Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.(Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV))
Who knew where this dreaming journey would carry us. I look back on the three years that have elapsed since we set out together, and I marvel at God. As a group of dreamers, few of us are pursuing the dreams we thought God had for us. By the same token however, I believe every single one of us is pursuing a God-Sized Dream…and that is the way of the Kingdom. That takes me back to the beginning of this journey with my sisters, and inclines me to encourage you, again, never to give up.
He’s never given up on you, and He never will.
This goes back about a couple of years. It hadn’t been a banner week. The flu virus moved into our house, contractors overtook our home for the week rebuilding and repairing the bathroom, and all of my usually boundless energy and motivation had evaporated. I found myself in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of feeling a little pathetic. It’s unfamiliar and I never like it.
At that moment, I was overwhelmed by the love, faith, and drive of the women chosen to walk this path with me-the women of God-sized Dreams. While I often spend my days writing, at other times I quiet my soul reading their stories here and elsewhere across the web. Just listening to God speak through these women and their dreams, I feel a stirring.
Never have I had a group of Christian women friends like these women. Not one to travel in a girl pack, I live my faith but I’m fairly private (I have a close circle of friends), and growing up PK (a pastor’s kid), I’ve seen so much in communities of faith that has disappointed me that I am disinclined to hang with church folk.
This is different. I have come to know and love women who amaze me daily. They are different from me, but we are joined in purpose and exist in a common state of Grace. When I start feeling all less than and out of sorts, Hebrews 12 calls out to me. Matthew Henry’s commentary describes this text as “An exhortation to be constant and persevere, the example of Christ is set forth, and the gracious design of God in all the sufferings believers endured.”
I receive the words as a reminder to get over myself. Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, women whose lives and whose stories and whose faith lift me out of my mire (which I remind myself are merely a series of inconveniences) that it’s time to dust myself off, throw off all that might hinder me, and persevere. That’s a lesson I encourage you to remember when things get rough. They will (get rough, I mean).
I have a great tool for that. Or actually, Holley Gerth does. She and God created this great tool, to which I return often, called, The Do What You Can Plan.
You see, I never pull myself out of the mire of my life in a moment’s notice, so that’s where the plan comes in.
Her approach to eating the elephant is to (you should write this down…)
Decide on the minimum you’d like to accomplish in a particular area of your life over the next twenty-one days. Then divide that by about half.
Even at our lowest, we can take baby steps.
I’ve learned to remind myself to start where I am, and do what I can. And, in the company of my powerful praying sisters, when I am weary, I come to them and drink from the fount. I needn’t even confess my struggles there-there is a word someone needs to say that I need to hear. That is how it is with God. That is how it is with my sisters.
I read the words of my sisters, and I am encouraged. I read from Holley’s book, and am reminded how to eat the elephant.
And that is all you need to throw off everything that hinders, along with the sin (in the form of fear, anxiety, doubt) that so easily entangles. Do not grow weary and lose heart. You might be down, you might even be broken, but that very brokenness will be the key to your healing.
And I’ve got all my sisters with me-we are your sisters too, and among them here is what I’ve learned.
Nothing can stop us.
Shared by: Chelle Wilson