“She did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly.” Lamentations 1:9
Sometimes, life and time take over and you forget to stop and make that time your own.
2011 was a year that I let happen to me, and I spent the majority of it depressed and unmotivated. It must sound crazy from the outside to hear that 2011 was a hard year for me spiritually and emotionally because so many amazing things happened. I sold tons of eBooks and earned a full-time income, I got two publishing deals, got asked to speak at various events, and was even about to start a new conference. Life from the outside was a dream come true.
On the inside of this life, I was sad, and lost, and didn’t know what I was doing. I felt overwhelmed, tired, depressed, and alone. I was busy, and I didn’t take the time to eat the Word that my soul so desperately needed. I was going and going and trying to make it on my own, without trying. I didn’t pursue any of the things that happened to me, and while I am excited about them, and thankful for them, I didn’t really choose. I let things happen. It’s a strange thing when you are thrilled about something you get to do because you love it, while also feeling torn and stretched and confused about whether or not you should be doing it. And then it happens, and it’s good, and you see God all over it and you praise Him. But you are awakened to the fact that you must fight for the small, even in the blessing.
I know that God is allowing me to write, and He’s given me a platform for which to share messages that matter. I love that. I also know that I must not let life happen to me, the stakes are too high. I do not want to regret my life. I accept happily what God has chosen to give me, and I’m walking it out by faith, but I also know that I must be alert and intentional even more so now.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.” Luke 12:48 NASB
I must commit to being in the Word daily. I must commit to daily searching my heart for idols. I must commit to fight for and manage my time. I must commit to not give in to my emotions, but to overcome and daily accept His grace and truth. A wise woman does these things. I remember Sally Clarkson telling me a while ago, “We need the women who will do the work now with their children so they have something worth saying later.” The world needs messages of integrity from those who have done the work.
The last few weeks I’ve made some hard decisions, decisions that will let people down and perhaps give me a bad reputation. I’ve quit some things. The thing is, my reputation with my family is most important. I still feel the sting of my own foolishness by committing to things without counting the cost; I will count the cost from now on. I will wait.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:27-28 NASB
I’m sharing these things with you because it’s part of my story. I struggle with the tension of being fully home for family and walking by faith into a public arena I believe that God has prepared for me. It’s an ongoing push-pull in my spirit, but I think that’s part of what it feels like to walk by faith. And if I’m going to accept this platform and give it my time, it better matter; my words had better matter. I don’t take this lightly, this is my life, my family’s life.
Yesterday I announced that I was canceling the Allume Heart Spring conference (the fall conference is still on). I was afraid that people would be angry and tell me how much I had let them down, but that didn’t happen. I received dozens of emails and messages thanking me for putting my family before my work. It made me realize that women are craving leaders who put their families first. Do you know how much that encourages my heart? Deeply.
God affirmed me in the struggle.
He works in the tension.
I will keep telling my stories and I will write, for such a time as this, but it must be for His glory. It must.
Are you struggling with something you think you need to quit because it is taking too much time from your family? I want you to know, it’s okay to quit.
God knows, and He is before you and He is after you. And if you know Him, you are in His will right now. By faith, my friend, all by faith.
“…whatever is not from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23