{Be Real} Fight, Freedom & Calling

Spiritual Growth

I remember the moment. It was my last day interning at Random House Publishing. Being surrounded by books, my dream world. I walked into the room with all the galley copies, with their fresh smelling pages. I was given empty bags and told, “Take whatever you’d like.” I filled those bags – filled them high until they were just strong enough so the handles wouldn’t give way. I lifted them off the ground – phew. They were just light enough to lift. I walked through down the narrow hallway with all the cubicles that had become so familiar, said goodbye to my supervisor. I felt like crying – it felt like something was dying. And it was in that moment that God birthed a dream. You’re not meant to stay here, promoting writers. You’re going to go and be one.

I knew then the purpose in the leaving. I still felt like crying as I rode the subway all the way back to the Astoria station, I wanted to re-live those days that were whooshing past and gone. But the dream had come.

Nobody told me then that the dreams are seeds. Seeds that need to be cared for and nourished, or they too, would shrivel up. Three years came and went, just like the trains whooshing by.

And then last year came – and a moment when I knew I had to write for this blog. I knew that words were trapped inside me, needing release. We all have things trapped inside us, needing a release.

What I did then, that first Monday in November when I sat in my chair at home and wrote to you, was the most powerful thing we can ever do to the dreams God births inside of us. I just showed up.

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We spend so much time looking for this magic formula on how the dream is going to happen. How am I going to be a writer? A photographer? How am I going to be faithful with this job? With my family? And we think we’re missing something. Something that everyone else knows while you’re the kid confused in the back of the classroom.

But here’s the thing: the only thing we’re missing out on is discipline.

It’s a harsh word, discipline. When we talk about discipline, it’s hard not to think about being spanked as a child or doing something we really don’t want to do. But that’s not what discipline is at all.

 

Discipline is a fight.

Let’s be real and not sugar coat it.  It’s a fight every day to tune into God’s voice, above all the noise of our cell phones, Facebook, and people who have an opinion on how we should live.

So many days I look at the clock at 2 PM and I haven’t eaten lunch, my wash is still sopping wet, I’m answering emails, I’m getting interrupted by text messages, and I haven’t even finished that project that I started. When my day looks this messy – I know I haven’t been fighting for my time.

We all have the same amount of time to live our wild and precious life. It’s a gift that has been entrusted to us, given to us. And we have to fight for it.

We have to fight the lies of the enemy that tell us what you’re doing is not important. Or that it’s not enough.

We have to fight the idols we place in our life that take away our precious time from God.

We have to fight our feelings when we don’t feel that our small, every day acts of discipline are making a difference. Or leading us into that dream. Because they are. Paul Angone writes in “Relevant” Magazine,

“I’ve realized that successful people’s profound secret of success is that they don’t have a profound secret. They aren’t searching for that big, secret shortcut. Instead, they are focused on mastering the small. Their life consists of discipline within crucial core habits that add to their life, instead of draining it.”

We know this, that in God’s kingdom the small is the big we can let His truth dispel all the lies that say otherwise.

We can, as Paul says,

“Stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.”
-1 Cor. 15:58 (MSG)

 

Discipline is freedom.

When we fight the enemy, the idols, the voices – we can step into God’s freedom. The freedom where we are released to live that thing in our hearts, for God’s approval alone. Our hearts can be fixed solely pleasing Him and stewarding what He has given us.

In freedom, we can learn to say yes when we need to, and no when we need to. I think our hearts let out an exhale every time we practice saying no in order to say yes to what God asks us to.

Paul writes to the Galatians that when we live in God’s way,

“We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Galatians 5:22-23 (MSG)

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Discipline is calling.

As God’s daughters, let’s keep showing up to what He’s calling us to. We don’t know have to know how it will look.

I’ll confess, I still don’t know how God is going to direct my writing – all I know is that I’m here. Every Monday (or now every Thursday) when my fingers hit these keys, I remember the call. I remember that time I heard God’s voice.

Do what makes you remember, too.

You already have the secret, dear sister. The secret that there is no secret to holding that dream. Fight for it and your freedom. And keep showing up. Day after day after day.

May we all learn to walk in discipline together this month, and may the Lord show us how to direct your energies as we follow His call.

 

“I beseech you, to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”

-Ephesians 4:1


October 15, 2015

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  1. Sarah Coats

    October 15th, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I love this. I am afraid I have let my true calling slip and have focused more on the sales and business aspect of my shop. But God has given me a voice and I believe He wants me to use it to encourage. Thank you so much for this so-on-point post.

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