The Bible says that God IS Love. Often apart from Him we flounder, we struggle, and we lose hope. However, when we take on life listening to His voice, we find purpose, joy, and peace in ALL circumstances. This week 2015 Mercy graduate Lindsay provides a beautiful testimony of not only choosing to love, but actually choosing Love.
It seems that each week God is using a different song to further illustrate what He is teaching me. This week it is a song by Francesca Battistelli. Here are the lyrics that were grabbing my heart:
So I’m gonna choose to reach out, choose to lay down all the fear that I’ve been hiding. Choose to be brave, though my heart’s afraid, to be a part of your kingdom rising. God I’m done running from the reason you sent your Son, so I will choose love. Well it’s always a risk, it’s always a dare, but it’s a far more dangerous to listen to fear. But it’s a beautiful thing, to know and be known. Yeah there’s a whole life outside of my comfort zone.
God revealed to me before 2016 even started that this year was going to be about trusting Him to give me His strength. This new life He has given me at times feels so beyond me, but because of my relationship with Him and having His truth as my foundation, I can take what I like to call “faith risks.”
Everything about my life since Mercy has felt like a faith risk. As I left Mercy, I kept thinking, “Who moves to a city where they know no one and is moving because she feels led to go to a certain graduate school and hasn’t even been accepted yet, and doesn’t have any idea where she will work or where to find a longer-term place to live?” If anyone would have asked me what I thought about his/her plans to do this, I probably would have had many concerns and reasons why it was not a good idea. But God prepared me that He was going to ask me to take these faith risks. Now, I would never have just chosen to do these things on my own free will, but my spirit knew this was what God was asking me to do, so I had to take each risk a step at a time by faith.
I remember boarding a flight to this brand new city around 5:00 a.m. in the morning, and I didn’t know if I should be laughing, crying…or maybe just sleeping! As we started our descent, I began thinking “This is it. I am stepping into the next season God has called me to.” I was excited, and still quite terrified, because the only “known” I had in this new place was Jesus. He gave me the bravery I needed to take these steps, and along with both the highs and low, this journey has looked nothing how I thought it would or expected…
But even on my hardest days I can say – “This is so much better than I could have ever imagined.”
When I share about my transformation at Mercy, one of the things I love to say is that even my hardest days since Mercy are by far better than my best days before Mercy. Don’t get me wrong – I had some days where I felt a little normal and happy before Mercy, but it was so temporary and circumstantial. On my best days, there was still the darkness in me, and I knew it was only a matter of moments before I would have to again be fighting death.
Now on my hardest days, I have a genuine, life-giving hope that only comes from the source of Jesus. I still become afraid, cry, and have my heartbreaking moments- but I can experience these emotions clinging to Jesus, knowing He is there with me.
Being brave is not about not experiencing fear, it’s being afraid and choosing to be brave anyways. I can only choose that because I know the One that holds my life in His hands. And not just know about Him…I KNOW HIM!
In Francesca’s song, I think the bravery she is talking about is more a genuineness with other people, choosing to love when it’s scary, choosing to be authentic when it is feels like a risk, and to be able to do this because of Jesus. When I think about it, I can only take these “faith risks” when I am trusting God with each step, and when I am real with the safe people around me and who I know are a part of my support network, or as one counselor called it: Team Lindsay.
How is God asking you to love this week?
What step of faith do you sense He is asking you to take?
It doesn’t matter what you see Him asking others, listen for His voice and He will speak to you.
I never knew what life looked like until I stopped listening to all the fears in my life, and started listening to Love.