A few months ago, today’s guest poster, Jenalee, would find a flyer for a morning Bible study at Lydia’s House. Without knowing what Lydia’s House was, which Bible study it was, or who would be there, she got up early on a Wednesday morning and drove from Houston to Brenham to attend. And when I (Darcee) saw her walk through those doors, I was shocked and ecstatic to see her there. The boldness, bravery and encouragement of her showing up that morning still has its grip on me. Since then, I have seen and heard of the many ways that Jenalee is seeing the Lord show up, and the ways that Jenalee is showing up to see the Lord. Jenalee possesses a rare and genuine calmness to here that inspires you to slow down and see the Lord for yourself. I am beyond excited for you to read her words below.
In the beginning of this year God began speaking to me about being a “fearless warrior.” I eagerly accepted that title because I thought I possessed the necessary qualities to serve God in that way. However, he began to trim down those traits I thought were so honorable, because I was only partially glorifying God with them. I had also been using them to glorify my flesh. He taught me that my independence shouldn’t be used as an excuse to isolate myself from community, but rather he designed me with independence to be able to leave when I’m called to ministry work. He revealed that my ability to be strong and stoic shouldn’t harden my heart and be used to battle against others, but to battle for others against the enemy. He even showed me that my stubbornness is a blessing, but only when I’m standing for truth and righteousness. It’s been a season of putting on the armor of God over and over again, and learning how to be humble and obedient in stripping off my own armor of flesh.
During the same time God had been speaking this season of fearless battling over me, I was traveling back and forth from Texas to Colorado with RECESS – a women’s ministry I lead in. I felt fierce and fresh taking on every prayer assignment and mission the Lord handed me; I felt like I was bearing fruit for the women I was ministering to. God had also been speaking several promises over my ministry, my family, and myself that I was interceding and pleading for. Five months later, I found myself beaten, exhausted and discouraged. I began withdrawing from my ministry team and community. I found myself avoiding God by not seeking him as intentionally and deeply as I usually do. I started to question my worth in my ministry and if I was even making a difference in the lives of the women I was ministering to. Caught in the midst of several waiting periods, I lost sight of the light. I found myself losing hope.
One day during worship at one of our ministry conferences – worship, something else I had been avoiding – God told me, “Even warriors need rest.” It was revolutionary! I have a tendency to get caught up in battle mode, relentlessly fighting for those who need freedom and salvation, and I neglect the most important thing – resting in God. I can become overly focused on the promise of victory that I take it upon myself to fight the fight, and I end up spiritually drained. The reason God wants us to rest in him amidst the battle is because that’s where he reveals his plan, and he’s how we become refueled spiritually. I have taken the long, treacherous way in war countless times because I took on my own strategy, not God’s. His way is always higher than our own. (Isaiah 55:9). I have to continually remind myself that the war is over.
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
What does resting in (seeking) God look like? It’s different for everyone. I’ve always said that God speaks to us in our love language, and I’ve come to realize that he has his own unique love language for each of us – no two alike. When I seek God the way I desire, I enjoy getting lost in Scripture, playing my guitar, reading Kris Vallaton, or journaling. It’s all about what I’m dedicating to God. But as much as we’ve been told to love God and give to God and do for God, we don’t often make time to let ourselves receive from God. He doesn’t only want us to love him, he so earnestly desires for us to receive his love. It’s not one way, it’s a relationship. (Song of Sol. 2:3-6…all of Songs, really).
So, for me, resting in God means letting go. It’s a sacrifice. It’s hard for me to sometimes just allow God to love me. It feels vulnerable. I have to surrender my control – no schedule, no phone, no game plan – and just be with him. I have to let him lead instead of always trying to lead myself. Especially in this season of battling for victories, I have to be intentional about seeking my God and allowing myself to rest and replenish in his love and grace.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.