What’s the last compliment you received?
How do you do accepting compliments?
What about general affirmation?
The other day at work, we did staff affirmations one by one. Each person had to sit in the “hot seat” while their co-workers and supervisors applauded them and their role at The Covering House. It was a good thing. And it was all fine and good until you get called into the seat.
The rules are that you cannot negate compliments and all you are allowed to say is “Thank you.” We want to do this same thing with the girls we serve and it makes sense that we want them to absorb kindness without pushing it away (whether in the name of humility or not).
So, I sat there getting to dole out words of affirmation.
It was glorious. I LOVE that stuff! (Words of affirmation are my JAM!)
However, things weren’t so fun when my name got called and I had to sit on the red chair in front of the semi-circle of my co-workers.
That’s when the a co-worker who has become more of a dear friend and sister said, “You embody meekness and fierce loyalty. You are a quiet warrior.” At this point, people agreed and the words “quiet warrior” were almost contagious, restated again and again.
And all I could do was sit there with my hands open.
Rewind about 2 months and I was at a point where all I could see were a mounting list of to-do’s and a ticking clock. Things were all coming together and not coming together at the same time. To say our staff is being stretched in recent months is an understatement.
There are great things ahead. I’ll present my capstone, do a few other guest lectures and papers, take my licensing exam, get to be a part of opening a home for human trafficking victims…These are all amazing gifts!
With that said…I was freaking. out.
I reached out to friends and told a small circle what was up.
Since they’re the best friends (the ones who point me to Jesus the most) they said, “What is God teaching you in this season?”
That’s all I could say. They asked what that meant since it sounds very churchy, very Sunday school.
I had to say, “Ya know…I’m not sure yet, but I’ll let you know when I find out.”
I know that I hold things too tightly, I want to perform well and not disappoint. That’s what I’m having to continually open my hands to release. That and to really believe and hold onto what He says about me, to really receive the truth in what others say.
I think He’ll show me more as I obey.
That same night, a friend serving in Africa, who I haven’t gotten to talk to in almost a month, sent an email.
In that email she said:
Open hands. After I knew I was for sure coming to Africa and preparing to leave I heard over and over and over to keep my hands open. Keep my hands open for what was next and not try to grasp for what I was leaving.It was hard. It still is hard.
These are lines from two songs I love‘I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open’‘If I give it all to you, will you make it all new?’May you trust that as you walk forward with open hands, giving it all to him that he will make it all new. He will do immeasurably more.
After a couple thankful tears of conviction were shed, I realized anew how much He cares.
He is all about using those details to get me to hear His voice.
I was living with my fists clenched out of fear or out of determination or both. I was determined to finish grad school well and to serve the Lord at work and to be an encouragement to those around me, to do all that without accepting anything from the outside. And it looked a whole lot like a self-righteous girl running herself ragged once again not tapping into the Source of immeasurably more.
Our lives often preach a very different Gospel than the one we think we believe.
:: Sarah Bessey ::
If you’re reading this and you’re one of my sisters in Christ….do you know we’re created to be warriors?
Ezer Kenegdo means “man’s perfect match.” This is a picture of two equal weights leaning against each other to stay stable and strong. It means that women were created to be our brothers’ strongest ally in pursuing God’s purposes.
In the Old Testament, the word “Ezer” appears 21 times in 3 different contexts: the creation of Eve, when Israel applied for military aid, and in reference to God as Israel’s military helper. God isn’t a “helpmeet” in the watered-down way we’ve heard this used in reference to second-hand citizens in the Kingdom, right? No, our God is more than that: he’s a strong helper, a warrior, an ever present help in times of trouble. And we’re His daughters, created in His image.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
:: Romans 8:15 ::
So with my hands open, open to receive or to give at any time (easier said than done), I will carry that name of “quiet warrior” remembering that the strength they see in me is His.
This alone is the most reassuring thing to open my hands to…His presence.
There is this very real battle going on that’s much bigger than finishing the semester or going to a wonderful job. It’s even bigger than social injustice, bigger than trafficking. This battle is being waged for the precious souls made in the image of their Creator. I am confident that if I open my hands to my Ezer, to the ever-present King of Kings, this battle will end in victory.
Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde,
for the battle is not yours but God’s.
:: 2 Chronicles 20:15 ::
You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
:: Psalm 146:16 ::
“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, `Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Victory,-As-An-Act-Of-God#sthash.aSE5F6kQ.dpuf