I sat on my garage floor and looked through boxes from my parents’ attic. The kind of boxes disintegrating from age, filled with files of my schoolwork since preschool, homemade gifts, school valentines, and stories I wrote.
My parents downsized this year. So, everything my mom saved and couldn’t part with became my responsibility. Part of me wanted to toss them without looking inside. I didn’t know what was in them for the last 30 years, why do I need to even peek? I’ve put it off for months, almost a year.
My husband pointed this fact out earlier today and I got the gumption to tackle it. Maybe a cleaner garage will help our current house sell so we won’t be paying two mortgages when we move into our farmhouse.
I read my elementary report cards and was surprised. I thought I was bad at math. Guess not. I looked through yearly questionnaires and saw a pattern of always wanting to create and draw and become an artist. I forgot how much I loved to color. I had flashbacks of second grade Thanksgiving feasts with homemade butter, and third grade Valentine parties with young love. I remembered what a wonderful childhood I had and was thankful for the reminder.
I had just been complaining earlier in the week to my mom about how I feel I’ve been called to be tougher or to persevere or to charge the hill more than other women.
Maybe this is only my perception, but it’s real to me.
For some reason God has endowed me with vision. That’s not an easy role to have. Usually the prophets are kicked out of town, stoned, or worse. They’re definitely not listened to.
Just a few hours later, during the last two worship songs of our church service, I felt the Lord was calling me to the courage He had already given me. To embrace the role as bold leader. For me to quit fighting back, worried it might be misunderstood or awkward with others.
He reminded me I had always been a tenderhearted, courageous leader. Some of the treasures I saw this afternoon in my garage proved that. He brought to mind specific instances in a flash over my almost 37 years. It’s what I imagine others mean when they talk about having their life flash before their eyes.
God was using these flashbacks to make His case to me. And let the lie die.
I believed Him. I opened myself up to who He made me to be — a woman of great courage. I could see myself kneeling before the throne and Jesus commissioning me. Almost like a ceremony for knighthood. I held a large sword and felt the warmth of His radiant love.
The prayer from the stage ended, and I was brought back to the present dimension. But so much happier. I could now live in the courageous spirit the Lord has entrusted to me, unashamedly, knowing I am to lead for Him, be a tender Word warrior and bravely follow the Spirit’s leading.
I hope there isn’t a huge battle He’s trying to prepare me for or more difficulty ahead. But I do know I am equipped for the straight path of His plan.
I never thought of courage as a spiritual gift before, but now I see how it can only be a gift coming from the Holy Spirit when I’m living in Jesus. Of course courage is a gift!
What gift has the Holy Spirit given you that you haven’t fully embraced? I’m sure His gift in you will look very different than mine. That’s what makes you beautiful. How is Jesus calling you to use it? Will you let down your concerns and be the spirit-filled woman Jesus deeply desires for you?