, better or glamorous but it is important to God so He is teaching me it should be important to me too.
We often think that more and bigger is better; more people, a bigger venue, more notoriety. We often equate “big” with “approval” and falsely believe that if we attract a bigger audience we must have something worth saying, the ability to say it well and that we are doing God’s work in a very efficient manner. Although I do not believe that my desire for bigger in relation to the speaking ministry God has blessed me with were selfish or for popularity’s sake, God has taught me lately that they were my desire, not His. Although I love speaking to women and feel called by God to speak I realized at a retreat I was the keynote speaker for a few months ago that I don’t like being away from my family overnight. Sitting in that hotel room, sleeping alone and having no one to laugh with or scold was awful. Something that I thought I always wanted God showed me in His mercy that once I had it, it was not really something I wanted at all (at least not now).
Then in an ironic twist, something I have asked God never to call me to has been breaking my heart for in the past five weeks. Something I did not care about, did not want to care about, do not have time to care about and again was not on my radar (other than the times I very nicely and respectfully asked God NOT to call me to it), He has brought front and center. Not my plan, not my agenda and not my dream (my nightmare in fact). What I believe God has been calling me to is completely illogical, unreasonable, and nonsensical and yet He has broken my heart for it and I can’t walk away from it as much as I want to or know realistically I should (regardless of how much it has completely disrupted my faith, family and brain).
“Dear Lord, God, thank you for showing me that I really do not know what is best and that is why sometimes you do not give us what we ask for. Thank you for gently removing a desire that I thought I wanted in this speaking ministry. Thank you for showing me that children and my husband are where my heart is and because you love me and care about the things I care about when they are in your will and plan, you sometimes say no or not now. And in regard to this thing I have asked you not to bring me to, God help me to trust that you will protect me in that too. It is hard to thank you for making the last five weeks so hard, but thank you. Thank you for growing my faith and although I am really tired of crying, thank you for answering my prayers. I have asked you to break my heart for what breaks yours and in doing so you have grown, challenged and blessed me. It would be nice if it didn’t have to be quite so hard, but thank you that you and the people you love are always worth it. In Your Name, Amen.”