The challenge of writing a blog, especially one designed to encourage others in their faith, is to make sure your posts don't come across as self-serving or presumptuous. That said, this post has been particularly difficult for me to write. In fact, this morning I'm tempted to just throw in the towel. But instead, I am pressing on and praying that this post, along everything I write, will point my readers to Jesus, to His Word and to a deeper walk of faith.
"Cathy, you need to write." I have heard this admonition in a variety of ways for years now. So a couple of years ago I started this blog. My original goal was to write a post once a month. That didn't happen. Until this past summer, on my fifty-second birthday, when I set a new goal to write a blog post once a week. So far, so good. Even though last week I didn't write a post for this blog. Instead, I wrote one for a new blog titled, Cathy's Heart on Training Up Teenagers. These blogs are my first steps-of-faith to write messages that I have primarily shared one-on-one in coffee shops or in cozy Bible Studies or in front of group of women at MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers), retreats and other events.
I love to speak. This is shocking when I consider the "D" I received in my high school speech class. And, ironically, writing which was my favorite school subject has become difficult and arduous. However, whether spoken or written, twenty six years ago God planted a seed in my heart to teach others. It happened in a small room, at a small church where I listened to a woman teach a small group of us young moms how to live our lives according to God's Word. As she spoke, a spark ignited within me. Afterwards, I hurried forward to thank her. Shyly I said, "When I grow up, I want to be just like you."She laughed, unaware I was completely serious. I left that meeting certain God had birthed a call on my life. A call to teach others about the Lord, His Word and His ways!
For years, there was no visible evidence of the seedling growing in my heart. I was a stay-at-home mom, managing a household and raising four small children. I eagerly attended Bible Studies, retreats and conferences. I hosted a lot of baby showers for friends and family. (The activity closest to anything resembling ministry.) And after our fourth child arrived, God moved our young family from Phoenix to San Diego. I didn't realize it then, but I know now, I was in the classroom of experience. Learning and growing and being stretched beyond my wildest dreams.
In our new home, God began to open doors and give me opportunities to speak and teach. First at a women's retreat, then at our weekly Bible Study and eventually at other women's events. I loved sharing God's word and the lessons the Lord taught me along the way. Preparing a Bible Study or a talk came almost effortlessly for me. (Not to say I didn't put a lot of time and energy into it.) At the same time, I was urged to write about the messages I so easily spoke on. But I found writing was too time consuming. And with my large active family it was easy to put it aside. Instead, I concentrated on teaching and speaking. I longed to do more of it. Yet every time I attempted to expand my realm of influence, God and/or my husband and/or circumstances said, "No, it's not time yet!"
As the years passed by, I watched my husband thrive, launched my children into adulthood and witnessed others blossom in their gifts and callings. And I confess, I cried out to God more than once, "What about ME? When is it MY turn?" I never imagined God would ask me to wait nearly twenty five years to pursue the call He planted in my heart in that little room. Many times I tried to run ahead of God, to chase MY dream in MY time, and to make things happen in MY way. Again and again God patiently whispered, "Wait," "Not now," "Not yet!" And all the while, He continued to tutor and train me in His Word, in His Ways, in His classroom of life with all of it's joys, trials and sorrows.
That is until about two years ago, when God, my husband AND circumstances began to tell me, "It's time!" "It's your turn!" "Go now!" I felt like Moses when God finally called him from the burning bush and said, "So now, go. I am sending you..." But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go..." Like Moses after forty years in the wilderness, I felt nervous, uncertain and afraid. So, God began to send others to encourage me to answer His call and to pursue my dream to speak, teach and even to write to a broader audience.
In order to move forward, I set my summer goal to write a post every week. In this step of obedience and discipline, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I really enjoy writing. In fact, the more I write the more I like it. And, I've taken more steps of faith by adding two new blogs, training up teenagers and training up children. The friends who have gone before me have also helped me to build a website. And here, for me, is the hard part of this post: I would like to invite you to check out my website and my new blogs. (Click on the highlighted words) And to pass them on to anyone you know who might be encouraged by them. Of course, above all else, my ardent prayer is, whether or not you check them out, that whatever I speak or write will point others to Jesus, to God's Word and to a deeper walk of faith.
As I close, I wonder, do you have a dream in your heart, a call upon your life or a yet-to-be-answered prayer you've said? Does God seem to be saying, "Wait" or "Not Now" or "Not Yet"? I want to assure you that God is at work. He doesn't waste anything. He has a perfect plan, a perfect time, a perfect answer. And I pray that you will be encouraged if you are waiting for God to say, "Now," "It's time," "Go!"