So with this post…I honestly have no idea where to start…I feel like last week flew by in a SECOND!!  literally…I am thinking back on our trip and it has such amazing detail with everything that we accomplished and at the same time it flew by in a blur.  I feel like this trip has really opened my eyes a lot to the tangible work of God in the hearts and lives of others and I feel that He is revealing a lot to me about what direction He wants me to go with my life.  How I will get there, I don’t have any clue.  I do know that any desire that is planted by God can be prayed about and if we choose to trust this direction from God, even though we may not understand it, He will guide us there if we put our trust in Him and focus on seeking Him in every moment.   From my facebook status today, let us also remember that trusting Him is a moment-by-moment choice and we DO have the option to chose life, and Him over all things that cause us grief, and doubt, and dismay! It may be easier to choose the ways of the world, but where will those things ultimately lead us? Back to where we started when we were so frustrated in the first place?

I know that I have Goliaths of my own to face this week and even every day…even if they are “little” ones.  The devil will use ANYTHING that he knows will get under our skin to bring us down, to take a chip out of our strength and once he sees that it is working, he will take another swing at us, and another…ONLY if we allow him to do so.  I won’t go into exact detail but my biggest struggle lately has been with my mind…I have a tendency to be a little OCD and obsess about certain things that my mind latches onto…and with this, I’ve allowed the devil to get in and make me camp out on some desires and thoughts that were such poison to my life.  It has been a HUGE challenge for me personally to unleash my mind from these thoughts and really put my focus back to where it needs to be.  I am sharing this with you because as a leader, I want you to know that I have been where you’ve been and I still struggle with things every day.  I am not perfect, even though I am a perfectionist, and we all fall so terribly short from being able to measure up to God’s grace.  So as I pray for you, please pray for me and the other leaders at the church to be able to face and overcome our Goliaths.  Prayer is SO powerful.  Just whispering the name of Jesus can create control over the craziest situation and calm the choppiest waters that you may find yourself in at times.  Try this sometime this week.  When you find yourself in a situation where you have to make a decision, or you’re angry at your parents, or you feel like you’re about to break down and cry…just audibly (out loud :)) SPEAK the name of Jesus.  It doesn’t have to be loud and you don’t even have to let anyone know that you’re doing it…just step back off to the side or under your breath, just say His name and allow Him to be with you in that moment.  It IS your choice.  Will you choose this peace or will you allow the circumstance to take control and later regret blowing up at your parents or friends or making a poor decision?

I had a deep conversation on the flight from McAllen to DFW with Nathan about a lot of things but one of the things was about love.  And I know we are talking about encouragement and fighting our Goliaths, and I will address that even more in a post tomorrow or later in the week but right now I think it is crucially important that we somehow begin to scratch the surface of understanding what “love” really is and what it means.  When Nathan told me that a friend of his likes to debate he said I’ll ask you the question and I’ll tell you if it’s “right”.  So he asked me plain and simple, what is love?  And I would like to tell you my answer and explain it but I feel like I should ask you first what YOU would answer…WHAT IS LOVE?

I can’t wait to give you my answer but I hope that ONE of you at least will respond to this post and then I will create a post with my answer…I don’t want to answer it just yet because I am actually VERY interested to see what you will say.  I won’t be coming at it from a debate stand point like he did with me, but I want to see what you’ve got!  So just do it!  Write a comment, it doesn’t have to be super long but just give me something…any sort of definition or explanation or real life example of what love is to you!  Thanks in advance…I can’t wait to see your answers…and I’ll “bite my tongue” and wait til tomorrow to post mine.  I can’t wait!

I am praying for each of you…that you are guarding your hearts against the Goliaths in your lives and that you are placing your focus on the will of Jesus for your life!  He has SO much more to offer than any circumstance that could steal our attention from Him!

Faithfully following…defeating Goliath one stone at a time,

Valerie

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