The Blessing of Uncomfortable

My husband and I decided to go camping for our anniversary a few years ago in March. When someone says they are going “camping,” it could mean many different things. When I say camping, I mean grab the tent, air mattress, some blankets, the propane camp stove, an ice chest with food, fire starter, and the “chuck box” with everything we need to cook and clean dishes. With packing complete, we headed a few hours out to a State Park, found a great spot to reserve, and set up camp. This was going to be amazing!

As we started setting up our tent, I began to get cold. It was nearing the end of the day and the sun was setting. When we finished, I was ready to find some heat so we went to a nearby town to have dinner. I hadn’t thought about the temperature much before this trip because during the day, it had been nice! I now started to realize what lied ahead of us… COLD.

As we drove back to camp that night, we discussed how cold it was going to be and how to handle it in our tent. We had no heat source other than the warm bodies of each other, some clothing, and a few blankets. When we arrived, we immediately went to our tent. The wind outside was a little too chilly to even sit around a fire. It had been a long day and we were ready to go to sleep anyway. 

We crawled under our blankets and held each other tight, waiting for the night to pass. 

That night was absolutely miserable, reaching a temperature in the low 20’s. I was so cold I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to move so my body started hurting from laying in one spot for so long. I had a thought to get up and put on more clothing. I had a nice soft jacket that was really warm across the tent in my bag. But I didn’t want to get out of the only warmth I had to go get it. So I laid there for hours, in my misery. Around 4am, something else forced me out of bed. I needed to go to the bathroom. So I got up, put my soft jacket on and some other clothing, and made the trek outside to the campground bathroom. Brrr……

When I returned, I crawled back into bed and snuggled next to my husband who’d been patiently putting up with me all night. I begin to feel a bit warmer. In fact, the extra clothes I had retrieved during my brief trip across the campground made me more comfortable. I still wasn’t as warm as I would have liked but it certainly was better than it was. I wondered why I hadn’t taken the step to become more uncomfortable for the chance at finally being able to rest.

Recently, our Life Group has been doing a study on the Holy Spirit and I’ve realized that I will do just about anything to create a comfort zone. But you know what? My comfort zone is not where I’ve heard from the Holy Spirit most clearly. It’s in the moments that I’ve been uncomfortable. It’s in the trials of life. It’s in the times that I choose not to let fear smother me but rise to overcome it with Jesus’ help. It’s in the cold nights and hard seasons. 

So why do I resist moving so much? Why do I nestle in, satisfied with where I am? 

Do you experience this as well? When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone:

  • to reach for a lost soul?
  • to listen to someone who needs you when you are busy?
  • to do something for your health that is hard but beneficial?
  • to step out on the stage and sing praises to Him?
  • to volunteer to help in your church even though you’re busy?
  • to start writing from a prompting in your spirit?
  • to pray with the lady at the restaurant who is crying even though you don’t know her?
  • to walk into a Life Group or join virtually even though you don’t know anyone?
  • to tell someone about what God has done in your life?

And those are just the little things. You could be called to sell all you have and follow God’s leading full time into missions, or quit your job to follow a different calling He has on your life, or something else. Whatever it may be, big or small, there’s one thing we can be sure of – If God calls you to do something, He will equip you. And when you start living this way, you will see that in the middle of the uncomfortable is where you will find the greatest reward.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

The Calling of Everyday Ministry

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You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

There’s something I want to share with you that only a small handful of people have heard until now. God has called me into full-time ministry. This calling has happened over the last year and during a time of recent fasting and prayer, I finally knew that it was real and truly from God.

So, after that realization, I thought it might be time to share my concerns with my almighty Father, who just happens to know the future, everything about me, all the pieces that will fit together, and has the ultimate plan. <insert eye roll at my lack of faith>

  • How can this happen?
  • We can’t afford it.
  • When will this happen?
  • I’m not equipped. I’m not ready.

In not so many words, my faith was shaken.

You see, when I think of “ministry,” I think of quitting my job, reading my Bible and studying a lot more than I have time for right now, meeting with people to share Jesus with them, maybe working for my church and through the ministries they have, writing full-time, and even possibly speaking (Yikes! Scary…). All these things could be a “full-time” ministry but let me share with you what Jesus has shown me in the last few weeks.

As a child of God, I am always in full-time ministry.


In the job I hold now, I am in ministry. There are people there that need the love of Jesus shown to them and I have the unique opportunity to be the light of the world to someone who may not see it anywhere else in their life.

At the grocery store when I see a lady in the parking lot crying because of a hard time she’s going through, I am in ministry.

At home, when my family is gathered around the table for dinner, I am in ministry.

At a school event for my children, when there are hurting people all around me, I am in ministry.

At a restaurant, when the individual serving us might be struggling to make ends meet and wondering where God is, I am in ministry.


As Christians, we are to be a LIGHT in this dark world and give our Father glory for what He has done in our lives. We can do this wherever we are.

It’s so tempting for me to think that I can’t be in full-time ministry when I still have a secular job and too many responsibilities to have the time. But this is so far from the truth! I can be a light right where I am, in this very season of life.

And you can also be a light right where you are, in this very season of life.

Allow Jesus to be integrated into every area of your life. See Him not as an addition or in a separate box, but as your Father, your friend, that you take with you wherever you are. Be a full time minister of the good news of Jesus and what He’s done in your life. It’s our calling.

When you see the next hurting person in your everyday world, remind yourself that THIS is your everyday ministry. When all of us light up the world within our reach, together we will light up the world.

 

If you would like to connect with me, please feel free to do so! I’d love to hear from you. ~Angie

Impatient Frustrations

IMG_5077I was in line at a local fast food restaurant. The lines were long but usually this place was fairly quick. My blood sugar had dropped and I needed food to bring it up. And I was hungry. There was a car in front of me taking their sweet precious time it seemed. When they finally moved forward, I took my place in front of the speaker. As I waited, I watched as 3 cars went through lane 1 and I still hadn’t heard a voice come through asking me what I wanted. I was beginning to get impatient so I went ahead and pulled forward, thinking there might be something wrong with that drive-thru lane. I sat and I sat, creeping forward one car at a time.

After about 15 minutes, I was mad. I could feel it rising up in me and now it was full blown. I pulled out of the line and went inside only to find more long lines. Now, not only did I miss my chance outside because of impatience, I would have to wait even longer. The wait inside was about 10 minutes but it felt more like 30. I tried to calm my nerves as I ordered. This guy taking my order didn’t know what was going on and had no control over it anyway. After he had taken my order, I calmly asked for a manager. As I waited for my food, I explained to the manager what had happened. I wasn’t rude or demanding. I just informed him about what had happened in case there really was something wrong. And then I turned to leave before I had a breakdown.

My impatience had caused me even more waiting and as I left the restaurant and tried to calm myself down, I realized that in my frustration, I had only made things worse for myself.

As I sit here now, I think about that incident and how much it is like my impatience with God sometimes. God is doing a work in me. I am seeking Him more and more and wanting to serve Him. I have been through so much in my life and I want to share my story with others so that God can be seen, His grace evident, and He can work through bad situations.

But in some situations, He calls me to wait. He calls me to stop thinking with my head and lean into Him. He wants to refine a few things in me or line a few things out somewhere else before I move in certain areas. He wants me to be PATIENT. In His time and in His way, He will show me how and when to move, what steps to take, what part of my story to tell, and where to go.

And I will wait to see what He is going to do!

Is Sorrow a Lack of Faith?

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death…” Mark 14:34a

I was getting groceries one day when a wave of sorrow hit me. Tears stung my eyes. This period of my life was really hard and I was tired of acting like everything was okay. As I pushed my mostly empty cart, I wondered how I would finish. I tried to push through. But the sadness was too strong. I quickly put the few groceries I had back on the shelves and walked out to my car. This life was too hard and today was a day that I could not ignore it and be strong. As I drove home, despite the other errands I was supposed to run, I wept.

Life isn’t supposed to be this hard, is it?

When I arrived at my empty home, I ran inside and fell to the floor. At this point, I was not only crying, I was in a gut wrenching belly cry and yelling over and over “why me?!!” With my face buried in my hands, I scolded myself for letting me get to this point. Someone with faith doesn’t have breakdowns. Someone with faith doesn’t get sad. Because we should know that God has a plan and a purpose and trust it so much that we never let sadness overtake us. Right?

This morning, I read such a comforting Scripture. Mark 14:34 states that Jesus was overcome with great sorrow, to the point of death. Jesus, our perfect example, was sad?

I will never be able to understand how Jesus felt in this moment or the depth of what He was going through. He was about to take the weight of sin of the entire world on His shoulders, beaten and humiliated, and separated from His Father. It’s not in our capacity to understand how this felt to Him. And we will never go through anything as horrific as that.

However… He can identify with feelings that we have today. He’s felt the sorrow and grief that we at times feel. He cried out to God to deliver Him!

Notice His prayer in verse 36, “Abba Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

There are a few things we can learn from this verse.

1)   Jesus addresses his Father with warm affection and confidence when He cries out “Abba Father”. There is no doubt that they have a strong relationship with these two little words. If in our moments of heartache, we have put the time into our relationship with our Father and it is strong, we can confidently cry out to Him, not with a cry of bitterness or anger, but with a cry of affection and confidence that He is near, and is listening.

2)   Jesus acknowledged his Father as the one who could do anything. His faith in Him was unwavering. In our prayers, acknowledging the power of God is our way of stating that we know without a doubt He has the power to do all things and that we believe in Him.

3)   Although Jesus had a strong faith, He still requested that God find another way to fulfill His plan. He asked God to deliver Him from what was about to happen. How often have we done this? I know I have many times. The spirit of this request is the key. Jesus was not complaining. His heart was not hard, bitter, or angry. He was simply grieved in His spirit and respectfully asked God to change the situation. It is not a lack of faith from which this request comes, but rather a simple request from a saddened heart.

4)   Above all, Jesus wanted the will of His Father, even if it was different from his own. In closing His prayer, He acknowledged ultimate faith in God by stating that God’s will trumped anything else. Jesus knew that God had a plan to fulfill and he trusted Him completely, even if he was going to have to continue this path.

Mark 14 goes on to state that Jesus prayed the same prayer multiple times. God did not grant him his request but Jesus’ faith never waivered. He did not get angry or question God. He simply obeyed. And I will forever be grateful for His sacrifice!

Are you grieved in your spirit? Are you going through something difficult? Jesus knows how you feel. He’s felt sorrow. And pain. Unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. He sees your sorrow and He understands. In these moments, let’s learn from Him and His prayer.

It’s okay to cry out to God in moments of desperation. It’s okay to be sad and ask God to remove you from situations. I’m comforted by the fact that Jesus has been there. And He’s shown us a perfect example of how to handle it. Sorrow is not a lack of faith. We can ask anything of God with a humble spirit. Faith is trusting that God’s will is ultimately the best plan for our lives, even when we may not understand it.

A Change of Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever been convinced that God is calling you to do something that was scary? You thought long and hard about it and prayed earnestly before finally taking a huge leap of faith to follow Him, only to find out in the end that it didn’t turn out how you thought God had lead you? This recently happened to me. I was scared to make a particular decision but I was so confident it was what God was calling me to do. After many months of relentless pursuit, the end result turned out much differently than I had anticipated. In fact, if you look at it from a worldly standpoint, it appeared as if I had lost and was completely wrong to have started this journey.

In this moment, it’s easy to question God. Was it really You leading me? Was I deceived? Why did it turn out this way? What purpose did it serve? Was I wrong? 

If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I want to know ahead of time how things are going to work out. So when it comes to changing plans, it’s quite often hard for me to change gears. Throughout my life, I’ve had many opportunities to learn how to deal with this innate personality characteristic. In fact, sometimes I think it’s quite possible that God changes the plan for the sole reason of teaching me how to bend and mold into His plan, despite the one I had in my mind!

But in this situation, I’m not certain yet why things turned out the way they did. I do know this: God’s plan prevailed. He called me to make this decision for a reason. He allowed it to work out differently for a reason. Despite what I personally wanted and thought was best, God had a different idea. And though I have questions and tend to be fearful at times, I know I can trust Him with this. 

You see, we serve a God that knows the future. He knows how each decision made in this moment will affect YOUR future. And if you’ve been around very long at all, you can look back in your life and see the impact, good or bad, of one single decision made. God sees this ahead of time and knows what will happen. We don’t. It’s such a simple concept yet so hard to let go of what we think is best in the moment and leave it in the hands of God.

A God whose thoughts are higher than mine.

A God whose ways are better than mine.

A God whose plan is perfect.

Life is a series of decisions. Some are bad and some are good. But if we let God lead us in those decisions, even if it’s confusing at the time, He will take the reigns from us and lead us into an unknown but exciting territory.

I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to work through this situation! It isn’t what I originally planned, but if I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that my own Godless plans only lead to heartache. I may not ever know what would have happened had I not started down that path, but I trust that He had a purpose for it. I serve a God whose plans are perfect! Even if things are hard and painful and even if I don’t understand.

Whatever you’re going through today, especially if God is taking you down a different path than you originally thought, trust Him. It may not be what you thought but He will not let you down. Sit back and watch Him turn this into something far more beautiful and greater than you could have ever imagined!

The Mighty Move of God

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing

that the LORD will do before your eyes. I Samuel 12:16

My mind is a jumbled up ball of the goodness and greatness of God. I can hardly contain myself. I have to hold myself back so I don’t sound like some crazy religious lunatic and just run people off. I have given my life back to God and He is MOVING in it. Not only that, the church that He has positioned me in seems to be in the very same place I am. God is MOVING in our church. I can feel it rising up all around me. I am having a hard time writing this out because my heart knows what it happening but my mind is struggling to put words to it. 

About a month ago, after my declaration of my one word for this year (Fearless), I met with an old friend not having any idea that it would be more than a casual lunch date. She shared with me something she was dealing with and wanted us to pray about – FEAR. Fear is paralyzing and we both personally know that well. We ran out of time before I could share with her what God had been doing with me so we vowed to meet again.

Later that week, at the urging of the spirit, I went to the bookstore to look at any Christian books on fear that I could find. There were several I had found online that looked promising but when I went to the bookstore, I felt strongly that Joyce Meyer’s “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” was the book I should read. And I was working it out with my friend to read along with me. We decided to meet for lunch to discuss the first 3 chapters.

The Sunday before we met, our Pastor shared with us that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer. Our church was in shock but immediately responded as he has been teaching us – with WORSHIP and prayer.  You know what? Joyce Meyer’s first three chapters talk about exactly what to do in these situations and it includes exactly what our Pastor has been preaching about. What makes this life changing is that there is scripture to back it up and that it isn’t just the word of people. It is the Word of God.

Do you see how God orchestrated all of this? How all of this is a puzzle that I had no idea was being put into place until now. I have a strong feeling that He’s not finished putting pieces together yet either. And this is just the last month of my life! I could write a book about the pieces He put together when I didn’t see how it would fit over the course of my life!

I am on my knees and in awe of the One who moves in mysterious ways. He has a way of working things out for His people in ways we never expected.

There are battle blows dealt toward us on all sides but we battle back. On our knees in battle position. From there, we trust that God is moving and will continue to move. We  passionately, precisely, and persistently pursue Him. Because we know that all things are in His hands and in His perfect plan.

And I will fight alongside my sister doing this study with me as well as my church family. Because I have never been so determined to SEE HIM MOVE even more.

Watch with me and see what He is going to do. Come alongside me and see for yourself what the excitement is all about. It’s been so long… well maybe never… since I have felt His presence like I do now. And I want as many of you to experience it with me as possible.

The Strength and Dignity Flop with a Side of Fear

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

   and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

I’m not feeling very Proverbs 31 woman-like today. Not when it comes to this verse and how it describes some woman, because there is no way it could be me! Not today. The day has been a normal day without much of anything going on outside of everyday happenings.  There hasn’t been anything bad happen. In fact, all has gone quite well. Except for one thing. Me. I have lost my strength temporarily. I have misplaced my ability to laugh without fear of the future. There is so much in my life that I can fear. And some days, I do. I get tired of being strong and happy and content. I get tired of being positive.

It’s hard to admit this to you, to anyone. But I really want us, specifically women, to understand that sometimes we just feel this way. And it’s okay. It’s okay to temporarily feel “in the mulligrubs” as my dad would say. We just can’t hang out there all the time. This is normal, right? Tell me I’m not alone. Sometimes, I am just down. Period. No particular reason. Just life weighing on me.

So today I read this verse and I cling to it. I cling to the hope that I will be clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future as I do on so many other days. Deep down, I trust Him. I trust His plan for my life and the lives of those I love. I get so tired of having to keep giving the fear back to Him, but I keep picking it back up! And as long as I keep picking it back up, I have to continue to keep giving it back to Him.

I would love some encouragement today. I need it. I crave your prayers and your encouragement. I try to be outward and give to others what I truly desire myself. Because I want to be an encourager and I want you to know how much God loves you and is in control of your life, as He is mine. But today, I am wrapped up in myself and need to be freed. I don’t like this place I’m in and need to give it up to God. In fact, writing about it is helping me. Admitting my weakness to you is helping me.

I will let God renew my spirit and I will put on strength and dignity as only He gives. I will not fear the future. In fact, I will laugh without fear of the future. Because I know I am in His hands. I relinquish my need for control because I know the One who knows what is best for me and I am trusting Him. Who is with me?