I don't know how it is for other ministry leaders but every single time I step out in faith - the enemy will come at me fast and furious immediately before, and then immediately following the event.
The onslaught of thoughts that "I'm not good enough. Not smart enough. That how I discern the Word of God is not the same way (or preference) of my listeners and for that reason I shouldn't do what I do. Who do I think I am?"
And so I sink emotionally. It's horrible. And real. Sometimes, if you seek me after an event, you might find me in bed with the covers pulled over my head.
So I try to prepare for it. Knowing the words I sense being whispered in to my heart isn't from God, I turn on worship music, pray, and remind myself of the truth of the scriptures. It's a battle for my soul that's happening. An attempt to sideline me. Get me off track. And I KNOW it.
Still I must battle it.
Yesterday was my ugly day. This week I spoke at a prison, at a MOPS event held in a church that WAS a former strip joint (coolest thing ever to minister there btw), my monthly Java with Jayne, and mailed in the check that reserved our retreat location. I can assure you I have officially ticked off our mutual enemy this week.
And yet, God.
So while I was battling lying emotions, texting family members to pray for me, a kind friend dropped off the sweetest gift on my doorstep. She had NO idea what I was working through and yet GOD had laid me on her heart. As she was walking through Kirkland's she saw a little sign that reinforced the message I had given from Thursday morning's "Java" and wanted me to have it.
What in the world?
On Monday I am speaking to the inmates about how to know that "God still speaks to us." I know from experience that one way God speaks to us is through His activity in our lives. You see, I know God laid me on her heart. She simply responded. And while I accepted this gift from her, I know it was really God Himself ministering to my suffering heart as I live this public life of faith.
Reassuring me. Encouraging me. Loving on me.
Girls - we are the hands and feet of Christ. Show His love well to those around you. If God brings someone to your mind in prayer, ACT on it. It's never about the gift, it's about what the gift communicates - God's love for that person. And we are a people desperate for that knowledge.
Maybe one day I won't battle ridiculous mind games - but until then I am resting in God's faithfulness to me during them. Knowing Jesus is praying for me (John 17:20) and that I am growing up in my faith while enduring this struggle.