Posted in Christian, Egalitarian, Encouragement, Faith, Life, Women, Women in Leadership

She Believed, So She Took A Step of Faith (Announcement)

Over twenty-three years ago was the first time I went to a revival meeting and saw a woman proclaiming the Word of God with passion, boldness, and authority. It.was.awesome. As I sat glued to my seat watching her, a strange thing happened: I envisioned myself up there. But what happened next stuck, in a paralyzing kind of way. As soon as I evisioned myself up there, I said to myself, “Who do you think you are? That will never be you.”

I felt shame in that moment while also feeling a sense of something igniting in my spirit. And for the next twenty or more years, I have wrestled with the feelings of shame and the pull of calling. Thankfully, God thought better for he has brought me to a place of victory. Victory in being confident and sure of my calling.

There is room in God’s will for me to be me. (Psalm 37:4)  – B. Antle

I believe God has a calling on my life, a calling to Empower Christian women to lead with confidence. And how is that going to happen? Obedient step by obedient step. And the first step is to officially launch LEAD Women this Fall.

I cannot tell you the totality of all that God will do through LEAD Women or my own life, but I can tell you where he is beginning to work: right here in the heart of Saskatoon. As I sit across from women leaders seeking to grow in their gifts and asking hard and thoughtful questions, and as I linger over coffee (tea for me) with still more women leaders, it is evident that God is moving among us. And of this I am sure: God’s got more! So.much.more.

So today, I boldly step up and out into my calling. A calling to equip, encourage, and journey with women leaders – beginning here in my home province. Okay, there’s fear there too! But God’s call is bigger than my fear, and I know he will give me, give us, as women leaders, everything we need.

Check out the LEAD Women page for upcoming LEAD Women dates. I am so looking forward to sharing with you all the God stories and lessons along the way.

A special note of thanks:

Albert, I love you forever. Thank you for always “encouraging me to develop the gifts that God has placed within me.”

Thank you to my Horizon colleagues who have been so encouraging, teaching me many leadership lessons these last number of years with still more to come. I can’t think of a better group to be team with.

To my academic advisor and professor in my MA Leadership and Mangement journey, Paul Magnus, you are a gift from God. You make leadership and its possibilities come alive, and you made me feel welcome at the table.

To my women friends who’ve trusted me with your dreams, your questions, your brokenness, your excitement about what could be and who’ve sought my counsel or processed my own journey offering me your wisdom and counsel, you make me want to be braver than I am. So let’s be brave together! Let’s place our confidence in Jesus Christ, embrace our life, steward our gifts, and make a difference in our world – beginning right here in Saskatchewan.

 

 

Posted in Christian, Confidence, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Life, Living in Truth, Resilience, Women in Leadership

She Believed God Called Her, So She Did.

Beloved, what if we took God seriously when we’re invited to “Be Strong & Courageous” and “Go Do”? How would your daily life be different if you actually believed yourself in Christ to be strong, to be able, to be gifted?

What would be different for you today if you absolutely believed that God called you to teach, speak, show hospitality, be a stay-at-home mom, farm, feed the poor, proclaim the gospel in restricted nations, go to Bible college in your 40s or 50s or 60s or 70s, lead a not-for-profit, open up a business, travel as an evangelist, be a productive team member on mission with others? Take a moment and just imagine what that might look like. How would you show up?

“I’m not enough” and “I can’t” are lies that I believed for far too long. I lacked the confidence to step out and try new things and to be brave enough to steer my life in a direction that allowed me to grow the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed within me. And I know I’m not alone in believing a lie because I often see and hear other women say “I can’t” – demonstrating it in both actions and words.

Today, I want you to understand this: God Calls, so YES.YOU.CAN. Will you have to grow in your gifts? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will you have to be ridiculously in charge of your life and its’ stewardship? Without question. BUT, you.can.do.it.

One of the things that I’ve done in recent months is this: I daily write out TRUTH affirmations about myself. Truthfully, up until a few months ago, it was so much easier for me to encourage others, speaking words of truth and life and believing it to be true…for them. BUT, for me to fully believe and embrace that God has Called Me so I Can, I started a daily practice of gratitude and speaking truth to myself. (I am currently using the 5-Minute A Day Journal, which I share about here and which I highly recommend.)

I’m still growing in faith and confidence, but where I was a few months ago and where I am today are radically different, and I know that believing in myself because of God’s call makes me able. I’m done with the critics who want to argue about whether or not a woman can. I don’t have time for ignorance or conversations that are meant to heap shame and condemnation or tell me “I can’t.” Carmen believes God called her, so she does. She pursues the God-opening doors, and she prays for new ones to open. She says “no” to things that would be harmful to her soul and relationship with Christ, and she takes seriously stewarding the ONE life she’s been given. She loves God, embraces the journey of evolving, and loves, equips and encourages others.

That, my friends, is how I’m moving forward – with confidence in God and a deepening confidence in myself.

If you lack in confidence, here are a couple things you can do for yourself:

  • Daily be in your Bible and ask God to speak truth to you, then write it down. Chronicle your journey!
  • Find a person who is willing to speak encouraging truth into your life (be wise) and ask them to hold you accountable for your commitment to building your confidence. Yeah, you can own this journey!
  • Lead or participate in a Zoe Group. I led one a couple of years ago, and among participants, we still talk about it. Check out Zoe Network here, their mission is Helping Women Thrive.
  • Get yourself a 5-Minute A Day Journal and begin a daily, life-transforming practice of reflection and speaking the truth.

I believe in the Almighty God who called you, and I believe you can do ALL and BECOME ALL he’s purposed for you to be.

Believe it!

Carmen