Y’all I’m sorry. Today for the first time since I started small group in January, when my followers woke up they did not have an e-mail in their inbox with a prepared message. I’ve cried over this weeks material multiple times over the last several days. I have such a heart now for people and this small ministry that I need it to matter; to make a difference. That’s what this is supposed to be about, right? Growth. Ironically enough, this week’s study is on women of influence. It talks about Mary, Esther, and Lydia. All are beautiful pictures of character for different reasons. Mary was humble, Esther was beautiful and brave, Lydia was kind and hospitable. The fourth influence example, day four in your book.. is you… Me. as an influence. And that is so heavy for me. I have the biggest fear of failing you all. I have a very small circle of people close to me; if you asked any of those people what is closest to my heart- all of them, including my husband himself, would tell you Jesus, this ministry, you guys.
As a person that has known little success, I get consumed sometimes with failure here. Maybe if I would have said it this way, she would have understood better how Jesus loves her for this or that; how He loves her regardless. James says that teachers of His word are held to a higher standard of law, Lord PLEASE help me to conduct myself in a way that shows others that I love you, Please don’t let me unintentionally make the wrong mistake in front of the right person and misrepresent you and what you stand for. Work out your faith in fear and trembling He says, over and over and over in the Word and y’all in my other life, my old life, I’ve failed so much. I’ve failed as a person repeatedly, I’ve failed marriage, I’ve failed financially , as a friend, as a mother. I’ve just failed. I’ll fail again and because of that little word- influence- that is heavier now than it’s ever been.
Usually I’ve always had the words for small group… and when I don’t, I pray over it and God gives them to me. It’s never been hard. He fills my heart, and I pour it to a keyboard. Sometimes I wake up at 3 in the morning the day of and write because that’s when God says “here you go.” Easy. This week, the closer the time came, the heavier my heart got. After about an hour of complete tears, I had talked myself into just skipping Tuesday this week and God said, “Katie, just be honest.” So a little off base, instead of talking about Mary, Esther, and Lydia and giving you a biblical history lesson, we’re going to talk about 2corinthians 4, a reference text that the book uses on day four.. and what my heart says.
I know my bible can be overwhelming but for those of you who don’t have yours with you, this is 2nd Corinthians 4. Can’t you tell I love this scripture?? Bear with me. I’m going to short word (who am I kidding) dissect for you what these words mean to me. God’s mercy saves us, so don’t get discouraged. We don’t have to hide behind our darkest, most humiliating secrets, that sin… because we have God’s mercy and it saves us. See God’s word for what it is, the entire truth, and not just the parts that are easy for us. Hiding from pieces of His instruction is offensive to God.. because we have God’s mercy and it saves us. free forgiveness. Tell people about His goodness, not for You but for Him because we are servants for Him. You don’t know what people’s unpublic lives are like so help be a lamp, that may be the only time in a day someone feels some light, some hope that maybe it really will be okay. He shows you right from wrong when you enter a relationship with Him. It’s a colored picture of good and bad, treasure this- its the easiest lesson of memorization you’ll ever learn because all you have to do is show up to receive it. but receive it. The devil will be after you, the closer you come to God, the heavier He will chase you. He knows you. your weaknesses, your insecurities, your flaws. He individualizes his plan for you based on those things. its personal to him because he needs that relationship wedged. what if your relationship with God encourages others to love Him too? Satan’s work just doubled. He’s coming for you. He won’t win. Carry with you what Jesus died for. You killed a man, live accountably. To be living for God means you are slowly dying, wasting away from the outside so that you can live. Wait, huh? This is the transformation. Killing pieces of “the old you” slowly, in a process, working every day to be “deader” better than yesterday. die until you’re as dead as you can humanly get. Die because its good, its beneficial for you. To be dead in sin is to be alive in spirit. Do it because you know Jesus, too, died… and He lives and you know with absolute certainty when you die like die, die (the real kind this time) you will be raised too. I know its hard to stop being mad at your enemies, to stop having sex with your boyfriend, to stop sharing what you heard so and so did last week, to stop getting drunk on Saturday, to stop cussing when you drop a plate on your big toe, I know it’s hard, but for every thing you think you lose by giving that up.. your being renewed more and more. All this hard stuff, even those painful toes, are temporary so stop worrying about all of that. Don’t look at the things your seeing that you’ve left behind, but what is unseen.. what is seen is temporary but what is unseen? when start letting stuff go? what is unseen isn’t unfelt. but ya got to give it up to see.
I have fallen short. I have picked up old sin that I know I had to have set down like 6 times already. I pray that you haven’t witness me pick something up that has made you think that sin is okay. I’m a imperfect person, perfected by grace. My sin is different now. It’s unintentional and it’s covered. Paid for because, even though I don’t, I try to do right. I want to be a strong influence, but y’all I’m just not. He is the perfected one, His word is the image we should follow. I just want to love you into those words, show you what He has shown me. I’ve worked 165hrs in the last two weeks and if I haven’t helped one person to Jesus I have not done my job. I’ve always worked hard, tried. I love my family, my husband, my kids, my friends.. but January 11th my life changed, like a bunny in a magic show my heart just showed up. I didn’t like people, they scared me. I’m introverted and terrified of strangers, so I’ve asked alot of times why me, God? But y’all I think its because I was such a wreck. I had so many holes, my heart was so broken, so guarded, so many voids I tried to fill with things that just don’t work as glue. I would patch things over with something for a little while, something temporary, and be that much more broken when that patch didn’t hold and that, too fell apart. I was so messy, and I think God wanted to show people “hey, if i can fix a girl like that, like me, I can fix you too”
Y’all, He can. I don’t want to be an influence, I want to be a servant; a lamp; a friend. I don’t want praise or recognition, I don’t spend hours a day in my Bible for y’all to see some pretty pictures. I just want to help. I cry over y’all all the time. I pray over y’all.. all the time.. and when I say I love y’all, I mean it. Not an influence, Just a light.
(we also believe chicken nuggets are a biblical form of measurement- directly proportional to the size of the blessing)
The Bible is real
There is power in testimony
& The Gospel changes everything