Sisters, (and/or brothers, if that be the case) I am convicted. In fact, the Lord has held me in a state of contrition for at least a week now, with the enemy fighting to turn the humility the Lord desires of me into vanity, self-deprecating thoughts and verbiage, insecurity, doubt, anxiety, and any other perversion of humility he can contrive. For weeks now, the Father has been calling me to Himself, whispering for me to look outside my tiny inch of eternity and be captured by His holiness and glory, and instead I have allowed the enemy to focus my heart on my weaknesses, my fears, and my insecurities. I have felt this gnawing feeling that everyone knows something that I don't know about life, and they are wondering when I will get it. That people are talking about me, about how I fall short of expectations and standards. Honestly, I have heard the enemy whisper that I am a burden, that I am not liked, that I don't belong. And with those lies comes fear that I will be found out. When will everyone see that I am such a fraud?! But this weekend, I went to the Women's Conference at First Baptist Irving, and there my conviction was confirmed, as well as the faithfulness of God to walk me through. (And PS, I can defeat those particular lies with Scripture: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3)
Have you felt before the difference between the feeling of conviction, and the feeling of guilt? Conviction, to me, feels more like a twinge, or sometimes a burn. Guilt feels like an empty pit. Or sour stomach. And Satan has tried savagely to convince me in the past weeks that that my twingy burn is an empty pit. But it isn't friends, and God was indeed satisfied to look on Christ crucified and pardon me instead and because of that, the empty pit of guilt and shame has no place in me. But the twinge of conviction brings me closer to Christ, and conforms me more closely into His image. It is a gift from God, not a punishment or condemnation.
So back to my conviction. But before that, let me lay before you a confession: through all of the fear and uncertainty of the past month, before Friday, I had not come before the Lord in humility and told Him that I trusted Him. I hadn't even told him that I DIDN"T trust Him, I hadn't told Him anything. I hadn't petitioned Him for anything. I hadn't used His Word as a light unto my path in this dark time for my family. I let my sadness, my worry, my anxiety, and honestly my own self-pity block Him out.
But "He knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust." Ps 103:14
Glory to the Father! Even in His holiness he remembers that I am dust. His patience with me is unfathomable. Even at this stage in my spiritual walk with Jesus, I found myself in this place of complacency and spiritual lethargy. But this is what my precious Heavenly Father brought to mind:
Hmmm, it is beautiful isn't it? That even though He knows how I was formed, He remembers that I am dust, and He is "familiar with ALL my ways," he counted me worthy of this precious gift. What kind of legacy am I leaving for this baby boy, who is the absolute joy of my heart? Is it a legacy of faith and perseverance? Am I a good steward of this treasure, destined to be admonished with "Well done good and faithful servant?"
Well there is good news and bad news about that. The bad news is no, I am not. Right now, as I sit typing this, I am not. All of my good intentions of leaving deep footprints of faithfulness for my son to follow have fallen away as life has spun around like a revolving door. I have believed absolute lies, and counted the blessings of God as burdens. But here is the good news: "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6 And as the generations of women repeatedly encouraged us at the conference this weekend, God's faithfulness to His promises and to His Word NEVER FAIL. I am not the godly woman, wife, and mother that God has called me to be. Are you? But He isn't finished with us yet. So I am going to make some commitments to Him, to myself, to my family, to you, dear friends. Here they are:
1. I am going to commit to FIGHTING for time with the Father every day, as my sweet friend Lauren encouraged this weekend. He is the lifeblood of who I am, without Him I am nothing. That's reason enough to get up before the baby does!
2. I am going to commit to praying for and speaking Scripture over and to my son daily. He is my responsibility, and my purpose in raising him is single: That he may know Christ and Him crucified. Scripture, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit are my only hope.
3. I am going to commit to memorizing the Word. I started this in college, and did well, but it hasn't been a priority since then. And I can't very well speak it over and to my children if I don't know it, so there you go.
4. I am going to commit to prayer. Not just in a specified time of the day that I have set aside for the Lord. But constantly, consistently, desperately. I want to be a prayer warrior for my family, my friends, my church, the lost, my country, my leaders, broken for what breaks the Father.
Ask me about it. Tell me if this touches your heart or if the Lord convicts you like He convicts me. Share your thoughts. I hear whispers of those of you who read my blog and tell my MOM about it, leave your thoughts and comments or I won't believe her when she tells me you read it :)
"We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Ps 78:4-7