Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 19: Fear of Saying Yes-How Saying Yes to God Changed My Life

He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear

the word of God and obey it."

Luke 11:28

Day 19:  Fear of Saying Yes
If you knew me in college, I'm sure you'd be shocked to know that God has called me into ministry.  I was shocked too.  I had a great fear of saying "Yes" to His calling, and for a long time, I ignored Him. 
As a little girl, somehow I learned to equate God's love with how good I was.  If I was good, then God loved me.  I had a very close relationship with God, and as a people pleaser, I wanted to please Him, so I was choices were was...well...good.  I knew God was going to use me in powerful ways someday. 
When I went to college, all that changed.  I began to make so many bad choices and became quite the party girl.  Because I had this idea of earning God's love with my good choices, as soon as I began making bad choices, I thought that God didn't love me anymore.  I thought that there wasn't anyway that God was going to use me now.
Soon, I began distancing myself from God.  I ignored Him.  I didn't feel worthy of His love.  For 17 years, I didn't go to church other than for the typical holiday time with my parents.  I didn't pray to God very often other than for some desperate times.  I didn't think I deserved anything from Him.  I didn't think He would care about what I had to say. 
It's no surprise that those 17 years were the darkest years of my life.  From the outside, I don't think anyone would have known anything was wrong, but inside, I was a mess.  I was insecure and fearful.  I was a binge-drinker and would get in huge fights with my husband.  My marriage was a mess.  I went through infertility, depression, and had thoughts of suicide. 
Six years ago, I was healed of infertility.  God pulled me out of the pits of depression, and again I felt God telling me that He was going to use me in powerful ways.  Who me?  I don't think so, God.  I've made too many mistakes.  I have nothing to give.  How can I serve You at all? 
I was too fearful to say "Yes", so I ignored Him. 
After having my first son, a childhood friend invited me to a moms group at her church and my life changed.  I began to hear powerful testimonies from amazing women.  They were open about their mistakes and their sins, and they shared about God's grace and unconditional love.  
Me and my childhood friend
Really?  I thought.  Interesting...I wanted to know more.
I started to feel a little bit of hope.  Maybe if God loves them, maybe He loves me too.  Maybe He can still use me powerfully.  My fears of saying "Yes" to God began to melt...not completely, but a little--enough for me to say "Yes" to my neighbor who offered to pray for me. 
She literally took me under her wing.  She not only prayed for me, but she also encouraged me, invited me to her small group, taught me how to pray, taught me how to listen to the Holy Spirit, and helped guide my life towards a new path.  God used her in powerful ways.  My fears of saying "Yes" to God began to melt again...not completely, but a little more--enough for me to say "Yes" when I was asked to be on the leadership team in the moms group.
I began to learn more about God's love for me along with the forgiveness that came with Jesus dying on the cross.  These were all things I learned when I was little, but somehow didn't believe that they applied to me.  Soon, my faith began to grow, and I learned that Jesus' sacrifice was for me too, and that my sins were forgiven. 
I began to change, and everything in my life began to follow.  I became less fearful and more confident.  I became more responsible with alcohol and more loving to my husband.  My marriage began to heal.  I became pregnant with my second child. 
My fears of saying "Yes" to God began to melt again...not completely, but a little more--enough for me to say "Yes" when my neighbor asked me to share my testimony and get baptized on a Sunday she was going to be preaching.  Even though it was the day before I was going to have a C-Section, I said "Yes."   
That day, I recommitted my life to Christ.  I promised Him that I would surrender to His will and to be obedient to His calling on my be in ministry. 
July 31, 2011--the day before my daughter was born
When you make a promise like that to God...look out!
So when a friend asked me to co-direct the moms group I was attending with her, my fears of saying "Yes" had melted away completely...well, there was still hesitation as that was just what I was used to feeling.  Regardless, I said "Yes" to directing the moms group with her, and with that, my ministry began.
I know now that God loves me no matter what mistakes I've made in the past.  I know that God loves me not because I'm always good, but because He is always good.  I know that when I do make mistakes, He is full of love, forgiveness and grace.  I know that God can use me even more powerfully through the many challenges I've overcome in my life.  I love this:
My fear of saying "Yes" to God were gone.  I am His.  I am here to serve Him.  I am here to be obedient to Him.  I'm here to do what He is calling me to do.  I'm here to shine God's light on others.  I'm here to say "Yes" when He calls me.
Now, God is using me in powerful ways like I always thought He would but was too afraid to let Him, and even though my ministry path has gone in a completely different direction than I had anticipated, I am still saying "Yes" to God no matter what.  I am so grateful and thankful for everyone that God used to bring me back to a close relationship with one that is one that is one that is not based on how good I am, but instead is based on how good God is.
Even though it's scary, I'm committed to saying "Yes" to God from now on!  Are you ready?  Do you want to surrender to God's calling for you and say "Yes" to all He's asking you to do?
Father, I give my fear of saying "Yes" to You.  Open my heart to believe that You love me; that You value me; that You want to use me in powerful ways no matter what mistakes I've made in the past.  God open my heart to obey Your calling, to listen to Your will, to feel Your love.  Help me to surrender to You completely no matter how fearful I am to say "Yes" to You.  I invite You into my heart to be the keeper of my words, to be the guide of my actions, to be the author of my life.  With You by my side, my life won't be perfect, but it will be more fulfilling...more meaningful.  Father, shine Your light into my fear of saying "Yes" and fill me with faith to know that when I say "Yes" to You, I can never go wrong!  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

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