Friday, May 23, 2014

Stepping up and Stepping Out

Every once in a while I get the cajones to try something new. As I get older I find myself getting more and more comfortable in the same everyday things. I like to drink my spark (Not the alcoholic drink!) first thing in the morning, if for some reason I can't have it my day is shot! It throws me off balance and messes up my whole day. I usually order the same things at the same restaurants. If I am going to pay for food, I want to be sure I am going to like it! I know the places that I like to buy certain shirts or shoes or perfume. I like to end my day in my Bible, without that I don't feel complete. I'm comfortable, and I like being comfortable. Yet, sometimes I decide to get a little crazy and step outside of that comfy cozy zone. Its easy for me to encourage other people to do it, I can see their strengths and I can see that they would do great at trying out that new thing. I can't see that in myself however, I don't think most people can see the potential in themselves. It always amazes me when someone points something out to me about myself that I never in a million years would have seen.
 
A couple of years ago some of my girl friends decided to do the Susan G. Komen 60 mile walk. It sounded like fun but the catch was each person had to raise $2300. This was super intimidating to me. Eventually after training and talking with the other girls I decided to dive in head first. I was so scared and so nervous. How in the world would I raise $2300 along with the other 3 girls having to raise that much? That was over $10,000 all together!!! Well we all worked together and we raised that money and more! Through that experience I realized how good I was at fundraising and how much I actually enjoyed it. It started off as something so scary and so intimidating to me but it turned into something that I found out that I really loved. If it is something that I am passionate about I will gladly fund raise for it.
 
Fast forward about 3 years, my women's ministry leader came to me and asked if I would take over and put together a women's retreat. Let me just say that every time I get together with this woman, in my head I say noooo, no matter what she asks you Tessa you say NO! However, no conversation has EVER gone like that. In fact, everything she has ever asked of me I have always said yes and I have been abundantly blessed because of it. Every opportunity she has given me has helped me to grow and see my own potential even when I didn't really want to. Anyway, I said yes to planning a women's retreat. There was ups and downs, highs and lows of planning a retreat in less then 3 months but I did get it done! I took on something big that I really thought I had no business doing but from it I gained so much. I learned so much about myself, about other people and most importantly about my God. He came through for me in a big and He showed me that I CAN accomplish things even if I am scared of them as long as I do it along side Him.
 
Now a year later I have taken on the task of organizing a summer Bible study. I was planning on it being 5 girls or so, nothing big or formal. Just do a weekly study book and then get together to discuss it. Well that small group has brought on 14 ladies total! And every week it seems to grow. If you would have told me a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 that I would start a bible study group I would have smacked you in the face and said your crazy! It has been really awesome how it has worked out so far. One girl happened to be at the park while we were there meeting for the first time and decided to join us.  Another girl was at the library when she met a girl in our group and decided that she would like to come meet with us as well. I'm certainly no teacher, at least I don't think I am, who knows maybe God will show me differently through this experience. But as I stood there looking at all of these ladies all I could think was 
God is Good.  
And I just pray that He will speak into each of these ladies lives through this study, even if they never come back to the group (ah but they will).
 
I'm not telling these stories to brag or to say "look at me and what I have done!" I am telling you these things to say, look at what GOD has done. Nothing that He has brought to me has been a failure, because every one of these things, and others, have been done with Him leading it. He has shown me things about myself that I never would have thought would be possible. It makes me so excited to think about what He has in store for me for the future. I know that as long as I keep saying yes and keep listening to Him and give Him all of the glory He will continue to use me in ways that I can't even imagine. I have complained to my sweet womens ministry leader/friend so many times about how I so badly want to know what my gifts are and how God is going to use me, but this is the first time I have really stepped back and looked. He has been using me all this time. He uses me every day in motherhood, in friendships, in being a wife (Thank goodness for His grace...can I get an amen?!) in everyday social interactions, in my church and the list goes on.
 
Friends, look at your lives, are you letting God lead you? Are you listening to Him? Are you stepping out of your comfort zone for Him? He wants to use you in amazing ways I can guarantee that! If you will just give Him the time of day He will speak to you and lead you into something that you never thought would be possible.  
 
           As each has received a gift,
          use it to serve one another,
           as good stewards of God's varied grace.
1 Peter 4:10