There is something wonderful that happens at the end of our rope…..
Just when you feel like you are barely hanging on by the last unraveling fringe, Jesus reminds us that we were never supposed to be hanging on to the rope in the first place.
And He asks us to do the scariest thing ever.
Yesterday as I was sitting at the beautifully decorated table between my two sweet friends, Lori and Ruth (who had come to Alameda with me just to support me!), something happened to me.
A roaring pain came flying at my chest, squeezing and suffocating, accompanied by loss of all strength in every limb of my body.
I suddenly realized that I had been holding tightly to the rope of my preparation for this talk on fear. I had spent weeks studying and fighting off the schemes and tactics of the enemy, and suddenly it felt like all of that hard work was lost. Not a thought in my brain. Not an ounce of strength in my being. My rope was unraveling quickly.
And then, as Jesus always seems to do with me, He provided strength through friends and humor. Ruth and Lori held me up in fervent prayer in the bathroom. Surely the most beautiful thing that has ever happened in that public restroom.
As we came back to our table and I was being attached to my cordless mic, the woman who was putting it on me said, “You do know that your dress is inside out, right?”
Well, actually no. No, I didn’t know that I was about to get up on a stage in front of 100 women I’d never met wearing an inside out dress.
Jesus, Lori, Ruth and I decided that keeping it that way as I talked would be the way to go. Inside out became the segue to me introducing myself to these women. Imperfect, a little crazy, dorky me.
When I walked up on stage, I left my rope at the table. I let go.
And with every step up those few short stairs, I was throwing myself into the arms of Jesus, who had been waiting for the moment I would release my grip on preparation and planning.
It couldn’t have been more appropriate that I shared my inside out tags with these women. Because that’s what Jesus was asking me to do. Turn inside out with these strangers. Share with them my own struggle with anxiety and fear and to show them firsthand what Jesus has been teaching me in this spiritual battle. Real. Honest. Raw. And very fresh from experience.
I can’t speak for how it came across to them, but I can tell you what happened in me as I spoke. There was a strength like I’ve never known. Power and passion and confidence and enthusiasm that came directly from the power of the Holy Spirit at work inside of me. My insides spilling out effortlessly.
Not because of my preparation or planning.
But because, like we’d thought all along, God had a message He wanted to give to these women. A message that Satan did everything to stop.
And Jesus was the Champion! He won that fierce battle for us. And the victory looked like sweet peace. Nothing in the way so that even in my inside out dress I could become invisible and all they could see was Jesus’ love for them.
I finally got out of the way. I finally let go. I finally trusted the fall from the rope.
One more step of healing and growth in this ninety day journey of the heart….
Inside out never felt so good….
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.