This morning I am anointing myself with Valor and Magnify Your Purpose essential oil to strengthen, empower and help me focus in on this weeks events and challenges that I am proclaiming I have Won in advance.
Yesterday I was weary.
Yesterday I was seeing 100% effort -100% positive result.
Yesterday I was a breathe away from being done.
I anointed myself with Frankincense.
My wise son encouraged me to go to the creek, take off my shoes and ground myself physically but most importantly Spiritually. (He knows what he sees works for me.)
And then today I get this post from my friend I met while in Ohio last year:
It was the day I almost quit.
Because in that season I was carrying around more loneliness than anyone knew.
Because in that season I was experiencing more heartbreak than most realized.
And I had almost forgotten.
The paper nearly popped to the surface among the others on a cold fall morning in late October. The paper that had well documented - the day I almost quit.
The date was November 13, 2013.
And I had found myself frustrated with God.
Questioning His plan.
Contemplating my purpose.
Doubting my effectiveness.
Challenging my call.
I remember the day it happened.
Moreover I remember the night before.
It was a bible study I was leading at the time.
And everything about that night made me feel like a failure.
And one heartbreaking personal attack.
And I remember returning home in a tearful demeanor.
Riddled with weariness, sadness, resentment, and discouragement I was throwing in the towel.
I’d say it when my head hit the pillow, “Tomorrow… I quit.”
Because sometimes the assignment is too difficult. And the burden seems unworthy of effort.
And then the morning came.
Ahh, yes, always the morning.
I’d find myself making bread for my family.
And in an attempt to remedy by soul fatigue, I’d listen to a podcast while working.
It seemed random at first.
But now I see that nothing is random in the Kingdom of God.
The message was being given by a young pastor. Younger than me. And much wiser.
The story was Joshua. The warrior leader who was given charge over Israelite management, and would see to it that victory was achieved.
The story was familiar.
The walls of Jericho and the takeover of an entire city.
But the commission was odd.
Joshua was to lead his men around the walls once a day for 6 days.
Walking around the wall. Just… walking.
No swords. No shields. No fighting. Just… walking.
Then on the 7th day, seven times.
And victory of takeover was promised.
It was strange request for militant men.
But Joshua obeyed.
And you could imagine these men and their doubt.
“Are you SURE you heard the Lord correctly Joshua?”
“This doesn’t seem legit!”
“We’re soldiers, you know that, right?”
And when day 6 was closing up you can assume their frustration set in.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“This is crazy!”
“Tomorrow… I quit!”
But it wasn’t to be.
Because God - had a better plan.
He always does.
And that plan requires our obedience to be fulfilled.
And we know what happens.
Day 7 comes. And victory is the outcome.
But it might not have happened if they had stopped on 6.
The promise missed if they hadn’t obeyed, “Don’t stop on 6.”
I would hear the words on the November day 7 years ago and run immediately to the workbook I had been working through with my bible study class. In almost a franticness I would look to recall the chapter of that study we were in. YEP! Just as I thought. Week 6!
And it would have been week 7 that I would announced my retirement.
I might have stopped on 6.
But God - had a better plan.
He always does.
But that plan required my obedience to be fulfilled.
I can’t stop now!!!
I’d almost scream it with excitement in an empty house on a Friday morning.
“I can’t stop now!”
So I ask you the same questions I wrestled with God to the ground about then,
“Will you do God’s will even when it’s not working? Even when it’s hard?”
Because the truth is that we’ve gotta take the lap… make the turn… even when nothing moves. Even when the promise looks unfulfilled… even if. Even IF. EVEN if. Because He IS good and His plan IS better than anything I could imagine for myself.
God is telling you the same thing.
Before you quit!
Remember… Recall… Repeat.
Even when it’s hard.
Even when it’s lonely.
Even when it doesn’t make sense.
Even when it doesn’t feel good.
Even when it’s not popular.
Even when it’s all uphill.
Even when other’s don’t go with you.
Don’t stop short of the promise of God in YOUR life.
Don’t quit now!
There’s so much better ahead for obedient, faithful, God-fearing people.
The best… is yet to come!!!
- Wendy Bender, 2020
What have you quit or almost quit in journey?
Having extremely overwhelming emotions can be hard, so it's really nice when I have tools that make coping easy.
Before this photo was taken I could feel my insecurities and fears creeping up. I could feel the muscles in my chest tightening. I felt like I was fighting my emotions, and they were winning.
Five minutes after this photo (and a lot of deep breaths), I felt confident, brave, and I was reminded of my inner strength. That tight feeling went away, replaced with empowerment and hope.
The truth is, I have way more control over my emotions than I let myself believe I do. We all do. Sometimes we just need to figure out how to remind ourselves of that.