Even though I love to get away, it is good to return to my own bed, kick off my shoes, and relax in the company of those who know me best.
I returned a couple of days ago from She Speaks, the Proverbs 31 conference for writers and speakers, in Charlotte, North Carolina. I enjoyed the two-day event but at times I had to step outside my comfort zone. Publisher appointments felt like going for job interviews. Presenting my book proposal, which I had toiled over for many weeks, felt nerve-wracking as I sought publisher approval. My voice trembled, much to my frustration, as I gave a five-minute talk in a speakers critique group. I shouldn’t have been anxious; the gals in my group were friendly and encouraging.
Feeling unconfident and uncomfortable is normal in new situations. But, at the same time it seems foolish to have left the familiar behind.
Yet when we step into unknown territory, we join a long list of admired leaders from biblical history who did the same. One person is Joshua.
With Moses dead, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites. God told him to prepare the people to move into the land promised to them. Joshua may have quaked at the knees when he received this message, but God commanded him to be strong and courageous.
How did Joshua achieve this? And, how can we be gutsy girls when it is required of us?
When we look more closely, we find God gave Joshua specific guidance on how to be brave and confident; instructions we can hold onto, too.
1. Remember God is with you. The promise of God’s presence with his people is repeated through the generations from Isaac, to Jacob, Moses and then to Joshua. Does this promise apply to us? It does. Jesus said he would always be with us. By this Jesus meant he would be with us in Spirit. This isn’t just a nice fuzzy feeling but the actual presence of God’s Spirit with us. More than this, the Holy Spirit lives within us. It’s easy to forget this.
2. Focus on God. Joshua and the people were to obey the law God had given them. They were instructed to look straight forward, and not around them. Our “law” is to love God and other people. We need to approach each day by committing to be faithful to God in everything we do, and to show love and compassion to those we live with and interact with today. That’s enough to keep us busy.
3. Be a leader. God had a plan and Joshua was part in it. By remembering God was with him, and focusing on being faithful to God, Joshua succeeded in leading the people into their new home. We have a role to play in God’s plan, too. IF we focus on being faithful to God and remember we are filled with his Spirit then instead of being nervous and feeling overwhelmed, we can be excited. Get ready. Be prepared for the good things God has in store for you.
Be bold, girl.
In what ways can you exchange butterflies for boldness?