Almost a year ago, on a whim—as I was writing late one night—I bought a ticket to the Declare Conference. It was a leap of faith.
Last weekend I flew to Dallas to attend this blogging conference. As I walked into the 104 degree blazing Texas sun, I had no idea what was in store for this tightly wound woman from the Midwest.
The first evening, Kris Camealy, talked about building altars instead of platforms. It was a hard pill for my pride to swallow, but one that I needed to absorb, in order to be made well.
I felt like throwing my book proposal down, since I had made this writing thing a lot about me and my desires.
Wanting approval and validation from my words, I had poured out prose as incense unto the idol of self. So, I assumed He would ask me to go back to the editors—that hold my proposal in their hands—and say “never mind”.
But as I processed this with some lovely ladies, like Susan, they helped me realize that it would be “easier” to give up and avoid the hard thing of proceeding with the book.
Go forward, but be mindful. And don’t neglect your post at home for your posts here. Write as an act of worship unto Me.
As I walk forward, fully aware of my selfish motives mixed in with sacred motivation, I have to be dependent on Him.
I don’t know how it will all turn out, but there is no turning back. To turn back would mean avoiding the thing that He is asking me to do because I fear I will mess it up.
So, as I ask Jesus to help me build an altar, instead of a platform, and to see people instead of numbers, I am taking a shaky step into the waters.
I have sung Oceans many times before, but it wasn’t until this past weekend, that God unveiled a deeper message for me.
He has called me from the shore, to step out—not knowing what will be found in the deep and dark waters.
You call me out upon the waters. The great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery. In oceans deep, my faith will stand. Your grace abounds in deepest waters. Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”
This tightly wound woman likes to know what’s coming. I feel secure when I feel in control. But the waters are deep and unpredictable and faith is required to go forward.
It would be easier to quit, to turn around and return to comfortable and familiar. Yet, He whispers for me to come, to go deeper still.
He is able to build an altar in the depths. As I let go of the security of shore, He asks me to trust Him, one minute at a time.
I almost drowned one summer day in our neighbor’s pool. I have never forgotten that terrifying feeling of going under, with no voice to cry out for help.
Yet, He hears my voice. He sees the state I am in and is there, with His strong arm, to rescue me from sharks, flailing swimmers and the prideful parts of myself.
I almost drowned because I was trying to rescue—to save the day. I doubted the voice of a father so I took matters into my own hands and I went under, strangled by his frantic son—wise in my own eyes, foolish in my ignorance.
I almost faded away, but, just in time, the father jumped in and rescued me.
It would have been safer to never swim again. But, I would have missed out on the depth of joy that often accompanies the waters.
So, I am laying down a memorial stone today. I am taking a rock from the shore and setting it in the waters. I cannot control where the waves will take me but I can trust the One who formed the waters. The Holy Spirit hovered over these same waters at the beginning and He is within me as I go forward (see Genesis 1:1-2).
P.S. Looking for some great inspiration? Checkout these fabulous podcasts from the lovely Heather MacFayden (one of the conference hosts) as she interviews those who have spoken at Declare.
Now it’s your turn. Link-up below: