I was trying to get over a really big disappointment and a few cheap shots at my expense. So, I did what grown women typically do and got together with a group of true friends. Not to gather an army and have people pick a side, but to share a meal and share our hearts.
The reason I have an inner circle outside of the church is because it’s so incredibly healthy and vital for all involved. Having women that sharpen me in my faith is far more important to me than having someone pat me on the back or pick a side.
There is no side, only obedience. But on this day, I really wanted obedience to not hurt so much.
I had a dilemma, do I say a big, brave “no” because of the opposition and because God was telling me that I could back out and still have his blessing?
Or, do I continue to be a solution to the need that was presented to me and fill a role that I love? Even with the opposition?
I was already living my dream. I have been since I was twenty-one, but my dreams have taken different shapes over the years and sometimes looked nothing like I thought it would.
Accepting this assignment felt like a kick in the face, but I am a girl who has always said yes to God. Even when it scared me to death, even when it took me far from home, even when it meant leaving a college education that was paid for and spending the next ten years paying off a Bible College education. Even when it didn’t make sense to others that a college girl could be called to full-time ministry and pursue that call instead of something more lucrative.
My first year at bible college I heard all kinds of crazy questions from college boys learning to preach their first three-point sermon.
Do you sing?
Do you play the piano?
Do you like pantyhose and potlucks?
Yes. No. And heck no.
Keep moving, boys, because if you are looking for uncomplicated and a girl to fit a certain mold…I’m probably not it.
A few years later I met and married my best friend. I made his head spin, I still do. But, do you know what he loved the most about me… my passion for God and for others.
Our relationship had some opposition at first; we actually had people who didn’t want us together because we are polar opposites. We listened to them for a little while until we realized that really wonderful, godly people could be dead wrong.
For the past two weeks I have cried a lot and then I was over it. I prayed a lot and asked my soul deep friends to lock shields with me and pray that I would do God’s will even when it was hard and unsafe. My mom woke up in the middle of the night multiple times to pray me through this and hear from God when my heart was too cloudy to say yes to the hard things.
She said, “We know what the enemy wants, what does God want?”
Dissension? No. Never.
Unity. Yes. Always.
Easy and uncomplicated?
But, God always confirms his plan with his presence.
The gospel is the most revolutionary, unsafe message that says crazy things like, get out of the boat, run into battle with the worshippers first, and cast out your nets even when you’ve lost all hope. It says wild things like be the one from the weakest clan in Israel and find yourself pummeled by your enemy for seven long years. And, then I will call you a mighty warrior and tell you to stop being scared so you can actually be part of the solution. But, you have to stop hiding first.
When you hear the whisper to be strong and courageous, lean in and listen to a God that speaks to who he sees you to be instead of the fearful timidity you often cave to. That is what I am doing.
My husband told me just the other day that ideas fade, but callings don’t.
It’s because they are not allowed to. The gifts and that crazy, holy call you feel tugging on your heart is irrevocable, so don’t try to hand it back to God just because you found this whole thing weighty and weird. This is the best kind of weird.
Listen to the spirit of God and surround yourself with people who stir up truth and courage instead of confusion and anger.
Be the weird girl who never fit because she wanted to change the world loving one heart at a time.
If it scares you silly, it might just be God. Congratulations, just keep showing up scared and ask God to move in your circumstances.
Moma told me to feed God’s sheep because that is the talent God has given me.
Dang it, it is really hard to argue with your Mom, especially when you know she’s speaking the Word.
In this broken world that seems darker every day, there are so many hungry hearts who need hope and something to sustain them spiritually. So, I have a lot of work to do.
My name is Jennifer Watson, and I preach like a girl.
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29 ESV)
Much love to you,