Your Place at the Table

Chair 2

God planted a deep desire within me to grow as a speaker. For several years, I prayed about attending the “She Speaks” conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was overwhelmed at the number of speakers that are out there; but, I read something that made me think that just maybe, I could be one of them. It read something like this, “Only you can tell your story the way you tell it, and it needs to be told. Even though the table seems crowded with thousands of speakers and writers, there is always room at the table for you. An empty chair is waiting.” Those words inspired me to take the next step, so I signed up!

As I attended the conference I was astounded to be in a sea of eight hundred ladies pursuing a calling from God and feel a bond with them all. We all “get” one another.

Though I must be honest and share that as I entered the conference room to take a seat, I was not prepared for the wave of emotions nor the spiritual warfare that I was about to confront.

It started with the enemy of comparison. Realizing that I was surrounded by such godly women, seemingly far more advanced than myself, created in me a desire to hide in the shadows, becoming unnoticeable. The Enemy noticed me, though. He noticed my insecurity and wanted to create his own special seating for me.

Has he ever pulled up a chair for you and whispered lies?

The enemy tempted me over and over again to sit in the chair he pulled up because his lies felt more like truth than truth itself; lies that I was unworthy, inadequate, and out of place. Y’all, he even whispered that my southern dialect would be a hindrance! He drew the line there! 😉

But, God saw my struggle! He is El Roi, (The God who sees). As I journeyed through the two-day conference, He was faithful to place new friends in my path to walk alongside me every time I needed encouragement.

The vast knowledge and insight I received was too much to process while there, so I spent the following Monday unpacking all I had learned. As I sat in my oversized comfy chair at home, still before God, He washed me with His truths in a way only God can. God enabled me to redeem much of the confidence that the enemy robbed from me at the conference.

God reminded me that He is the lover of my soul. He loves me in my shame. He loves me in my doubt. He loves me in my brokenness. He loves me in my insecurities.

God revealed to me that He has plans for me to become something I struggle to fully see. He reminded me of the sixth chapter of John and the little boy who offered Jesus ALL he had: five loaves of barley bread and two fish. God used the little he had to feed thousands.  God whispered gently to my soul, “Jodi, bring me ALL you have and with the little you bring, I will do great things! This is the first step in becoming what I see in you. You can trust ME!”

Maybe you, too, need to let those words wash over you. I do not believe they were meant for me alone. God sees you! He desires for you to sit in the chair He purposed just for you. It may be to become a speaker, writer, homemaker, nurse, teacher, or whatever… He will help you become more than you can see in yourself right now. It may take a thousand steps of faith, but only one is required at a time.

There is a battle going on and we must choose our chair carefully. The Enemy’s chair wobbles, and the legs will crumble beneath you, guaranteeing your fall; but, God’s chair is secure and balanced. It will fully support you under any circumstance.

Just know that you too belong at the table God has prepared. Pull up your chair and take your place. See what great things God will do.

I am joining a Blog Hop hosted by Cindy Bultema. To learn more about She Speaks and other that have attended check out this Powered by Linky Tools

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Get Off The Bench

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Have you ever felt like “confidence” is something you will never achieve? Maybe you have tried again and again to become the confident person you desire, but you fall short each time.  Maybe you secretly do not believe in yourself or feel like no one believes in you. I can relate.

One example is when I played sports in grade school (or should I say, I attended the games). Warming the bench was my usual “position”. Whenever the coach came to the bench to look for a sub, my heart raced in anticipation, but he picked someone else with me, almost without fail. I remember thinking that if my coach or teammates did not have confidence in me, I should not have confidence in myself. So I began to believe I would always be on the bench doubting I could ever be VALUED.

Experiences like what I just mentioned can cause us to doubt ourselves (lack confidence).  We doubt that we are good enough, strong enough, worthy enough…but those doubts are not from God; they are from our adversary the devil.  The enemy lies to us and causes us to lack confidence so we feel paralyzed and stuck.

I love how scripture speaks about confidence:

  • “For You are my hope; O Lord God, You aremy confidence from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5)
  • “For the Lordwill be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:26)
  • “In the fear of the Lordthere is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26)
  • “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

Therefore, God is my confidence.

I want people to observe that I have confidence, not from myself, but because I have been with Jesus. I want other people to see me as they saw Peter and John after they had been with Jesus.

“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

I may lack confidence in a lot of ways but I can always have confidence in approaching God because I know He will always accept me as I am. I do not have to doubt that He VALUES me. I do not have to get my life together before approaching Him.  God says to come as we are.

My place is not on the bench, and neither is yours.  We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)

So stand up! Dust off! Have confidence!

Prayer: God, help me see me as You see me. Valued. You are my confidence and I pray I will start living like it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.