It was exactly two years ago when I had this thought that Atlanta was not my ending spot. I am not sure I gave it a ton of space in my brain at the time, but it stuck. You know those revelations that are defiantly from God that just don’t leave your head, it was one of those….. I always thought I would move overseas to be a missionary. I knew the power of God’s grace and Jesus on the cross and I wanted to share it with people!
It was maybe a month later that California entered my brain. I had not been to the LA area in about ten years (or so) and had only been there once at this point… to be very frank it was in the middle of my party decade and I was so drunk I have almost no recollection of the entire trip!
Well, until last December!
I ended up back in LA with work and we were going to a Bible study led by Judah Smith in a really nice hotel in Beverly Hills. When we walked into the lobby, I had this little flash back and a thought came to my mind out of no where. “I have been here before, ten years ago partying and now I am back here for a Bible study.” I got completely overwhelmed at the fact that ONLY GOD could do that. Only He could take a party girl, who was literally picked up off the street so drunk and carried back to her hotel (I don’t even remember what happened to me because I was so intoxicated) and turn her life around in such a way that she would return for a BIBLE STUDY.
As we walked into the room with three hundred other attendees, we sat down and I started to look around. I noticed that these people reminded me of myself when I first walked into Buckhead Church kind of wondering about God. As tears kept falling down my cheeks in this hotel ballroom, I couldn’t really control myself. The weird part was, no one else was crying because what Judah was talking about wasn’t sad at all. I think I was crying because I knew where these people were: they were curious, they were hungry, they knew something wasn’t right with life and they wondered if it had anything to do with God. I have been there, that was me just seven years ago. I understood them and they might understand me. “What if I could play a tiny part in them understanding who Jesus really is?” I thought to myself.
I sent a text to my dear friend Sarah and said “I am really feeling I am supposed to move here. Kinda crazy but I just have more peace than ever. Will you help me pray? Love you! Like whoa” and her very calm and always encouraging response was “Oh Lindsay, I sense that for you too! It’s exciting, yes we will pray”
I prayed. God confirmed. I prayed again. God confirmed again. He confirmed in real tangible ways, and He confirmed in hilarious, ridiculous, impossible random ways. He confirmed and I decided to go!
My eyes are wide open and pointed at Jesus because when I look away from Him, I start to shiver, I start to question, I start to get sad at all I am leaving. But when I look up, when I think back, when I remember who I am going with and all He has done for me, I know this is the right step. I then get excited to watch Him write the story. Putting the Pencil Down is not just a blog name, it seems to have become the very theme of my life!
And for those who are interested in keeping up with the story He is writing, you can check in on a more daily digest of sorts at www.lindsayinLA.com (ps. nothing there yet!)
As a little tribute to starting my 37th year TODAY, I wanted to write out the 36 things I learned in my 36th year of life hoping they might just help you!
In no real order–
36. Do what only you can do while you can do it! Enjoy the season of life God has you in! There is always a next, always a desire awaiting to be fulfilled, but “if you have to move an inch to be content you will never be content!” (I just learned that one last night, thanks Anna!)
P.E.O.P.L.E P.L.E.A.S.I.N.G is one of those things, those things I continually seem to struggle with, maybe not on the outside, but on the inside…So much so, I have Proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare”, written on a little white index card taped on my bathroom mirror.
And it is not only fear of what others think (aka fear of man) that I struggle with, it unfortunately spills into other areas of my life.
I work so hard to get over it and I do for a while, but somehow I let it sneak back in!
My pastor recently suggested I do a word study on the word fear in the Bible. I think she picked up on my constant struggle with fear, fear of all kinds. I AM SO OVER YOU FEAR. I am kicking you to the curb.
It’s fear and people pleasing that seem to hunt me down! I am about to hunt them down and as Jon Acuff says, punch fear in the face.
Fear is a tactic of the enemy to get us to not trust God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you, God.” AND the second part of Proverbs 29:25 that I have tapped to my bathroom mirror says, “but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
Why I forgot to put the second half of the verse on my mirror is beyond me! The entire verse reads, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
Right there is my answer! TRUST instead of FEAR!
As I was doing my study on fear, I realized almost every scripture I read in the Bible said, fear GOD! I suddenly realized I feared everything else, but God. I know God doesn’t want us to be scared of Him, but rather hold Him with much reverence, KNOWING He is God, as in the God that created the universe! Fearing anything else is saying, I don’t trust that You are God, God! Then of course my prayer life and Bible reading lose their luster because I doubt God and it is this vicious little circle of destruction!
Just what the enemy would love, me to doubt God, His goodness and His love for me (and YOU)!
BUT. God IS LOVE! So let’s just remind the little enemy of THAT fact! God can’t help but love us, because HE IS LOVE!
Oh Lord, forgive me for putting others opinions above yours, how ludicrous!
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6) I might need to write this one on my arm with a sharpie.
God often reminds me that it doesn’t matter what ANYONE thinks of me. This folks, is hard to get through my thick, people-pleasing skull. BUT with Jesus, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
Thankful it is a journey, don’t let the enemy condemn you! You are doing awesome and God is proud of you!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
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