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July 14, 2009

Firm Footsteps...

GayHeadCliffs


Greetings, Dear Friends!



And to those visiting, I say welcome. I'm back from vacation and back in the game. I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. This month's card comes from Startbucks. So leave a post, share a story or insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a cup of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

In my book, "The Uncommon Woman" I wrote about how we all have 'solid ground areas' in our lives where we walk with a measure of holy confidence. God has wired us or refined us in such a way that we can function in certain realms of life without feeling insecure or self-aware. In fact, in these places, we know we have something to offer. 

But we also have 'sinking sand' areas in our lives where we're not so sure of ourselves, or where we resort to insecurity and self-awareness. It's in these places where we trip up with our words at times, or we mistake others' intentions, or we perceive things differently than they actually are.

What are your 'sinking sand' areas? 

Do you struggle when you go home for the holidays? Do you find yourself slipping back into dysfunctional old ways? Or does the ground feel unstable beneath you when you are out with other women? Maybe you become self-aware at church, or at work, or at your child's school. 

What are we to do with our sinking sand areas? Should we avoid them altogether? 

I'd say a resounding NO!

The Bible says that God makes our way perfect. He arms us with strength. He makes our feet like the feet of a deer and enables us to walk on high places. God makes our footsteps firm and He clears the way ahead of us (*See Psalm 18:29-36).

We must trust Him and follow where He leads. But we also must deal with the stuff that rises up in us when we walk in uncomfortable places. Here are some of the ways God makes us 'able' to walk on high places and makes our footsteps firm:

  • He heals us from past wounds ~ We must give Him access to those painful memories that repeatedly trip us up. He will replace the lies with truth, the pain with joy, and our repetitive weakness with continual strength.   
  • He delivers us from our fears ~ We must be willing to follow Him to the places of our fears. He will only ask us to take a step at a time and He'll be with us every step of the way. As Henri Nowen once wrote, we must 'let our love for God override the fear we feel for ourselves' (my paraphrase). 
  • He assures us of His love ~ As we spend time with Him and as we trust Him with our fears, we find Him faithful. The more we let go of worldly assurances to place our trust in God's provision, the more we will know in the depths of our being that we are loved, protected, and provided for. Proverbs 9:10 tells us, "Knowing the Holy One results in understanding." The more we know Him, the more we understand the depths of His love. 
  • He leads us with great wisdom ~ Jesus knows us intimately and leads us with profound wisdom. He leads us at a pace that we can keep and He's patient with our missteps. He uses every trial to make us more like Him. He gives us ample opportunity to please Him with our faith, and He offers fresh mercy when we default to fear. He knows how transient we can be and He's made provision for our weakness. He's not surprised by our frailty because His strength is perfect for us. What love! What wisdom!

Instead of avoiding realms of life that make us feel insecure and self-aware, may we run to the Father, embrace His healing and restoring work, and then walk forward unafraid. We are designed to go from strength to strength, from glory to glory. God is always after in increase in our lives. 

Be blessed and stand strong!

PS ~ If you haven't signed up for my FREE Quarterly E-zine, you might want to! Four times a year (today is one of those days) I email out an E-zine filled with good things (book giveaways, devotional thoughts, great quotes, book recommendations, ministry updates, and a prayer to send you on your way). Here's the link:


Be blessed! Until next week~

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Comments

Helen,

Have at it! I love it when you encourage one another! Blessings to you both~

Dear Aimee,

Thank you for your honesty as well. May God strengthen you in the inner man and may He make your footsteps firm! He WILL lead you in paths of peace. I love that. :)

Dear Linda,

What an encouraging post and what a mighty ministry you have! May God pour out His Spirit on you as you minister to the sick and the hurting. You are the hands and feet of Christ to them! Bless you!

Dear Sandi,

My goodness, what a story, I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm quite amazed at the legacy of faith God has woven into your family. May you know and experience the presence and the power of God on a daily basis. God bless you!

Dear Jill,

I'd love for you to post an update on the She Speaks Conference. Way to step out in faith! May God richly bless your efforts!

Susie, can I say a quick word to Jill?

Jill, as a "rather insecure person" myself, I think you are going to LOVE She Speaks. It's all about affirming God's love for us regardless of our accomplishments. Whether we become "real live" writers or speakers or whatever; we are called to beautiful things...

I wanted to be there, but it can't be this year. Have a great time!

Thank you Susie for your honesty and compassion for all of us. For some reason I have been away from your blog for awhile, when your e-zine came this week I felt like you were talking right to me and realized how much I had been missing your blog and the insights that you share. Thanks for praying. I have really been struggling with the 'sinking sand' areas of my life and God knew I needed a reminder that he is always near. Thanks for helping him deliver that reminder. May God bless you this day and always. Aimee

Susie, Knowing you are praying for me encourages me greatly, and your blog and ezine are very nourishing to my soul. Thank you. I look forward to each one. Presently, I'm ministering to my friend and neighbor who has just been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Your truths and insights are precious for this God-given opportunity. Gratefully, Linda

I am entering a time in my life that requires me to be strong and stand on my own two "spiritual" feet. My Sister, Becky has led me on my path to Christ over the past several years. During this journey, I have grown to not only Love my Lord and Savior, but also Love who He is making me to be! My Sister has taught me how to pray and how to be patient, but most importantly, how to PRAISE Him each and every time I speak with Him (which is a lot!)
My Sister has gone to join our Lord and Savior on May 29th, 2009 (followed 3 weeks later by my Grandmother) after a long and couragous battle with Metastatic Breast Cancer. I now walk this path without her physically, but know that she is here with me in Spirit.
Your words, Susie, bring me great comfort during this time. You are a blessing!

Susie, We just started your book as a Bible/book study in our church last week, so your words are real timely. I was struck by the "holy" confidence idea and your initial question about insecurity being a form of selfishness. Wow that really hit, as a rather insecure person, God has really used that. And then our pastor followed up with a sermon about humility and I was struck with the fact that I've confused the two at times. As I prepare to take a leap of faith and go to the P31 She Speaks conference, I know I need to follow in His firm footsteps and take some of my own. Thank you for your encouraging words - the blog is a blessing and the book as well.
Thanks, Jill

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