FLASHBACK FAVORITE! Here is one of our favorite posts from the past. Enjoy! (This post was originally published on 7/13/15).
I’ve got a few things going on right now. I think I’ll remember the Summer of 2015 as the summer I constantly carried around my purple notebook with a 2-page “to-do” list. Two pages outline the major to-do’s with additional pages detailing out the steps of the larger tasks. For example, “prepare for camping trip” or “host baby shower” deserves a little more than one line on a to-do list.
Oh, and we’re moving. Small detail. As I write, I’m staring at walls outlined in blue painter’s tape, a pile of laundry 3-stories tall on my couch, and cardboard boxes that are begging to be filled.
So, you might understand why, when Andy asked me a month or so ago if I’d like to teach one weekend at South Bay, I was a little hesitant. My first reaction was, “Are you kidding me?” followed by a more thoughtful, “It might be too much for me” and “I’m not sure I could handle that.” Andy said, “No pressure. I get it. We’ve got a ton going on.”
But then I heard Christine Caine’s voice in my head that said, “I wouldn’t cancel my speaking engagements even if I was moving this summer.” And then Pastor Craig Groeschel said to me (in my head, of course), “There’s more in you. Quit speaking death over yourself.”
We get sucked into patterns of negative self-talk. I battle the voices in my head that say, “I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. I’m not cut out for this. I just can’t get it all done.” That’s how we talk to ourselves and then we wonder why we live in a state of defeat and frustration instead of walking in the joy and victory we have through Christ. We feed ourselves a diet of negativity and lies, but hope to have healthy, happy lives. That’s not how it works. If you eat crap, you will eventually feel like crap.
I am learning to change the way I speak to myself and about myself to others. Every time I start to feel overwhelmed and like this is too much (which is about 20 times a day right now), I literally say to myself – often out loud – “There’s more in me. I am stronger than I think I am. God can grow my capacity. When I am faithful to do what I can do, He will step in and miraculously enable me to do things that are beyond my ability.”
You know why I can confidently declare “There’s more in me”? Because the Spirit of God is in me. And He has limitless power, wisdom, and energy. I can never reach the end of Him. There is always more.
This is not a permission slip to throw off boundaries or to knowingly take on more than you should. It’s simply the reality that most of us live with more stress and more things to do than we feel we have the capacity to get done. The way we think and speak about our situation has a radical effect on the way we respond to it. What thoughts do you need to take control of today?
I was recently thinking about the words to the song “Oceans” that we sometimes sing at South Bay. There’s a line that says, “Take me deeper than my feet would dare to wander.” I’ve often thought of that in terms on “spiritual work”… like perhaps God would take me to a foreign country to share the Gospel or something. But then it occurred to me that, more often, the “deeper” that God takes us to is something that may not feel spiritual at all. It’s caring for a special needs child. It’s having more responsibilities than we feel like we can handle. It’s walking with integrity in our own homes. When we keep faithfully following Jesus deeper and deeper into the beautiful mess of our lives, that becomes the spiritual work. And He is sure to strengthen our faith as we trust Him one crooked step at a time.
When Andy asked me to speak this summer at South Bay, I initially told him no. I didn’t think I could manage it. But, I couldn’t shake the feeling that God wanted to take me deeper. He wanted to show me His ability to grow my capacity. So, I came back to Andy the next day and told him I’d do it.
This past month has been intense. And we’ve got about 6 weeks left before the intensity will begin to let up. But I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I keep doing the next thing and being faithful with what’s in my hand. And at the end of every day, I kinda shake my head in amazement at the way that God is bringing everything together. His FAITHfulness fills me with FAITH.
God has to take us to the end of ourselves to show us there’s more of Him.
Girl, there is more in you because He is in you! Don’t live your life only taking on what YOU can handle. Live beyond your capacity with a God that receives great joy when our lives bear much fruit.