My darling husband, the infamous Mr. D. is always asking me, “Do you EVER listen to yourself when you are speaking at an event or teaching a group?” He thinks he knows so much but in this case, I know what he means. I tell the women in my Tuesday Bible Study that those of us that preach or teach in the church tend to speak on the topics we most need to hear. (I won’t even go into the ramifications of THAT!)
I tend to talk a lot about self confidence & listening to God to get direction for your life. Believe, I DO listen. Sometimes, I simply get sidetracked, distracted if you will. And I have paid a price for this, not only in wasted time but in terrible anxiety which was mostly God’s urging that I was ignoring.
Many, many years ago, God shared an idea that grew into Simple Joy. I accepted His challenge to begin teaching about the relationship between stress, joy & the Holy Spirit. This was at a time when NO ONE was talking about the affect of stress on our lives let along the power of joy. Still, I kept on & was able to share the message with women across the country. Then I became too clever by half.
I won’t detail the ways I went wrong. Let’s say I lost site of the vision God had shared. I thought I needed to wrap His message in a cute package that women would love. They would come flocking to me to hear my words of wisdom. Can you believe it didn’t work? Can you believe it took me so long to see my mistake & try to back track?
Unfortunately, by the time I tried to reclaim my original message, all kinds of people had jumped on the simplification band wagon. And they were doing very well sharing their message. I tried to lure my audience back but I only looked like a late comer to the show. Not only a late comer but a late comer that needed to piggy back on the success of others. No one remembered how I had once led this parade. When I say it made me sad, I really mean it.
For a year or more, I only went through the motions. I saw no results from my work. I bounced from one project to the other, hoping the next one would be the magic formula to bring back my former glory. Didn’t happen. Then, I decided to take Mr. D’s advice & listen to things I was telling women in my Bible Study, especially when it came to listening to God’s words & focusing on His vision for my work.
So, I needed to go into the closet. No, that’s not an expression. Our home is light & bright with an open floor plan. When I need to pray hard & focus on the answers, I take a chair into our walk-in closet. I sat in the dark & prayed hard. And then I shut up so I could hear what God had to say to me. It was very simple & so obvious I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it.
But enough for now. In my next post, I’ll share the answer God gave me as I sat in the dark closet & what that means for me & Mr. D in 2017!