Sometimes When God Beckons Me to Follow Him, I Just Want to Vomit…& a Link Up!
My flesh is weak. I have no problem admitting that.
I want to retreat when God calls me to move forward to do hard things for the Kingdom of God. Things that I’m not capable of doing. Things that scare me. Things that, well, make me want to hurl.
And although my heart says, “Here I am Lord, send me,” as Isaiah said, my flesh wants to run in the opposite direction just like Jonah did.
But the call is to follow Him.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24
That verse doesn’t have a tagline to it that says….”but only if it feels good!” I know that’s wishful thinking, isn’t it?
I can fully see how my flesh gets in the way of what God is wanting to do in my life. When I think about my actions and fears, I see ugliness, self-centeredness, and pride masked in the form of insecurities, and then my heart just grieves because of this. If only I would just rest in Him and embrace the calling that He has for my life because when I do, I know the Spirit of God will manifest through me. I don’t know why I always wrestle with God on this because when His Spirit is manifesting in me, I’m always thriving. Duh! Oh, when will I learn?
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. 1 Cor. 12:7
So here’s my vomit moment #1:
I’ll be speaking at a women’s event in a few weeks. My spirit is ecstatic, but my flesh, well, it’s terrified. Any time I speak in public I turn beet red. My face is blazing hot and I’m covered in red blotches. In fact, I feel like Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales! But it doesn’t matter if I’m speaking or if I’m just in front of a group of people because I still get all blotchy when I’m the center of attention. You can even see the red spots on my neck and shoulders in my wedding pictures! My doctor calls it a thyroid issue. I call it “I’m extremely uncomfortable with this!”
Vomit moment #2:
God has me writing a book. Wives of the Bible to be exact. I wrote a short series on this back in Oct. and now He has me adding to it and making it available on Amazon, Kindle, and such. As you may know, I don’t write because I enjoy it and I don’t have a dream of writing a book someday, I simply write because God has called me to the task.
Vomit moment #3
He’s growing this ministry. Again, I’m terrified by where He’s going to send me and I certainly don’t feel like I’m suited for the task! I know He’s birthing something new and He’s expanding the borders here. He’s taking me outside of my comfort zone and He’s going to be doing this a lot more often. He’s changing and shifting things and I feel COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL. I’m simply showing up and doing what He’s calling me to do. I’m merely the passenger here and He’s the driver. It’s crazy scary to my flesh, but my Spirit is going to relish in His presence!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9
Because I love Him so, I’ve decided I’m going to follow Him because He’s worth denying myself for…and yes, even if that means I’m walking around with a queasy stomach and red blotches all over my face!
Live a poured out life for Christ,
I know exactly how you feel! What chronic illness do you have (if you don’t mind me asking?) I link up with you often but I guess I missed this. I suffer from MS (multiple sclerosis).
I would love for you to come share these on my weekly link up that just went live for the week. http://countrifiedhicks.blogspot.com/2013/02/mondays-with-countrified-hicks-4.html
Hi Countrified Hicks,
Just to name a few, I have auto-immune disorders, fibro, ibs, polycystic ovarian syndrome. I wrote about my journey here. http://joleneengle.com/lord-why-on-earth-would-you-allow-this-the-refiners-fire-part-2/
Thanks for the invitation to link up at your place!
Hi Jolene. It’s my first time to link up with you – thank you for the opportunity! I hope you wouldn’t be so fearful plunging yourself into following the Lord wherever He’s leading you :). It’s been my fervent prayer to be used by Him for His purposes and so far, blogging and writing are only the things that He has enabled me to do while I wait for complete healing of my body. I so hope to go to far places to share the Gospel and my testimony very soon. More power to you.
So glad you came by! Our weaknesses, a.k.a. ‘thorns’ are just what we need so He can shine through us! He always has a perfect plan for our lives even when we can’t see it at times! Thanks for your encouragement!
I can so relate!! I have said a prayer for you and I believe that God is working in your favor. It’s scary how I have been feeling the same way and you send this post. Fear freezes you, but He will never give us anything that we’re not capable of handling. Keep me in your prayers as well.
You are so right about fear freezing us! But God has not given us a spirit of fear…fear comes from the Enemy. And you are right, He’ll never give us anything we’re not capable of handling. I’ll keep you in my prayers!
May God bless you in your endevors Jolene. And I can’t wait for your book to come out! You have the heart of David, the mouth of Moses and the faith of Abraham, God is with you!…Go get em! 😀
Oh Jenny, you blessed my heart and brought a smile to my face!
You are an inspiration and your post is a gentle reminder for all of us to keep Him at the center of our decisions. God be with you!
Thank you, Monica!
Oh Jolene, how I can relate with your words! I have felt the exact same way. It’s how I felt when God called me to write UnEmployed Faith and then start that whole encouragement blog and ministry process. It’s how I felt about a month or so ago when I had to stand in front of a group of women for my first speaking engagement. It’s how I feel now that my reach is expanding and I’m nervous about that. I will be praying for you as you prepare. Know this…God will do great things in and through you during your speaking engagement. When you see the face to face connection you’re able to make with people it will blow your mind. It’s so different than connecting with people through our writing. It’s an amazing blessing. Two books I highly recommend that helped me prepare are: Speak Up with Confidence by Carol Kent and Communication for a Change by Stanley Jones. If you’re short on time to prepare the Carol Kent book will walk you through the entire process of thinking through what you’ll say, how you’ll paint the picture through your words, and how best to deliver the message. Even if it’s a testimony she covers that as well. I read both when prepared for my speaking engagement and it made all the difference in the world. I actually had women practically maul me in tears afterwards telling me how much my words encouraged them and they were repeating back to me the things I had said. That’s a great sign. I wouldn’t have done that well without those books guiding me. As a result, even though I’m terrified of speaking again, I’m totally hooked! It’s an amazing experience. I know you’ll do great!
Thank you so much for your encouraging words and the book recommendations! I’ve spoken to groups of women before and I know the speaking ministry will only continue to grow (whether I feel comfortable about it or not!) But it’s all worth it for our King! Thanks for tip about Carol’s short book, perhaps I’ll get the chance to look into it before the 12th of March!
I will be praying for you as you write your book and speak. Thank you so much for being so faithful in your blog and encouraging women. Thank you for hosting all the linkups.
Thank you, Judith. Your words have ministered to me!
I empathize, Jolene — there are so many possible directions I feel God is leading me, and I pray for wisdom to discern His perfect will and follow Him daily. Thanks for the wonderful post & for hosting & God bless!
Thank you, Laurie. Keep seeking the Lord and in his timing, He’ll give you His answer!
I know exactly what you are talking about with the redness. I had a dermatologist tell me that it was just due to my Irish background, but I do have a thyroid condition, as well. I can’t bring myself to speak publicly. Even in just meetings with my boss, whom I love, I turn beet red. It’s so mortifying. Hooray for you, speaking anyway!
I really enjoyed reading your post, I just wrote one similar yesterday, but I only wish mine could have been “God is calling me, so I am doing”. Keep me in your prayers because I can’t seem to get myself to completely submit.
Hi Working Mom,
Our redness just shows how weak we are, but the words that spill out from our hearts show the power of the Holy Spirit! I’m learning to embrace the latter! You should too! 🙂
Praying that God guides you in redeeming your time and praying that book will bless many!
Hi sweet friend! I am so proud of your willing heart! I knew this day would come for you. God is going to do amazing things for His kingdom through your beautiful heart. OF COURSE, you will have my fervent prayers on your behalf (for the speaking engagement and the book). The courage of the Lord will see you through! Lots of Love, lovely sister.
(Tears!) Thanks my dear friend! 🙂
Jolene, thank you so much for this post 🙂 I got so much from it, amazing encouragement. Found you at Women Living Well. Look forward to your return in March. Lifting you up in prayer. Have a blessed day. Tara (The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary)
Thanks Tara. Welcome here! I have some archived posts that I’ll be sharing each week before I come back. So glad to hear that what I wrote ministered to you!
how did you get the pretzels to stick
God often calls us to face our biggest fears and to tackle challenges we never thought possible. I wouldn’t have gotten married or have started Becoming His Eve if God hadn’t called me to them and I hadn’t pushed aside some of my biggest fears. Totally hear you – often the craziest things are the things God calls us to – the ones that scare the pants off. But those journeys I find are the most rewarding.
Sweet Jolene, I hear you loud and clear. My flesh is such a pain!! It keeps holding me back from the abundance of joy that God has in store. I cannot depend on my own strength for long before I find I am ten steps behind, regretting my weakness again. Well done on all the success your faith and willingness has brought you. Praise God for the Glory your ministry brings Him! You wouldn’t need Him if it was easy and He wants to to need Him…desperately. One step in front of the other on the tight-rope of faith. I am sending many prayers for you in all the areas you asked (and me too, as they are exactly what I need in my life also). All the best with the book and speech. Blessings to you!
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