It was late Fall and we were finally finished building our office space. Now it was time for the fun part—-decorating! During my downtime I was searching the internet looking for inspirational art to hang on the wall. Yet, no matter where I looked, I found nothing that struck a chord with my spirit. (I guess I just don’t find the same things “inspiring” as other people.) That’s when I decided to make my own art using those words that have special meaning to me throughout my life. With the help of photoshop, Target photos and a 75% off sale on frames at Michaels (this girl loves her sales!) I made a trilogy of pictures featuring words from turning points in my life.
The first frame featured words from Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “For the Sake of the Call”.
It reminds me of a day in the park when I answered God’s call to “follow Him wherever He would lead even if it wasn’t the way I had planned for my life.” The second frame came from another encounter with God a year later when the words of D.C. Talk’s “Jesus Freak” inspired me to keep the commitment I’d made a year before.
Finally, the third frame held the words of a Scripture that came to mean so much to Jamie and I just days after our Mom went to Heaven: "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." (Ephesians 4:1)
Each of these words came at turning points in my life—-times when I had to choose whether I would do whatever it takes to follow God’s will for my life or choose an easier path. Over the past two and a half decades, these words have continued to inspire me when times were hard. When I was tempted to say, “Following Jesus is too hard. It requires too much faith, too much sacrifice, too much endurance.” It was in those turning points that these words would once again ring in my ear, reminding me of my commitment and challenging me to continue doing whatever it takes to follow Jesus. Because here is the truth: No matter what commitment you make to God at an altar, during your time of prayer, no matter how large or how small, there are going to be days when you want to quit. They’ll be days when you want to go along with the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. Days when you won’t want to keep your commitment to pray and read the Bible. Days when that new budget seems too confining. No matter what road God is calling you to “Follow Me”, I can promise you that there will be moments (probably several of them) where you feelings will say, “This is not worth the effort.” Those are the days when we need to remember our commitment and once again choose, “I will do whatever it takes to follow Jesus…no turning back.” These are the times when we, like Paul, choose to “press on” toward the goal of living a life worthy of our calling. Believe me when I say that I know making this choice isn’t always easy. Looking back on the years between my twenties and today I remember walking through extremely difficult days when following God’s will for my life meant walking through a great deal of pain and heartache. I remember the days of choosing to follow Jesus even when my life made NO sense. (I mean people were talking about me as I walked through the grocery store no sense.) I remember choosing to continue following Jesus as our lives were turned upside down. As lies were exposed so that God could heal the deepest parts of our hearts, when we had to forgive the unforgiveable, when we had to start life all over again, there were definitely moments when we were tempted to give up. Through the hardest day of my life, when we lost our Mom. Through the grief, the heartache, and the anger…when we had to start our lives all over again, I once again chose, “I will follow Jesus.” Through the hard times, through the grace of God, we kept going. Today these signs hang in the office of a ministry we only dreamed of having fifteen years ago. They remind me of the call, the years of continuing to follow to Jesus and most importantly of God’s faithfulness. On the days when life is hard these words once again remind me to "Keep trusting God, keep moving forward in faith, and keep doing whatever it takes to follow Jesus."
Because ultimately that is the challenge---to keep going. To keep following.
To keep doing whatever it takes to follow God's plan for your life.
To continue abandoning everything for the sake of the call.
To abandon compromise and life your life as a Jesus Freak, no matter what people say.
Most importantly, do whatever it takes to live a life worthy of your calling....today....tomorrow....and every day of your life.