Sunday, November 9, 2014

Will You Step Up to Bat?

In third grade I made the all star softball team. It was one of our last games of the season and we were playing a great team. Towards the end of that game that great team put in a great pitcher. She was fast. To this day I still remember the choice I made. It is the earliest memory I have of that choice that I would make time and time again. Pulling myself out of a game I never even gave myself a chance to beat. You see there was an inning where I got hit in the shin pretty hard by a line drive. It hurt, but I was fine. However, when we got into the dugout I told my coach I was hurt and couldn't bat. Truth be told I was afraid. I was afraid to get up there against that fast pitcher and strike out. So instead I told my coach I couldn't bat because my leg was hurting too bad. He looked at me and said, Sasha if I pull you out of the batting line up I have to pull you off the field. He didn't want that as much as I didn't. Not to toot my own horn, but I was a darn good softball player. I told him to pull me. He was disappointed, I think my parents were disappointed, and I was certainly disappointed.

I tell you that story because it is the clearest example I can give you of a time I gave up on myself before I even gave myself a chance. There were others around me that believed in me, but I didn't believe in myself. And I never knew characteristics of ourselves that could be life long would show that early on. You see I could give you a handful of other examples when I decided I didn't have what it takes before I even knew if I had what it took. Over the course of the last 20 years or so I have multiple times where the first thought was I am not capable. I can't. How different would my life look if I just believed for one minute that I could?

Self talk and self belief are powerful forces in our lives. A couple weeks ago we had a women's worship night at church. The speaker addressed self talk that night. It matters. Those things you keep telling yourself. They matter. I've always admired the woman that believes in herself, but those women are few and far between. Can anyone tell me why we spend so much time lifting each other up, but yet so much time tearing ourselves down?

You sweet girl...I am talking to you. That other mom doesn't have it all figured out. She may hold it together better, but I promise she is just as confused with this mom thing as you are. And you young lady. Thinking God has forgotten about you at the not quite ripe age of 25. He hasn't. Your prince charming is around the corner. Who cares if your friends found theirs faster. Enjoy the single life. It doesn't last forever. And you wise woman. Wondering if that sweet baby you rocked to sleep so many years ago will ever need you like that again. I promise he/she needs you today just as much as he/she needed you then. It's hard learning how to parent an adult, but it will get easier. And all of you sweet women in between. Where ever you are in life and whatever it is you are facing, I pray your self talk is gentle. I pray you are believing in yourself even when it seems no one else is. There is a God up above saying, "I believed in you when I knit you in your mother's womb".

"Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O' Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Isreal, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem; "Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hand hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is might to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."-Zephaniah 3:14-17

The last couple weeks have presented some great opportunities to demonstrate belief in myself. They were opportunities to trust the Lord and know that whatever it is he is calling me to he will bring me through. I took a bold step of faith in knowing that God has equipped me for anything that I am being asked to do for his glory. It's not my plan, it's his. And when I can rest in that assurance there is no fear. There is no worry. He says simply, believe in me and I will equip you to believe in yourself.

What do you need help believing today?

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."-Jeremiah 29:11