I’ve learned that every time the Lord gives us a command of this nature we should stop and take notice. It’s like a big flashing sign saying, “YOU’RE GONNA NEED TO HEAR THIS!” There’s no question that in this life we need a whole lot of courage. To accomplish the plans and purposes of God we have to step out of the boat onto the water, hoping we don’t sink, time and time again. We will likely lead in environments where we feel inadequate, believe for things that seem impossible, and risk our comfort and reputation trusting in God.
Take courage! God has called you, He has anointed you, He has empowered you. It doesn’t mean you are perfect, it doesn’t mean you get it right all the time. It doesn’t even mean in the journey or the process you are doing all the things appropriately or correctly all the time. But I believe with all of my heart and I am completely convinced without a shadow of a doubt of three things: God really loves you; God will endure with you and God believes in you.
Seth Dahl knows rock bottom. He knows what it feels like to be broken and what it feels like to walk through the mess and process of healing. Seth knows what it feels like to be afraid, but to take steps of courage and step out even when it’s scary. That’s why we are really excited Seth will be one of our speakers at Freshwind!
I will never forget the night when my brother complained that he couldn’t feel half of his body. We called the ambulance, and he was taken to hospital. As we heard the words “Tested positive for cancer…” I felt like I was in a movie scene, where everything turned into slow motion around me. Nine months later we lost our brother. He was 22 years old, and my sister and I were just 16. It was one of the most painfully formative events of my life.
I knew that my closest community were the ones that would back me up and encourage me. What I didn't know was that friends that care for you would actually be the ones to challenge you as well. Good friends ask you the hard questions and tell you what you need to do to own the issue and grow from it.
I was raised knowing who God is and I had two amazing parents who loved me. Unfortunately however, I was bullied a lot when I was young. I carried a lot of hurt and pain, which made me so badly want to fit in and prove that I was worth knowing. I made a vow early on in my life that I would do whatever it took to fit in.
Fear is crippling. If you’ve ever experienced some form of loss, rejection, disappointment or pain then I know you can relate. You know that feeling when the fear of losing someone or being hurt again starts to creeps in. We respond to the fear in many ways, sometimes we numb parts of our heart or we hide, sometimes we push people away or retaliate in hopes of self-preservation. I have done all of the above.
My friends get to do a lot of things that I want to do. Things I hardly ever get invited to do. It’s annoying. I love my friends, but they seem to be given all the opportunities that I want to be given. I often feel like no one notices me. Like no one sees the gifts or the unique wisdom that I have. Or even the years of training that I’ve received that would make me so good at the things I don’t get asked to do, but I want to do!
Ever notice how everyone at church is always smiling? Ever notice how you don’t always want to? What’s the point in pretending anyway? God knows what you’re going through, He knows and understands. So take that fake smile (that we’re all guilty of) and turn it into healing tears. There’s no shame in your humanity, it is precisely because you are heartbroken, angry, broke, or lonely that Jesus gave you his life and his family.
We can choose what time to get up in the morning. We can choose what to eat. We can choose what we think about most. We can choose what to believe. Some of those choices can be fairly life-altering. Some of them can be fairly hard. Whether we like it or not, we make choices all the time about how we live our lives, and those choices have consequences in our lives.
There would not be a victory parade without a victory. There would not be a victory unless there was something that we needed to gain victory over. We wouldn’t need the victory without the struggle. They are what bring the testimonies. They are what bring the glory to God, to allow the world to see His goodness.