being uncomfortable…

It had been a really rough week…  It all kind of just changed in minutes time.  You know, when you are just sitting up on the mountain enjoying the view and then BAM…  You are flat on your back wondering what happened.

February was a really crazy month and honestly I don’t know where to begin, but I know I have to share my story.  I have to share God’s goodness, His AWESOMENESS!   

I guess I’ll start with Monday…  on the way to Outreach I was talking with God and preparing for the next hour.  I ask Him {for the hundredth time} to just use me for His glory, however and whatever; I was a willing vessel.  I had asked Him to give me opportunities to share God’s love and how He was changing me…

That evening I was asked to speak at a dinner…  I thought, you are so funny God!  Really… you are!  

I didn’t know why I was surprised and really looking back, I wasn’t…  Thankfully I am in a place where I have this burning desire to be closer to Him {I pray it doesn’t go away} and have been in this place for quite some time.  It started about a year and a half ago and things have been crazy ever since…  BUT, that is another story for another day.  Back to my story, my point, or whatever it is that I am trying to share with all of you!  Ha!

I had been asked to speak to group of men and women at another Nazarene church, it was there fourth Wild Game Feast! {for those non-country folks, this is an excuse to get together and eat your killings harvest from the prior hunting season}  My Dad  had spoken at their very first Feast and what a testament to his faith that his kids had been asked to come back and share their story of how God was working in their lives.  Groovy, right!?  

The moment she asked, I knew…  I heard Him.  {He’s so cool like that}   I knew this wasn’t about me, my story, the women’s ministry, the Wellhouse, the dinner, my friend asking or even my Dad and the fact I had been raised knee deep in hunting with some of the greatest hunters…  it was about what I was seeking.  It was about how my life was changing.  He simply used this as a means to lead me closer to Him.  {Oh, I praise Your Name and thank you a million times over}  It was just really that nod at one another…  yeah, I heard you…  I got it…  I know…  So, what are you gonna show me?!  What’s next? 

Obedience.  For one.  Of course He and I have been working on this one for quite a while. But I was getting better at obedience…  So, I knew there just might be more.

Over the next several weeks I was praying and asking Him to show me what it was that He wanted me to share.   I had an idea {remember… obedience},  but I knew this was His thing and not mine… I was open.  

As most of us know and have experienced more times than we care to remember…  The more you seek God, sometimes the bigger the target on your back.  Know what I mean? {my friend reminded me of something very important about this big bullseye…} We have to prepare ourselves spiritually to handle the arrows that life flings our way.

As time approached, it was like the week just got worse and worse…  Where was all this craziness coming from?!  It was as though I was being consumed with doubt and questioning everything around me.  Why me?  What did I have to say?  I mean, I was trying, but often failed miserably.  Andy and I had been arguing it seemed for weeks about the most insane things.  Crazy.  And then one morning, I snapped.  Honestly it was about one hour after  studying my Bible and writing the words, “fight like a woman of God”.  Yeah, funny huh?!  Here I was an hour later, about to give up.   Just about to throw it all out the door.  I had these huge blinders on..  Had I forgotten John 10:10?  Or what about Ephesians 6:12…   

I had set a goal, you know given God a deadline… {ha!}  I wanted to be done with whatever I was going to say by Sunday night.  So that I had a whole week to study over and pray over the words I was going to share the following Saturday night.  Well Friday turned into Saturday and Saturday turned into Sunday and there I was Monday morning and nothing.  All I could think of was all the other craziness going on in my little world {my head} and the bickering back and forth between Andy and myself.  

That week I cried out and asked for His help…  I knew things had to change…  I had to get a hold of what was going on…  

Honestly I could write a book on the things I learned that week and the things He showed me…

Monday, after I had reached up to God, I reached out to friends…  Asking for prayer.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe He hears our cries.  

That Monday things began to change…  If you don’t know the importance of surrounding yourself with godly people; let this be the big memo!  I believe God uses the people around us to talk to us and help get us back on the right path.  Help us clear the smog in the air.  That week I had several “full circle” moments.  I had met a man at one of the first Call To Prayers on WDJC. {one of those use me/grow me prayers…again, thank you Lord}  He just had this presence about him and we just connected.  Over the past year our paths had crossed several times and I know beyond a doubt He was part of God’s plan with me… and Andy.   After a year of talking back and forth over emails, I gave him a call and ask if we could meet for prayer.

It seems that most of my stories lately revolve around my meeting Roxeanne and Tajuan and really they do.  I shared once with Tajuan that now, they were a part of my story.  I was asking God to stir me, grow me and move in my life a way I had never allowed Him to do.  I had prayed this prayer morning after morning.  I knew there was more and I wanted Him to search me and show me things that would change me forever.  Several months later, I met a crazy little woman with the biggest heart for Jesus and she introduced me to the Woman at the well.   I believe this is the point where I really started moving out of my comfort zone and closer to Him.  

Monday, I walked around my grandmothers yard with one arm up and the other holding a phone, praying with a woman on the other line who was being obedient and allowing God to use her for His glory.  She said things that only God knew.  She spoke His truth and I knew it.  I needed to trust Him.  I was like a baby being hung over the edge and I wasn’t sure if He would catch me.  I just needed to trust Him.  

I was bathed in prayer and encouragement. I know.  I felt it.  I saw it.  I am grateful.  Surrounding yourself with brothers and sisters in Christ can mean everything.  Just being open to what God wants to give you can mean everything.  In the middle of all this self-doubt I was surrounded by encouragement and His Word.  At just the right moment a dear friend threw me this from Hebrews…

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

{Thank you}

I had asked that God grow me. I had asked that He make me uncomfortable.  This week I was most vulnerable.  See when you ask Him to make you uncomfortable, you are really asking Him to put you in a place where the only person you have, is HIM.  See, the hard places gives us the gift of knowing God more intimately.  It lets us become closer to Him in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones.  NEVER be possible.

Make me uncomfortable.

That Friday morning I had made a prayer date…  I had shared with my friend Sam the things I had been struggling with and he had suggested we take a little time and pray.  That morning I reminded Andy of my plans…  He thought it was a great idea. A little prayer never hurts.  As I walked away, I heard Him…  I said, “No, oh no.”  Then I heard Him ask again…  When Andy swept through, hugged and kissed and aallllllmost out the door.  I asked him if he wanted to go with me today.  And he quickly replied, “no”.  Phew…  and out the door.  Relieved.  Wait, what?  He ran back in…  “I think I’ll try and get through so I can go…”  {at this point I was laughing my little tale off at the Lord…He is so funny}  

About 5 minutes before leaving, Andy came whirling in like a tornado and hollered, “give me a minute and we’ll go”.  {I’m horse laughing just thinking back}  See, this was “my” little appointment…  my little prayer time…  my “private” time… This was suppose to be about me and what I was seeking.  Although He knew the desires of my heart. 

I began to panic.   Not only was I doing something totally uncomfortable; having someone pray for me, with me!  But now, I had to do it in front of Andy!  Hel-LOo?!   

See, Andy and I LOVE our Lord and in our own way are seeking Him more and more everyday.  I know Andy went because he was interested, because he knows there is more, because he loves me and because God is moving through our home.  Because by serving and living for Him we are influencing those around us…  our little circle.   I love it when we have all this worked out and then God says, “HEY, excuse me…  why don’t we try this instead… ”  I went for one thing and got so much more.  We both had put ourselves out there…  we got out of our comfort zone and moved to a more intimate place with God and really each other.  

That day we committed to pray with one another.  Yeah, not over food or during a storm…  But grab one another and ask God to show us how to live our lives for Him.  Andy and I are praying with one another and it is changing our lives.  Our home is a different atmosphere.  Each morning we read from our Bibles Ephesians 6:10-20.  It is our verse for now.  

A week from hell dropped us in the palm of His hand.  Like babies dangling, we trusted our Lord.  

My life is not perfect, I  fail daily, my marriage is messy and my kids can be crazy…  I am a sinner.  But I have to tell you… I am SOLD out.  I bought it.  There is no going back.  

I have always been walking towards Him…  Many times I have taken the safe route, the comfortable path.  I am learning that taking the hard path, the one less traveled is giving me a more intimate journey with Him.  

I have asked God to use me…  make me uncomfortable…  grow me…  I am so grateful for the people He has placed in my life to do these very things.  I know where I have been and I see the road I am now on…  I can’t imagine what awesome things are next.  What God will do with my little family with my amazing marriage…  I am overwhelmed with His presence.

So, you see…  it was a mighty week for me.  And there was so much I wanted to share…  The little things.  Something my mother-n-law mentioned.  A friend’s voice.  A gentleman describing a gentleman.  The ride home.  My iPhone.  

If I could leave you with a few thoughts it is this…  

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; 
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; 
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. 
   Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health, 
   your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own; 
   give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst, 
   your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; 
   don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects; 
   a father’s delight is behind all this.

And know that obedience requires encouragement.  I don’t think I could have made it through this week without the help of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I thank you and I love you with all my heart.  

My marriage…  well, prayer changes everything.  We seek Him daily each morning.  It is so awesome seeking Him together, hand in hand, prayerfully.  It is so fun! 

The bullseye on my back…  I had forgotten He gave me a bullseye bodysuit.  {thanks again Sam}

Oh and my little message…  It was good.

I’m just gonna sit here and enjoy God’s goodness.

Peace out.

natalie signature small

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Natalie

Leave a Reply

  • What an amazing account of God’s work in you! Wanna know something funny? It’s taken me an hour to read this because I’ve been interrupted so many times. I needed this, thank you so much for your obedient heart!

  • Wearing this HUGE grin on my face and on my heart as I read this post. So glad to hear that you and Andy are coming together in prayer each day, and that you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to push, pull, stretch, and grow in you! Proud of you for getting past your fears and inviting Him in!

  • I hardly ever get on fbook but happen to get on tonight and see this….just at a time when i needed it…so funny how God works! Awesome story and thanks for your witness Natalie…you and Andy are great people with great influence!