Recently stood in front of my peers and shared my testimony. It goes like this…
1 Thessalonians 5:24 reads “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” It’s amazing how one simple sentence can bring hope to hopeless situations, encouragement to discouraging experiences, and just enough energy to get through any day. See anyone who knew my story would recognize the life behind this verse. Me standing here is a testament to God’s faithfulness.
So the problem many times is that spectators show up at a chapter like this one, where it appears we have it all together – sitting under great instructors to gain more knowledge, insight, and education in hopes of expanding our experience base to then be catapulted to the next level. Sounds wonderful, free of struggle, pain, and distress.
But you know it’s only because “the One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” About 3 years ago I told a supervisor of mine that my #lifegoal would be to become a renowned motivational speaker for women, specifically in regards to educating on God’s blueprint for healthy, sanctifying marriages. She laughed. Not because I used the word renowned being a simple Tampa girl or because I used the word marriage being a single woman in my thirties, but because I chose the word speaker.
See I was the licensed mental health counselor working in private practice and counseling at church, who also saw her own counselor for severe, debilitating anxiety.
I was the one who organized an entire Summit at my last job, but then handed the main speech to my supervisor at the last minute saying I couldn’t go through with the event talk.
I was the youth leader here at Grace who led 7th grade groups year after year encouraging these young girls to never put limits on what God can do in their lives, but would then shoot down opportunities to speak at youth events and trainings.
I was the Honors College graduate who created a website for the entire city of West Tampa, but then visited the Dean of the Honors College to decline the invitation to present my work to students, professors, and community leaders.
I was the USF diversity consultant who created trainings for staff, but would then spend the two hours before each training in the bathroom sick and unable to go setup the training room.
I was the one who would do all of the work for group projects in exchange for not having to speak in front of the class.
I was the one who would sit in class taking up the entire period going over in my head how exactly to ask the one question that I was seeking an answer for.
You see on the outside I appeared to live a great Christian life: raised in church, paternal grandfather was the pastor of the church my parents met in, volunteered in the children’s ministry starting at age 15, traveled on two missions trips, baptized at the age of 24, never really straying from the good ol Christian path, my biggest vice being my coffee addiction.
But on the inside struggling to stay above the waters from my worry, fears, and endless play of negative mind chatter. Having every step be so calculated and avoiding any situation that caused me to feel tense or unnerving. See my life was anything but peaceful – driven 100% by fear.
Right after sharing with my supervisor a dream that seemed unattainable and was literally quite laughable, my mother shares with me a vision she received one day when praying for me, where I was standing on stage and speaking to an audience.
There is an implication wrapped in the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” You see any healthy relationship is one that is two-sided. God calls us but the expectation is for us to answer to that call.
It’s taken me many years to answer God’s call – His call to a greater relationship with Him, one that is completely dependent on His abilities, not mine. Recently the last part of that bible verse hit me straight between the eyes. “He will do it.” My fears and insecurities were driven by my own imperfections, flaws, and weaknesses. The impossible had remained impossible because I was fixated on my own inabilities. But His promise for all of us is that “He will do it” if we just answer yes to His call.
See anyone who knew my story would recognize the life behind this verse. Me standing here is a testament to God’s faithfulness. I don’t know what the next chapter looks like, and that’s okay. My eyes are now fixated on Him. I give glory to God for where I’m at in my story now because “the One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”
“My confidence is your faithfulness.”