It’s Not Up to You

Image_20

It was my first real, paid, speaking engagement. A church halfway across the country had invited me, Jennifer Slattery, Midwestern mom of one, to be their keynote speaker.

I was more than intimidated. I was terrified, to the point my stomach felt as if army ants, butterflies, and nasty spiders had declared war within me.

Not wanting to reveal the extent of my ignorance and ineptitude, I spent hours crafting and rehearsing my speech and fine-tuning my Power Point.

Then the day came. I’d spent so much time preparing and rehearsing I could give my speech backwards. In my sleep. I’d become so confident in my abilities, in fact…

God needed to do some confidence-stripping.

It started with a casual conversation between me and the educational minister.

“What do you plan to talk about?”

This struck me as odd, for I’d already sent him my outline. But perhaps he’d forgotten, so I shared my main points, certain he’d be pleased.

Turns out, he had a different vision for the presentation entirely.

This meant I needed to prepare a completely different speech, and quickly.

Those warring critters returned with a vengeance, and cold sweat broke out on my face. On my entire body, actually, only it wasn’t cold. It was insanely hot as we were in Texas at the peak of summer.

Except I had little time for a shower.

Twenty minutes later, with new Power Point slides and graphics in place, stopwatch in hand, I prepared to spend the next two hours practicing until I’d cemented each word permanently in my brain.

Once again, God had other plans. “Come away and spend time with Me,” He said.

No more rehearsing. No preparing. Simply abiding.

In other words, He wanted me to remember, this wasn’t about me nor was it up to me. It was and always had been up to Him.

And He managed just fine. In fact, the presentation went so well, afterward a long line of parents thronged to the podium sharing stories and praising God for His wisdom and truth.

I remembered this night with fondness as I was reading Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:2-4

“For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Because it wasn’t up to Paul, just as it’s not up to us, regardless of what we face or have been called to do. God will build His church. He will touch, heal, and transform hearts, and He will use us to do that. Our role is simple: surrender and obey, trusting in His power at work within us.

He’ll do the rest.

What are you facing now? Are you behaving, stressing, and angsting as if it’s up to you? He’s got this, friend. Rest in God’s power and strength at work in you.

It’s Not Up to You

It was my first real, paid, speaking engagement. A church halfway across the country had invited me, Jennifer Slattery, Midwestern mom of one, to be their keynote speaker. I was more than intimidated. I was terrified, to the point my stomach felt as if army ants, butterflies, and nasty spiders had declared war within me. […]

God Moves Mountains that You Don’t Even See

The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8 It happened almost 14 years ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday. She was 13 months old and finally ready to take her first […]

Simple Steps To Enjoy Your Journey

Saying that our society is fast paced seems to be an understatement. Everyone is making goals and implementing fantastic strategies to meet them. Our children are just as competitive: because of our doing, sports are no longer enough, but you have to be in private lessons to make them more successful in the sport of […]

When Your Deepest Pain and Purpose Collide

We want to change the world and do something big. We want to know our lives, pain, and tears on this earth matter. Searching for our purpose, we read books, say thousands of prayers, and beg God to answer the question: “What in the world are we here for?” We get glimpses, but it still […]

Revealed and Concealed

It was early on a Saturday, and the sun, burning through the morning mist, was slow to rise. Truth…there wasn’t much rise in me either. Sleepily, I rolled over, back towards the light, and fell into a heavy sigh. It’s been my experience that even seasons of unrest gain energy and peace in the light […]

Above all….

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is […]

When we jump to conclusions

“And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.’”Acts 16:27, 28. Have you heard the story of Paul and […]

Once Unruly Moods, Now Fearless Choices

(Circa 2000) My unruly mood. That small 4-letter word whose power— depending on the day— was either a game changer or a potential hazard to the smallest of audiences. A female, I received the time-honored “gift” of emotions. This distinctive DNA, once erupted, usually caused a volcano of words to descend on helpless victims in my […]

• for mother’s everywhere •

I struggle with Mother’s Day. I just do. I’ve been accused of being a “bleeding heart,” but every year at this time, I find myself reflecting on Mother’s Day and what it means to those who, in a very imperfect and fallen world, try to navigate the day, when this day, any day, can be […]

A Loopty-loop Life

My daughter, the third child and last born of our family, leaned her back against the measuring stick. Her head was several centimeters into the green area of the line. I couldn’t believe it. She could go on the rollercoaster ride. I could go on the rollercoaster ride! We stepped into line, and my heart […]

The Day I Realized My Words Were Poison

To say I didn’t know it was coming would be a full-on lie. I did. The Holy Spirit had been at work for a while gently convicting me over my less-than loving use of my words to eviscerate another person. But I, like King David, thought I could just push it back and not deal […]

•remembering mothers everywhere •

I struggle with Mother’s Day. I just do. I’ve been accused of being a “bleeding heart,” but every year at this time, I find myself reflecting on Mother’s Day and what it means to those who, in a very imperfect and fallen world, try to navigate the day, when this day, any day, can be […]

Breathe Mama, Just Breathe

I See You, Mama You are work so hard. I see you. Some of you are working in the home, and some out of the home. All of you invest so much of yourself into your family. There is little time for rest because you are caring so diligently for those around you. I see […]

Ditch the Labels

        You are irreplaceable. One in a hundred billion. * The only you. Unique in design. “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very […]

Under Attack?

This week, I have been thinking a lot about “The Battle.” I’m not sure that Christians take Satan’s attack on us seriously. The Bible refers to him as a prowling lion, looking for someone to devour. I recently discovered some interesting things about how lions hunt. Today, I want to share something that especially caught […]


Join the conversation with the hashtag

#ICDevos

 photo subscribe_zpsd42e1bff.jpg

You can have these posts delivered right to your inbox. Simply enter your email address:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 photo facebook_zpsd420520e.jpg
 photo twitter_zps1845c73f.jpg