I may be weak, but Your spirit is strong in me.

Have you ever taken the personality test with the beaver, lion, golden retriever, and otter?  For those that haven’t it’s a personality test that turns out to be pretty accurate!  At the end of the test the participant will see that 2 traits are dominate (in most cases).  Let me break it down for ya (condensed version)…

Beaver: Compliance – self-dsiciplined, analytical, organized (also known as type A personality)
Lion: Dominance – leader, strong, independent
Golden Retriever: Phelgmatic – calm, easy-going, dependable, quiet
Otter: Sanguine – outgoing, warm, friendly, talkative, enthusiastic

The portion I scored highest in was otter and in second place was beaver.  It’s fun to see where my friends tend to stand and who I run to with a problem or who I’m typically intimidated by.  Since I had nearly no “lion” in me I never really expected to lead out groups and things in that area – which I was fine with!  I even found that I hardly have close friends who fall under the lion category because I’m often so intimidated by them!  …..then I was asked to pray into co-leading a life group under some awesome people (otherwise known as interning).

My first reaction was obviously no (because leadership positions always intimidate me), but I knew that prayer was something I had to practice in my decion making.  I spent time praying into the decision – writing down confirmations and progress every day for 2 weeks.  I’m not going to lie, since I am not a natural leader, I tried to write down every reason to not accept the position.  After two weeks of praying I realized that every reason I had written down to say no about being an intern was selfish.  As I read back on them I found a pattern – the reason behind it was about me feeling ill-equipped and not wanting to trust God in an area that I was essentially weak in. Needless to say, after prayerfully considering it and having a lot of heart-to-hearts with Jesus, I said yes to becoming a life group intern.

Little did I know what God was about to do.  Especially in the begining of interning I was extremely intimidated by the other leaders, because clearly I had no idea what I was doing.  The bottom line was that I wasn’t trusting God to use me, but I was relying on myself to know exactly what to do and when to do it (the beaver in me).  How stubborn is that?  I also felt like I was totally not capable of leading out other people, and Jesus broke that in me really quickly.

As a few months flew by, I began to gain confidence and courage in leading out.  It began as a task, but in no time turned into a passion.  There was no where else I would rather be than in godly community pressing into how good God is.  It challenged my faith and being at ACU really helped with the whole safe/godly community thing.  My walk with God became almost easy to me.  Guess what, God doesn’t call us to an easy walk.  One day within seconds, a bomb was dropped.  I again felt ill-equipped as a leader and wanted to do everything but run into the arms of my Savior.    So instead I ran into the arms of my friends… luckily, they quickly directed me to the arms of God (talk about awesome community!).

In the hour and a half I spent feeling totally discouraged and not good enough, I finally turned to God and spent some precious time with him.  There was a thought for a split second that ran through my head telling me to simply just quit leading out, but it was diminished by prayer and encouragement.  That thougth was triggered by selfish desires.  Was I wanting to quit just because of my selfishness?  Yes.  That’s where I was headed.  It dawned on me that I couldn’t quit when things got tough, God calls us to a good walk, but not an easy one.  I started reading some scripture:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
-2 Timothy 3:17

Okay, so God has defintely equipped me for battle.  I’m not to run away from the battle, but to it with boldness.  He was been training me for years, so when this thing begins to become rocky, it’s not about giving up, it’s about relying on God to work and havling faith that He will.  After reading that I didn’t feel so weak, but wasn’t completely rejuvinated.  Since I had been pushed down once, I felt a fear bubbling up inside of me.  Fear of it happening again.

And that’s when God smacked me in the face:  Strength comes from faith not fear. 

What. I didn’t want to hear it.  I didn’t want to hear that out of my weakness and fear I had to have that thing called faith in order to regain stregth.  It took me a few minutes to regain myself, but when I did, God really strengthed me.  He begain to take away to discouragement I was feeling and replaced it with energy and joy.  It was because my heart shifted from trying to muster of strength out of being fearful of situations to having faith that God will provide (which reminds me of the song “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Church – look it up).  The second my heart because to rely on faith, God poured out an abundance of his love and grace over me.

God is so jealous – He wants all of you, but he’s a gentleman – He won’t make you do anything.

-Leanne

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