Coffee in Cabo April’s WOW

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartJoshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Welcome to our Coffee from Cabo and more of our WOW! I can’t believe April’s gone … almost. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith, and let’s go tie some knots as we learn more about courage in the face of discouragement.

Before I left to come to Cabo, I did do a word study on this word in the Hebrew and Greek concordance and I thought it would be fun and a bit enlightening to share with you a couple of the definitions for this particular context found in our WOW. “Be strong, strengthened; moral strength combined with physical. To be alert physical or mentally in courage; established, steadfastly-minded.”

How many of us are alert physically and mentally enough that when we are in the world we don’t act like the world? How does one find courage to go against the grain without compromising themselves, their faith and their courage? Or how does one find the courage to do what they know they need to do but have struggled to do it? Oh, but this question has plagued me on this trip, truly! In fact, it hit me like a forceful wave in the ocean that pulls at one’s emotions in its hardest hits. See, book signings are a bit of a struggle for me but I have to say this year, it was easier and I think it’s because my focus is now more on/in my calling of helping others in the trenches, and the books were the platform that He used to lead me there. Let me tell you, though, it takes courage to put yourself out there, to invite people to your table to look through the books. But with a little help from my friend, Cheryl, and a whole lot of “Lord, help me’s,” I did better than I ever have at a book signing, and I don’t mean book sales. By the time the afternoon one came around, I was much more confident, and ready to meet more people.

I need to give you this little piece of the puzzle to help you understand why this was courageous, if you will, for me to do what I did: I’m an introvert; in other words, I get my energy from being alone with my God and because I allow Him to pour into me daily, I can pour out. But the more I pour out, the longer I need to sit still and allow Him to pour in. I hope that makes sense. Okay, let’s get back to the afternoon session of the book signing.

As we were 20150421_104645-1finishing setting up, a man stopped by and began talking with me, and out of nowhere asked so why do you write? I was sort of startled by that question and immediately thought, well, do I share my faith? “Courage won and I just said, I write from a place of healing because of an active relationship with my Living God.”

Well, he began to ask me all sorts of theological intellectual questions, and as I rewind the conversation – it was a long one – I realize that with each answer I gave, that prompted another question with a whole host of scriptural addresses. Now, that sort of thing intimidates me just a bit and I didn’t have a problem letting him know that while I’m nowhere versed on all the addresses he had quoted, I was familiar with the context. I also said I had much to learn and study as it relates to the Bible and in my journey, much of what I’m learning has come to life in my life. He then asked me this question: “At what level of spiritual maturity do you write?”

Again, I hesitated, but I know that I know that my God gave me the answer as I pointed to each book: “Well, this one was the first one and so the level of healing experienced when I wrote this one is nowhere near this one,” as I pointed to my latest book. He seemed pleased with that answer, but now there are people starting to come to the table and I need to end the conversation … as politely as I could, but he wasn’t having it! Here’s what he told me: “I’m here to tell you you’re in sin; using your faith to make it big, but I’m here to hold your hand; remember, there’s now therefore no condemnation”! Emphasis on the!!!!

I was stunned… and discouraged, but only for a moment and in that moment God filled me with courage, enough courage to ask him why he would say that and then more courage to reply to him that I was there to not make a name for myself but to offer hope so that others would see the reality of the necessity of our loving God. I also shared with him that the journey I’ve been on has been divinely orchestrated and I couldn’t have dreamt it, let alone created it. Then I invited him to write his email address down and proceeded to tell the others at the table that I would be right with them.

Oh, courage is necessary to push past the discouragement of what others may or may not think of us! Let me share one more example and then I’ll let you go.

It was the day after the book signing and we all were out at the pool and suddenly the whole scene just punched me hard and all I wanted to do was run. It’s not that anyone was doing anything wrong, per say; it’s just that I don’t fit in with the party scene, don’t even want to and yet, I needed to feel like I belonged somewhere! So you know what I did? I got up, told my husband what I was feeling, and got up and left!

My head and heart were a jumbled mess, like seaweed all tangled up, tripping me up so before I blurted something out I didn’t mean or even understand, I needed to go be alone with God, sort of work through all those weeds of thought. Have you ever felt like that, like you just don’t belong where you are currently? It was incredibly discouraging!

I headed to our room and once inside, I couldn’t sit still, so I walked outside our back door onto the sand and toward the beckoning ocean.

Oh, but the sea has a way of singing just the right song at just the right tempo, always different, but doing the same thing: calming me. As I sat there and talked it out with God, wondering why I had such an overwhelming feeling like that of not wanting to be where I was and not fitting in, I realized that I’m getting to understand me better, and my needs, my likes and dislikes and my inner struggle and/or convictions don’t need to change anyone else’s.

I asked Abba to give me courage to stand for my convictions and not get lost in a need to be understood, or in my desire to belong somewhere, somehow with someone. I’m not sure how long I sat there … enjoying the seagulls gliding in for a landing to take a little siesta, right at the ocean’s ebbing, and I thought about the truth that it takes courage to be discouraged, especially when you are still fitting into your new God-given skin!

Yes, Lord, you have commanded me to be strong and of good courage; to not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for You are with me wherever I go! Go ahead; re-write the verse according to this moment of time in your life!

Until tomorrow,

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One Response to “Coffee in Cabo April’s WOW”

  1. Jan Bachelor says:

    Handled it well. You replied to the query honestly and some people just enjoy confronting others just to hear the sound of their own voice of sounding like an “authority” when they are insecure about their own convictions. I wouldn’t want to fit in to his life image anyway! GOOD JOB