Unchartered Territory

Unchartered Territory

Unchartered Territory

So as I mentioned earlier this week on the blog, the Kingdom Woman Group Experience has been released and it has me shaking in my boots.  

I spent a little time editing for grammar but not for emotion.  There was much to say in a more organized thoughtful way but I figured if I stopped to process I would edit the heart out.  So I just wrote.

I got up and just bled on paper.  I figured that was O.K if Hemingway said it was.

Writers bleed on paper
Photo credit: via goinswriter.com

Now, I’ve had a couple of days to marinate a little more on how surprising the last year of my life has been and how unexpected God moments have become the theme of recent months.

I have a few things to say but if you don’t remember anything else from this post, remember this.

Unchartered territory and uncomfortable situations is where God does His best work and where we have the possibility for the most growth.

Not only does lack of comfort and stability increase our desire to run to Him for help, it makes us want to lean on Him for a strength we realize that He has – and we don’t.

In Matthew 14, the story is told of Peter getting out of a boat and walking on water towards Jesus.  Peter was good as long as he kept His eyes on Jesus, but apparently caught wind of the storm in his peripheral vision.

And as  he brought the storm raging around him into focus, he started sinking.

Now Jesus did help Peter out when he cried out for assistance.  Jesus didn’t let Peter drown. But I wonder, what kind of faith would Peter have built if he had kept his eyes on Jesus and been able to walk clear over to the other side?  What kind of faith would those around him have built if that had been able to witness a man risk his level of comfort for the call of Christ?

Sharing my thoughts on paper for the world to read and or critique was uncomfortable. Speaking in front of a whole bunch of women was uncomfortable. Being in front of the camera was uncomfortable.

And truth be told, I still have a sense of “shaking in my boots”, every time I write, speak, or have to be in front of a camera. I’m not just saying that.  That pitter-patter in my heart and the coursing of adrenaline through my veins is real!

I recall a few of those fears from last July’s video recording:

What am I going to wear? Worse yet, how will the pooch in my stomach or the size of my rear end look on the camera?  You know the screen adds 10 pounds and that’s on top of the other pounds I’m trying to conceal! 

How am I going to remember all that I have to say? How do I know I’m not saying too little… or more likely, saying too much?

My Christian walk is a story that is marked with chapters I’m not necessarily proud of. Will people that know me even take me seriously?

I have a “twang”.  I can’t help it.  I’ve lived in Texas all my life. How distracting will that be? 

But at the end of the day, none of that mattered.  Nothing went wrong. In those moments that I was in front of the microphone, I yielded what I had in my hand and heart to God and asked Him to use it. And I believe that He did.

I found that, once I had done my homework, spent time with God, written down the messages He gave me, marinated on them, talked to myself a few times in the mirror (yes I did do that)… that when it was time to talk on the stage, the essence of what He wanted me to say just flowed.

The experience of sharing my heart with 3,000 women at my church last July was an out of body experience.  It was like walking on water.  I had no choice than to depend on God to get me through because I knew and still know that without Him, I just can’t do it.

On second thought, maybe I could do it. But I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it and have the kind of impact that God’s involvement can make possible.

And that’s the only kind of impact I want to have.

How do you have a God-sized impact? God has to be involved.  Simple. Piece of cake.

You have to exercise faith where He’s calling you to do so, and then walk out on water (maybe in the middle of a storm), completely dependent on Him to make the impossible possible.

God-Sized Impact

 

Recently I read, this awesome post, by my friend Nicole Staples (who is an awesome photographer by the way).  Her thoughts in this post and in this quote, some up my feelings  completely:

Yup, Nicole, that’s what God does. He loves asking us to walk on water.  He takes pride in calling us into unchartered territory. Sometimes, we joyfully oblige as we lunge forward in child-like faith.  Then shortly thereafter, we realize that we are in new territory and that the ground that we stand on feels unsteady and quite shaky –  if not torrential in nature.

And we worry.  Our palms sweat and we start looking around at the scenery and forget that our eyes should be on the Savior.

And if we are not careful, we will start to sink.

I have moments where I’ve felt like I’m sinking. And I know from experience that Jesus won’t let me drown when I  cry out to Him for assistance. But I wonder, what kind of faith will I build if I keep my eyes on Jesus and walk clear over to the other side?  What kind of faith would those around me build up if they can witness a woman risk her level of comfort for the call of Christ?

What would kind of faith is God asking YOU to have?  

Where is He calling YOU to walk on water?

 I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Like I said earlier, I’ve had a couple of days to marinate the last year of my life has been and contemplate unexpected God moments, I have a few more things to say about that, so look for another blog post soon on that topic.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss a post…

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A couple of months ago, I posted the first set of “Reminders of God’s Love”. These are messages based on Scripture that got me through a tough season in my life.  There are more where those came from and I’m glad to share the next round of those with you as well.

Click on the link below to receive your free download of “Reminders of God’s Love” – Set 2.

I pray they bless you.

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By | 2016-12-05T17:54:16+00:00 January 16th, 2014|Faith|8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Courtney January 16, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Hi Chrystal! This sure hits home today! God is calling me to become totally dependent on Him. And to be honest, I don’t know how.My faith is a little low right now. The past three months have shaken me to the core. My marriage that I thought was great is crumbling and I’m now separated. I was asked to leave our apartment and now sleeping on a friend’s sofa. He asked for my car back and I had to buy a new one, a cost I can’t really afford because I only make pennies at my job. Between paying my tithes, paying my friend half the rent and utilities and my car note, I don’t know how I will survive. I can’t even afford a bed. I’ve been doubting if God even cares and does he really hate me. I know I need to trust the plan, but I don’t know how. I’m scared, lonely, and so unsure.

    • Angela January 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Courtney,

      This time last year, I felt like my entire world was falling apart. Everything that I relied on or trusted seemed to fall apart. Looking back on the past year has made me so thankful for that experience. It was going through that experience that deepened my relationship with God. I’ve been saved for many years and always believed I had a close relationship with God. I know God on such a deeper level after going through a complete life breakdown. God showed me how much he loved me. It’s hard to put into words but the process of “going through”, little did I know at the time, was actually the blessing. God’s love for us is immeasurable. What you think is the enemy, is God using for our good. All things work together for our good. Even when you can’t see it…”Do not fear, Even though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…God is with you.” – Psalms 46. One of the verses that got me through this time was Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Plans to give you hope and a future.” I kept reciting that until it got down deep in my spirit. I didn’t believe it at first because I was suffering from a spirit of condemnation, blaming myself for past mistakes, decisions, etc. God sweetly reminded me of how great His love for me was, not based on my works, but just because I am His. Stop looking at what you have lost and focus on how much God loves you.

      • Courtney January 17, 2014 at 11:04 am - Reply

        Thank you for this Angela! God bless you!

  2. Brenna Taylor January 16, 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

    I too am in unchartered territory in my life, particularly in ministry. I have been asked to be the facilitator for Deaconesses at my former church. This is a first for me. I can truly say that God has been giving me what I need to say (in his time, not mine). I am trusting and believing that, in His strength, I will be able to minister to and empower these women. Pray with me!

    Thanks for posting this very timely post.

  3. Tiffany January 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Wow!!!!!!!! Speaking this out loud now. Maybe then I can walk by faith and not by sight. My unchartered territory is a battle that I have battle for years, and I know it’s time to stand on the word og God. That’s paying tithes when the money is less than the bills. I battle with OK pay your tithes and trust that whatever is lacking for bills God will see you through and then this other voice says OK but what you going to do when your lights are turn off because you chose to pay tithes instead. Every month or so my husband I say we have got to pay our tithes but let the checks and the bills come. Lord I desire to do better. Please pray for me and with me. That I will fully trust God.

  4. Becca January 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    God is compelling us to jump back into home schooling next school year. Sure we’ve done it before but it was only for kindergarten. This time we’ll be tackling things like division. I’m finding that planning for school after a 3 year hiatus is much akin to starting over again with a new baby. Sometimes I get nervous about perceived inadequacies, but we are so exited to see what God does in the new season!

  5. Jennifer January 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    We are putting our boys back into public school from homeschooling. Ours sons are adopted with emotional issues. The struggle with drawing lines between home and school is too difficult, being they have serious issues in both realms. We are praying that by keeping the 2 worlds separate, we can focus on building family ties and let the school take care of school. It is a leap of faith to put them back in and recognize that whether they are with us or someone else, God is still the one in charge and they are each responsible for their choices. We will continue to provide thorough Bible studies each morning before they leave and are also working on building independent thinking skills. I feel MY dream of what I hoped MY family would be is over. I must rely that God’s plan is best even though it is not at all what I would pick for us right now. I must keep my heart from getting hard and keep trusting in Him.

  6. Hicunni January 21, 2014 at 5:28 am - Reply

    Wow! This is an awesome post! I am stepping out and starting to write more. There is so much that my family has learned over the years and it is time to share it. By nature, I am very reserved and I feel like I am on a tight rope, but i am not going to look down. I am going to keep my eyes on God and know that people will be blessed by what He has taught us thus far. As always, thank you for sharing your life with us.

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