I sat on the small couch, sinking in the middle. The cushions as old as the hills. I was all empty tank and tired and parched for some kind of hope.
To believe again. In anything. To feel again. Just any way.
Then he asked me, “Are you writing?”
I said it dry, but my mind was alert. Surprised. Why did he ask me that? Premarital counseling never addressed this. He didn’t know. About the deep down urge to pick up the pen. The way I’d been coming alive through written words since the days of my youth. And how now there was only dry ink, a deadness in me. Because what do you have to offer or say or share when all you see is dark?
“Why,” he asked.
And then the heat started. At the top of my head, like a light shower. Moving down my body, my back. The Spirit was there. In the room. Moving through some kind of lie I didn’t know I had believed.
“Because….” and then I started to break. Like a shaking. Tears welling up. Before I could come up with an answer, he said
“Because that’s what he tried to steal from you. Satan, I mean.”
“Yes,” I replied. Yes. And it had been working.
The lies are sometimes so much easier to believe.
You begin to believe your voice doesn’t matter. Your broken story is too broken indeed. And write about it….What are you thinking? You can’t even write.
Sometimes the loudest critic is in your head. And Satan jumps on that train because,
SISTERS - we have a calling we have yet to fully understand.
That urge to teach, to write, to speak for Him. It’s FROM HIM. Because you were made to know Him and make Him Known.
“You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.” Isaiah 43:10
And how can you really know Him without wanting to brag on Him? We are His witnesses.
When the Spirit man inside of you is burning with agreement in His Word- there is someone, somewhere who needs that word. Just like you do.
And just when we think we are writing/serving/teaching for others, for Him….we find the healing ourselves.
So HERE IT IS. The Word He has for you. TODAY.
“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” Psalm 68:11
The women who proclaim it.
He is doing something here. In the hearts of women.
He is calling you out.
Throng is defined as a multitude of assembled persons, a large number crowded together.
So you ask yourself: “What does my voice matter? There are enough voices out there.”
He wants more.
The definition actually says this crowd will have “an increase of pressing activity.”
Increase! A pressing in.
We wonder what this blogging sensation is among women. This flocking to conferences and reaching out for community. This generation of women calling for good and holy things. Fighting for justice. Doing the hard things. Speaking into the spiritual realm and calling what is not as though it were.
More proclamations! More of His daughters taking pen and microphone and small classroom and job influence to Make Him Known.
The crowds of women speaking His Name are not a threat to your personal call. That sister that has more followers and published her third book, she is not your competitor.
We are on the same holy team. Oh, He wants you on this team.
Calling you to wear His team jersey in your sphere of influence. Screaming loud for your Coach, because the real bedlam game isn’t about orange vs. red or the rubber laced ball. There’s a real fight going on. He’s calling all warriors. Arise. TOGETHER.
Proclaim: To say or declare something publicly.
The world will tell you to lift high the mantle of self. This mantle of self-promotion that gets heavier by day. Tracking your followers. Your stats and re-tweets.
And what if we all laid down the heavyweight mantle of self-promotion
to lift high the Cross in Proclamation.
Me with my hand-full of “followers” and you with your two thousand because Jesus…He wants so many more followers.
This writing gig? Your daily gig? This using of your gifts and laboring at your job and breathing every breath- it’s all to line up more people behind Him.
What if we dropped the “I can’ts” and the “I shouldn’ts” and the “I don’t know enoughs” and just trusted Him to speak. Through us. For Him. Right where we are.
How He chooses to use your proclamation and whom He chooses to lead and what doors He opens and those He shuts hard, that’s His perfect orderly business.
He will lay out the details of your call in His time, one day at a time. We don’t get the whole bucket of apples today. Just the way it is.
In the meantime, you can take a few things to the bank:
God wants you to remember. So for those of us who can’t remember what we ate for breakfast yesterday, we better WRITE down what God did for us. In a journal, online or on a posty. Whatever. Write it down. Your going to need that post-it note one day. When the fig tree isn’t producing and there are no cattle in the stalls and you are wondering where your God is. Remember what He has done for you. Remember who He is.
There is beautiful evidence to the power of the written word. To journaling. Etching out your prayers in ink and stumbling on them years later to check off every one: Answered. These are your scrolls of remembrance. My latest read: When I Journal, He Speaks.
“Remember to extol his work.” Job 36:24
“My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you” Psalm 42:6
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11
Let us not “fail to remember the miracles He has done among [us.]” Neh. 9:17
He wants you to proclaim His Name. When the world gets loud with the sound of defeat, His Name will hush the soul with peace. His Name will save. He is spreading his glory over all the earth, and He is using His people to do it.
“I believe, therefore I speak.” 2 Cor. 4:13
“Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. ” Psalm 9:11
“I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.” Psalm 40:9
He wants you to testify. Because when I entered my valley of doubt, my slow walk out was through words. His words, your words and all the meaningful words of saints gone before us.
Words proclaiming truth into the rope of lies. Words saying, “Me, too. I’ve been there. Hold on!”
And when His Word felt dry and my soul was parched from doubt, He used the common words of his saints, brushed them with the Life of His Spirit and breathed them over my heart.
“And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:27
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14
When my story intersects with yours …..and all the sisters I have yet to meet, and we let all the stories of redemption confirm His Word in our souls, that’s a real liberty fest! We use the key that unlocked the lies and we hand it to the next girl.
This is real freedom: when we finally get this ————-> It’s not all about us. Our special call. Our dreams. Our names.
Oh, He gives beautiful dreams. And specific calls. But they are ALL- every one of them, given that we might proclaim Him more.
So that note you’ve been meaning to send, it’s not too late. His Word is timely and it never spoils. That phone call or visit to speak life, it’s needed. Your voice – it’s a gift to be used.
Write a letter to that author who knocked your socks off…even if they will never read it. To your children – to put in stone how you and God really feel about them. To your spouse – because they need your affirmation more than you know. To your pastor, because he/she is laboring for you.
I love the book of Hosea. So many good Words there. And when Hosea is calling out the people of Israel to return to God, here is what he says:
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Hos. 14:1-2
Take words with you, Sisters.
The WORD of LIFE. He is the WORD, come alive in you. He will speak for you. May we offer our God the fruit of our lips and the work of our pen and the witness of our lives.
I’m joining the procession in Praise of God. Will you come with me?
I’m linking up today with Holly Gerth and Rebekah Hughes the brave souls exhorting others in Christ. Join us! And….if this word was for you, comment below on how you plan to proclaim His Name as an act of thanks to Him. Be blessed today!