If you saw me on Instagram, you had a little glimpse into the ladies’ conference – and its theme – I attended this past weekend. “When God Writes Your Story.” A challenging thought but, at the same time, very convicting. As women, we not only want to (as in enjoy) author own stories but so often we feel it is our role, even our obligation, as wife and mom, to write our stories – and even the stories for our loved ones. At the very least, we (mentally) write how our children and husband’s stories should interact with ours and affect the outcome of our story.
Even that paragraph sounds heavy with words. With responsibility. Being the dictator of our own stories is a huge task and one we are not supposed to even assume. God is the writer of our life story. He is the perfect author. Certainly, “his thoughts are not our thoughts” and often the path He sees best – with all of its twists and turns – is not what we would write. But we can trust Him. And if we will trust Him, the story that unfolds – the story of our life – will be beautiful because it will glorify Him.
The entire conference was a blessing but I think the most powerful lesson, for me, was in the final session. Jenny Navarrete, one of the two main speakers, taught a lesson on faith over fear. Even when we want to allow God to write our story, often we are paralyzed with fear. Stopped in our tracks. She explained that the reaction of fear is natural and even acceptable. However, allowing our choices, decisions, and our actions to be a response in fear is not. We might be afraid of a situation, circumstances or of an unknown outcome on the path in front of us, but we can still respond in faith. Trusting God.
Jenny used the story of Peter being instructed to “launch out into the deep” and likened the deep to anything past our comfort zone, safety area or just our comfortable routine. God does not have to call us to the jungles of Africa in order for our hearts to be overwhelmed with fear. He can ask us simply to step outside our routine – and the one thousand “what ifs” grip us with fear. For someone like me, still working out the idea of my word for this year – surrender – and all the ways it impacts me……giving up control of my routine and the way it defines my comfort zone is definitely a challenge.
I have several verses I try to keep “on repeat” in my thoughts. Familiar verses that remind me not to fear, to have courage and not to be overwhelmed. My favorites are in Joshua. However, Jenny referenced one that I have not memorized – or even thought on often. (It’s a bit of a long one…which may or may not be why I have not memorized it yet!) I Chronicles 28:20….
“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
My life story will, no doubt, never include any assignment as huge as building the temple. But whatever God asks me to do, whatever He asks me to bear, wherever He asks me to go or whatever path He leads me on, I need not fear. I can be confident He will go with me and will enable me to finish the task and stay the course. I can choose faith over fear.