Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When You Need to Be Reminded: Our God is BIG!

First of all, I’d like to give a shout out to my hubs. Today is his birthday. Woot Woot! J (Last year, I wrote a post with my 30 favorite things about him.)

I’d add to that list how grateful I am that he’s always willing to go with me to my conferences. I’ve presented at a few academic conferences over the years, and he hasn’t missed a single one. St. Louis. Pittsburgh. San Antonio. Santa Fe. We’ve been to some fun places.

This last week, he went with me to Portland, where I presented at the ATTW conference.

We made a trip of it (more on that Monday—so stay tuned) and took a few vacation days before the conference to enjoy ourselves on the West Coast.

As the day of my conference approached, I started feeling very anxious. Actually, I’d felt pretty anxious for the weeks leading up to it, but by the time the actual week arrived, I felt like throwing up just thinking about it.

I was uncharacteristically nervous.

I don’t know if it was the enemy or my flesh—maybe both, but my head was full of lies. This conference is small and an elite group of presenters. They only accepted 26% of the proposals this year (and I’ve been on the 74% side three times).

I don’t say that to toot my own horn; I say that because the days leading up the conference I started thinking, “Man, I’m a fraud. I don’t belong on that panel. My research isn’t good enough, isn’t serious enough. I’m not prepared. I’m not enough.”

And on and on and on, to the point where I was physically sick the day before the conference.

That night I finally told Howell all the lies I felt inside. Do you know how much power comes from speaking your fears out loud?

He encouraged me and prayed for me that night, and immediately, the Lord showed me something really cool.

We’d been on our trip for four days at that point, and God started showing me how He’d taken care of us at every little moment along the way.

Our flights were on time.

Our rental car was perfect, which was essential for the 1500 miles we were going to put on it.

He’d kept our car safe and secure while we’d been out the first day (before we checked into the hotel). For some reason, I kept imagining that someone was going to break into our car and steal my laptop and notes while we sat at a restaurant, and I’d have nothing for the conference.

He’d led us to stay in Brookings, Oregon, instead of Crescent City. Brookings turned out to be MUCH nicer, but we didn’t know that til we were driving through Crescent City.

He’d led us to choose the perfect road to Crater Lake, and He’d led us on the perfect week. We later learned that two other roads into the park were closed because of snow, and if we’d have come the week before, we probably wouldn’t have made it because of all the snow they had. But they’d cleared our road, and although we considered taking the other route, we chose the road, by God’s grace, that was open.

He just kept giving me example after example—really recent examples—of how big and how powerful He is.

My conference presentation turned out to be just fine—and when I stopped stressing, I was able to enjoy the experience. By the end of the trip, we had even more cool stories like that!

But I loved that He reminded me, just when I need it:

He takes care of us.
He goes before us.
He’s always with us.

If you feel afraid, if you feel like you’re not enough, if you feel like you’re lacking, I pray that today you’ll be encouraged to see how big your God is.

He fights for you.
He stands with you.
He fills you with all the grace and power and confidence you need.

No comments: