#FireWorkPeople: Do What You Were Made To Do

#FireWorkPeople Doing What I Was Made To

I almost quit this week.

Monday night I called my best friend in tears, “I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this. Maybe I should just give up now.” Fear had crept in and I started to wonder if I really had what it takes to continue pursuing this dream, but fear is a liar.

The thing is– this blog, my writing, isn’t just some good idea I fell upon one day. I wasn’t bored looking for something to fill my time. I wasn’t looking for popularity. In reality, at the time I started this blog, I hadn’t even been dreaming.

But God.

Some of the most powerful portions of Scripture include a “But God” moment. A pivotal moment where there is no possible way for a victory to come unless God does a miracle. Everyone involved and everyone watching knows there can only be one explanation and it has to be bigger than themselves or their circumstances. It has to be God.

This blog is the result of a “But God” moment. I had been living life to the best of my ability– going to work every day and filling my evenings with a variety of ministry opportunities. All of them good things. Good things have a way of distracting us from the even greater things God has for us. Up until then that’s where my life was– it had plateaued at good and God had so much more in store for me.

People had been telling me to write for years. They saw greatness in me, but I had dismissed it. Not me, I thought, I couldn’t possibly do that. Those lies bound my hands and silenced my mouth for far too long.

Day in and day out, I’d suppress the desires of my heart– thinking that they were somehow selfish or wrong. I had forgotten along the way that it was God who had been the one to give me those desires in the first place. So, I tried to stifle the fire that was in my soul to write.

With time, as much as I tried to extinguish the flames, God continued to fan them. Finally, I gave in to the heat. “Alright. I’ll write,” I told God. A sideways grin formed on His face….or so I imagined.

So I began to write. And now I can’t NOT write. I feel compelled to do it with every ounce of my being. Yes, there are days where fear creeps in like it did this week. There are moments where the voices in my head tell me to just give up now. Those are the moments where I have to remind myself this is bigger than me.

It has been an amazing journey– one which I could have never imagined and this is just the beginning. There’s so much more in store. Not because I’ve got it all planned out, but because He’s writing the story. (I’m still hoping He adds in my partner for this adventure soon!)

What is it that you’ve felt like you should be doing, but have allowed fear to derail you? Don’t believe the lies that tell you that you can’t do it– you can. In fact, you’ve been made to do it. Now walk in it.

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Use What You’ve Got

Use What

It seems like everybody is asking these questions:

What are my dreams?

What is my calling?

What am I meant to do in life?

You know you’ve asked them. Don’t deny it. In bed at night, unable to sleep, you wonder if you’re doing what you were made to do. Or maybe you’ve been sitting around a table drinking coffee with friends and someone asks the “If you could do anything, what would it be” question, which always leaves me wanting to put my head through the wall. It’s such a HUGE question.

Geez. I don’t know. Most days I struggle picking out what I want to wear to work.

I mean, if it were up to me, I’d have married my bearded lumberjack and have had babies by now–to be a wife and a mom. That was….is….my dream.

There’s more than that though. And I know it. There’s these passions in my heart that up until a year ago, I hadn’t even dared to pursue because of fear. Like this blog, for example.

I started writing when I was a teenager. I didn’t have a traditional diary, but a “Jesus Journal” as I called it. Each entry begins, “Dear Jesus,” and I share what’s on my heart. The struggles and endless “why…” questions. I wasn’t always super deep. I told Jesus about the boy I was in love with (that week) and how I wanted to know if he was “the one”. Or how I was mad at my friend for inviting my sister over and not me. I’d say my notes have matured with age, but I’m just using bigger words now.

Then, in 2008, I felt like I was supposed to go back to college and get my BA in Writing. I had already graduated from Bible school and had been working as a full time youth leader and had no intentions of going back to school. God had other plans. He wasn’t just calling me to go back to college to get a degree, but to rekindle the calling He had on my life.

I was meant to write.

Let me back up to three years earlier. I was in my Senior year of Bible school and as is the tradition there, our teachers pray for us before we graduate. When it was my turn, the person praying mentioned the scripture Ezekiel 37 in regards to my calling. The story behind Ezekiel 37 is pretty amazing– I’ll give you the Holly notes version. Basically, there’s a prophet named Ezekiel and God brings him to a valley full of bones. The bones are dry and lifeless and God asks Ezekiel if the bones can be brought to life.

Ezekiel’s a smart guy. His response to God is brilliant, in my opinion, “Only you know that God.”

Ya. You got that right.

So, God tells Ezekiel to speak breath to the bones and he does. And there, in that valley of death, God causes the bones to grow ligaments and muscles and skin and they become living, breathing bodies! In verse 10, these once lifeless bones are now called an exceeding army.

What’s this got to do with me and writing?

You see, God hasn’t called me just to write. He’s called me to speak life to weary bones. Weary bones that are just trying to make it through the day and aren’t seeing any hope. Bones that are grieving over loses or unfulfilled dreams. Bones that have been bruised and hurt (including those hurt by Christians). Bones that feel unlovable and unworthy.

When God asked me to write, He asked me: “Holly, do you believe I can use your words to bring life to people?”

And all I knew to say was, “God, only you can know that.”

I know some of you may be thinking that you don’t have what it takes to fulfill the dreams and calling God has on your life. Maybe you feel deficient in some way and you tell yourself you’ll pursue it once you get a little more training or schooling. Or once your kids are grown. Or when you’ve got more money or more time.

Let me give you one more Bible story to help you with all those excuses.

In 1 Samuel 17, we read the story of little David and big bad Goliath. Goliath was a monster of a man and caused grown men to crap their pants in fear. For 40 days, this mammoth would stand before the Israelite army and insult God and would dare any man to come fight him one-on-one. The winner would take all. Literally.

David was not a part of the army, but was just a little shepherd boy bringing his brothers (who were in the army) food. While there, David heard Goliath’s rant, and saw no one was doing anything. David wouldn’t stand by and do nothing and goes to King Saul and volunteers to fight the giant. King Saul allows him, and tries to give him his armor.

The problem is, Saul’s armor doesn’t fit David. It wasn’t made for him.

Instead, David goes out to battle without armor and the only tool he knows how to use– a simple sling and a few stones he’s picked up along the way.

To everyone watching, the scene must have appeared ridiculous. David killed that giant though. And he did it using the skills God had given him. God always anoints the gifts He gives. 

So, I ask you: What has God given you that He’s asking you to use? What is YOUR sling?

For me, it’s my words. I may feel like a punk kid among veterans, but I’m going to be faithful to go out and use what God gave me. I’m confident if I’m obedient to do that then He will bring victory upon victory. I believe that for you, too.