Called, But Not Equipped by Julie Arduini

Years ago there was a guest speaker at our church who prayed for people and had words of encouragement for some. When he got to me I remember thinking he was the real deal. In prayer he shared Christ’s heart for me with messages I’d only shared in my prayer closet. It was stunning, beautiful, and scary.

Scary because through that prayer I received encouragement that God was making some changes in my life. I was becoming an intercessor. Because of my mustard seed faith, the speaker prayed that I would stand in the gap for others and believe in Christ’s name. Thing was, I was questioning it and Him.

Why does everyone else seem to have it so easy and become so undone by the smallest things?

I had only uttered that frustration and cry in prayer. Not even my husband knew how hard I struggled with that. People back then were up in arms with a bad hair day while I had chronic pain and infertility. I didn’t get it, and I sure didn’t like it.

The answer, through prayer that day, was I wasn’t wrong. I was getting harder stuff than most people. The reason was because I knew I was dust in my Heavenly Father’s hands. I was becoming someone who was rising up and asking for big things in Jesus’ name. And in time, my faith, because of those hard times, would give me the ability to declare a mountain to move in Jesus’ name, and it would.

Wow.

All these years later, I remain stunned. Stunned because much of what was prayed has come to pass. I’m still me. I get annoyed when someone complains over what I consider small things. I’ve held a dying child in my arms. Not much will throw a person after that. But through those heartbreaking things, I’ve been able to pray for others.

And God’s done incredible things.

I love that God does His best work in spite of me. When I thought I had to talk fancy or do something like this person would do, of course I failed. But in conversation with someone in a knee brace, I remember non chalantly saying I hated knowing she was in pain and I pray the next day she’d wake up and not need it.

And He did exactly that.

When I had certain time frames in mind but didn’t know what for, there have been pregnancies, including my own. Friends who knew change was coming but had no idea what. They are now in ministry. It’s an incredible thing to watch God work. Heal. Set Free.

As I transitioned this year into writing and speaking on my own, there was no traveling speaker. Instead, in the quiet of my heart I felt a message rising up. Something I’d heard before, but not as specific.

Writing books is only part of the call on my life. The real ministry will be when I meet with women because of my writing. Most will leave once I’m done speaking, but that remnant that stays, those precious few, those are the ones God created me for. To hear their stories. To listen. To pray.

Not have perfect words or any expectations.

To just pray.

This is already happening and I have grieved. I’m not ready. I’m not prepared. These ladies need so much more than I could ever possibly give. Their stories break me. You name the topic, I’ve heard it, and then some. Infertility. Infidelity. Abuse. Family dynamics that would curl your hair. These are from people across the country, most I have never met.

And when I start to worry I will fail them, and when I’m anxious that there’s no way these books I have and plan to write will ever reach enough hands to make a difference, that still, calm voice lets me know all I need to know.

I’m called. I’m not equipped.

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My job was to say yes. What I keep forgetting is He will do the rest. He equips. He is the strength. He is the Source. He heals. Delivers. Rescues. Provides. The vision I was given long ago by a wise friend when she saw me running ahead of the Lord trying to make it all happen was that my job was to rest on the couch. Every day. The Lord was the one leaving each day to fight the battles. All He was requiring of me was to be still and save a spot on the couch. When He returned, He wanted to rest on me and talk about His day.

That’s it. There is so little we are required to do. But I suspect there are a few like me. You get wrapped up thinking you have to make it all happen. Thing is, that’s a burden that isn’t yours to handle. And I was told straight out to take that kind of Godly responsibility as a human, it will kill me. And you.

So, if you relate, I pray you rest on the proverbial couch. Picture yourself taking the people you connect with and you place them at the foot of the cross. Your job was to say yes to His call. He equips. He goes to battle.

Anything else places it all out of sync. Whether the call on your life is writing, praying, both, being a parent, a missionary, whatever the case is, He’s got all the equipment. All you need is to sign up. I’ll be sitting right next to you!

***

I’m looking to build followers over at Amazon and Goodreads. Will you be one of them? Thanks!

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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