Recently I spent a significant number of hours in a car with my 3 children. I should note they are 21, 17, and 14. This kind of trip should be somewhat enjoyable since they are all older and well, can travel easier than they used to. And to be honest, it was pretty easy…other than I really dislike driving and we were stuck in a little bumper-to-bumper traffic for a while.
Stress seems to manifest in many ways. I found my muscles tensing and a headache forming soon after we started the drive because of the fear and tension I feel when I get behind the wheel. Nothing major has happened that would make me afraid to drive, but my inability to control the way other people drive seems to expose a little of my anxiety on road trips. I have been known to cry, I’ll admit it.
While I was driving I was thinking about this book I had the privilege to read recently by another blogging friend called, A Life of Creative Purpose, by Tammy Hendricksmeyer. This last week I sat down with her book and a notebook determined to mine out all the gems she had poured into it. I’ve read her blog long enough to know that notes would be a benefit to me. There are way too many good things to chew on not to write them down…I simply didn’t want to forget one thing.
God provides freedom through others gifts…
Friends, I literally read her book in one day. If I didn’t have to get up and be a mom and wife, I would have camped in my favorite chair and had a retreat with Tammy and her story. It was so good. I need to actually go back and read it again slowly just to soak it up.
I am blessed by the way God’s Sovereign grace provides for us when we don’t even know we need it because Tammy’s book was exactly that for me. It was a much needed vitamin of grace for my sometimes feeble questioning heart.
There are seasons in your life where you find yourself taking notice of the changes that are going on…just like what you see right out your window. Tammy succinctly touches on the seasons of our lives, bringing examples in God’s Word of the warrior witnesses who chose to believe God and walk faithfully in their calling.
“Whatever you’re called to do, God patiently waits. He is not flustered by the season your living in. But He longs to show you your creative purpose,too.” -TH.
Tammy says that our calling is a simplicity of faithfulness. We need to be willing to trust His Sovereign grace where our gifts are concerned and not fear the world,we need to choose to have faith in the One who made us to be exactly as we are. She challenged me on every argument I felt my heart release with truth and with stories of her own questions and feeble faith moments. She encouraged me to affirm what I know He has put in my heart by choosing to make every yes to God the best yes for me.
“Say yes when invited… Don’t deny God’s open door just because you doubt your ability.” -TH
But I think the most important concept I took from her words were that our gifts are not just for us. What if our creative gifts are also the way that others can live free as well?
“Your Spirit-filled, creative driven life frees others to commit themselves to their callings.”-TH
What if we really saw the distribution the way God sees it? You know, the way He sees the gifts He has given each of us collectively? Would we begin to see the purpose for them, to see why one of us is skilled to serve one way and another was blessed to serve another?
I can’t encourage you enough to invest in Tammy’s book. You’ll be so glad you did.
I have asked her to share some grace with us here. She asks a few questions at the end and for everyone who answers her questions, or can share what they have learned about the gifts God has placed in your heart, you will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Tammy’s book.
Welcome my sweet friend, Tammy, to the #GraceMoments community friends. I am praying for you this week.
*The quotations above are taken from Tammy’s book, A Life of Creative Purpose
Positioning Yourself for a Purposeful Life (& One Thing that Trumps Fear)
Most my life, I’ve been afraid of failure. However, I might’ve been even more afraid of success. For too many years, I was immobile because the magnitude and pressures,or vulnerability, required to do what God had called me too, paralyzed me.
I’ve written a lot about this. I even named my blog, The Art of Fear Not. I decided on that title because God always told His people to not fear just before sending them into battle.
Armies Against Us
Even though His people were informed that they’d win the skirmishes, most times they were still afraid. I can’t say I blame them. They were up against sword-wielding armies that were willing to cut a man down and spill blood.
We may not have the same scenario in the U.S. (at least not yet), but we don’t need the threat of hand-to-hand combat to experience fear. Our own thoughts can attack us with feelings just as real a danger. I know mine did.
The enemy uses fear to hide us or blind us from our God-purpose. He’d prefer to lock us up and throw away the key. The enemy attempts to bully us. His demonic realm would prefer to rip out our vocal cords or cut off our hand from writing or burden us with every insecurity until we began to believe our worth was lower than the dirt itself rather than seeing us live our God-given purpose.
But bear in mind, when you’re in bondage, suppressed, oppressed, silenced, or held back, it also holds back blessings too—our blessings through your God-given contribution of gifts and talents.
Several years ago, I decided to tackle my own issue with fear, head on. I looked in the mirror and met with God on my internal mess. And I also asked questions like, “Was it me or God who wanted to do a such-n-such thing? And if it’s God, why am I hamstrung with fear?”
After spending time in prayer, and laying down a good dose of self-preservation, a clear path emerged. I then decided I’d follow wherever it led. Not that the path was open and wide or easy for traveling. No, this was more of a narrow thicket where I couldn’t see ‘round the next corner—making the journey less about self-reliance and more about placing one steady foot in front of the other.
Don’t get me wrong. Fear didn’t entirely flee on this trek with God. There were times it tried to gore me like daggers from a thorny locust. But instead, I chose to trust and move forward anyway.
I fought back too.
A Warrior’s Call
During that time, anxiety would creepin only for me to replace it with intercession. I meditated on scripture. I bombarded my mind with worship music and reflected on His beautiful handiwork in creation.
I took opportunities to reverse fear into faithful action. I’m sure the devil didn’t take kindlythat hisdemonic attacks turned into prayers, worship, and a yielding to the sword of the Spirit inside my heart.But that’s what fighting does—the good fight—positioning myself for a (God) purposeful life.
But oh how we also need to be each other’s champion for freedom too!
Power & Purpose
I continue to be amazed at the power of prayer. Prayer moves mountains, y’all. And sometimes those mountains are skyscrapers inside us. I’m not perfect at prayer or even at instantly returning to it, but when I finally do—why did I wait so long?
When we receive God’s wisdom, we become bold like lions, warriors ready to rise above insecurities, frailties, or fear and charging into battle in order to advance His kingdom.
I want to live in obedience to Christ, despite trepidation of what it might require of me.
Which also means, I need the Holy Spirit to help me get over myself already.
But the Body of Christ needs more than little ol’ me.
Truth That Sets Free
We, living in this big ol’ world,need each of you. We need you to press into your God-purpose. Except, we don’t want to be something you’re not. You should be exactly what God’s called you to be and nothing more. No pressure to run off and save the world.
None of us in this Body of Christ are too small and Lord have mercy, none are too big and important either.
Instead, we pursue our God-purpose whether it’s raising our family or speaking on a stage.
And let’s not allow our muddied past to undervalue our worth inside God’s kingdom. I’ve done that. I once disqualified myself for many of God’s ministries because of condemnation and shame. Learn from my mistake.
Truth be told, the spirit of fear is afraid of you—afraid of the Spirit inside you, the same Spirit that sets you free.
Courage Rises to the Top
The enemy knows your God. The ruler of this world attempts to draw away your attention with clanging gongs, hoping you’ll never notice how big God really is.
Scripture says that God’s perfect love casts out fear.And that means, we have to first let God love on us, receiving it. Once we do that (& never stop),courage rises to the top.
Let’s make this a year where we pay attention and live with more intention.
God’s gifted you with a beautifully, unique, spirit-full life.
Don’t grow weary of the fight, Warrior. I can tell you that obedience to God trumps fear any day of the week.
What might God be asking of you? How might He be challenging you to change or step out or persevere this year? What are your biggest struggles or hurdles right now?
T.H. Meyer lived in Asia and Europe before settling among dairy and poultry farms in an oasis of Rye fields and Bermuda pastures on acreage in east Texas. Far removed from big-city slickers, she enjoys family, back porch “dates” with her hubby, intimate gatherings of friends, and eating out anywhere someone else does the cooking. She’s the author of, A Life of Creative Purpose. You can follow her spiritual and writing journey on her website: The Art of Fear Not: Putting Spunk into the Creative Life
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