He said to me, "your words have always been your gift-- the way you use them, the way you deliver them-- it's time to speak". He told me to wait so that I could listen to Him speak and be reliant on Him. He told me to be still and let Him reveal some things to me in private first, but now it is time to share.
Beautiful Soul Sisters, I have been trying to write this issue of The Journey Journal since May 2022. There was a lot of transition going on then. So much that my personal journaling was not very intentional or tuned in to what God might have been telling me in that season. I was just getting words on a page and out of my head. Things are no less busy now in February 2023 than they were then. The difference now is that I have learned to slow down and be more intentional in my time with God. I have learned to give freely of my gifts-- share them, sew them into others. As I have settled into the New Year, my heart, mind, and soul are in a place of peace and joy that I have not experienced in a very long time.
Now that I have heard God. . . literally up out of my sleep at 2 am. . . I am sharing with you publicly what He has been revealing to me privately (Some of it, not all of it. 'Cause some of that is just for me & Him). I want to talk about three things:
Discovering or acknowledging the gift God bestowed upon you
Being intentional in spending time with God to understand how you are to use that gift
Obedience when it is time to share that gift with others for God's glory
Discovering or Acknowledging the Gift God Bestowed Upon You
Your gift, as I have been lead to define it for myself, is that thing that comes easily to you AND brings you the most joy. I put emphasis on the "and" because if you're like me, you are good at a lot of things and it was confusing for a long time to identify what my true gift was that I was supposed to use in fulfilling my purpose. Apparently it's words, so let's keep going.
That thing that comes easily and brings joy-- think about it. Then pray and ask God to reveal to you what it would like for you to use that gift, what would it look like if you shared it with other people, how does your gift shape your purpose, how does your gift help you on your journey of becoming. These are all questions I have prayed about and encourage you to do the same in your own way, how ever you spend time with God.
Being Intentional in Spending Time with God to Understand How You Are to Use that Gift
At some point, it will become painfully clear what your gift is, and I say painfully because in my experience I have become so tunnel visioned on how to use my gift that I stop catering as much to other things going on and forgo other responsibilities. I get so excited about what God has revealed to me and I jump right into envisioning things for myself and coming up with grand plans and writing things down and all of that is great but it is rushed and out of order. God would not have led any of that because I would not have taken intentional time to let Him help me understand how I was to move forward in using my gift. And when I acted--outside of and without God-- on those self planned visions and ideas, I would quickly become unmotivated and discouraged because I wasn't seeing the results I thought I should.
This is where you have to lean into God and ask Him to help you understand how to use your gift. Ask Him very specifically and often. Write it down. Find a scripture or devotional that resonates with you and spend time in The Word of God-- a lot of time. You can't do His work if you don't know what He says. Then, be patient and content with waiting for Him to reveal the next step to you. When it comes to executing a project idea I have never been the most patient. Once, I have a plan, I am moving forward. But God doesn't work like that. In my experience, when I have asked God to help me understand something, that understanding may come during that quiet time or during the most random interaction that requires me to be paying attention. Nevertheless, He will provide it. At that point, you have to be obedient to whatever it is He is telling you.
Obedience When it is Time to Share that Gift with Others for God's Glory
When you were growing up and doing something mischievous, did your parents or other adults ever tell you, "a hard head makes a soft behind" or, "obedience is better than sacrifice"? I know mine did. The same is true even in our adolescence and adulthood. No matter your age, your education level, your career, your status, whatever, God will humble you real quick when you aren't obedient. And that isn't it to punish us for bad behavior. It is to call out the behavior and correct it so we don't go astray from what we know to be true, good, and righteous. After you have supplicated and waited and gotten the understanding and waited and spent time with God and prayed some more, He starts to nudge you and wake you out of your sleep at 2 in the morning. You start to get urges to do work and make progress. You get excited and spend hours crafting content and developing your brand or spend hours studying or practicing or whatever you do to cultivate and nourish your gift. You're working on it and God tells you that now is the time to leap. And then you don't.
You don't because you're afraid, or you're doubtful, or you're worried, or someone else is doing it, or no one will care, or. . . do it anyway. How you gon' ask God to show you what your gift is, how to use, and then don't? He would not have made you so passionate about it, if He didn't plan for you to do something with it or to share it with others. When He tells you it is time to make a move for the sake of your gift and to bring glory to His name and kingdom, you have to be obedient to that direction. Otherwise, you sacrifice time, excitement and fervor and. . . yourself. He chose you for a reason. And He also gave us freewill to choose. So choose His will, His plan for you, and obedience. Because when you are obedient to giving and sharing freely of your gift, it will be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
Beautiful Soul Sisters, I pray you are well. I pray that God's peace, joy, and comfort come rushing into your space, wherever you are. I pray that you are able to recognize the gift that God has given to you, to give to others. May you do so, cheerfully and with a grateful, humbled heart. May all that you give for righteousness's sake be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. There is purpose over your life, you only need to let God use you, remain steadfast, and be a good steward of your journey. Amen.