One of my new favorite things is introducing this wonderful community to new writers. It is a delight to share the words of Lesley Crawford today. She is a faithful member of this community even though she might be new to you. How I wish I knew her in real life because her words have been blessing me since I used to link up and write with the Five Minute Friday community. I’m pretty sure I won’t be meeting Lesley anytime soon since she lives in Scotland, but I won’t say never.
Soak in Lesley’s story of what it looks like when God calls us to surrender and the incredible blessings that followed when she said “Yes”. And then head over HERE to read more of her words.
Here’s Lesley’s story:
There’s something I’ve always admired about Jesus’ disciples.
Despite the many occasions where they get it wrong, when we first meet them they begin by getting it absolutely right. As they work by the shore, fishing and mending their nets, Jesus appears. His call is simple, but enigmatic:
Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people. (Mark 1:17 NLT)
And, immediately, they leave their nets and go.
When I try to imagine myself in that scene, the outcome is a little different. I want to go, but I can almost hear the questions tumbling out:
“But, Jesus, what exactly do you mean? Where are you asking me to follow you to? What will it involve? How long will I be away from home? If I leave my fishing business, how will I make a living? Is this going to be dangerous?”
And when I imagine Jesus’ response, I have a feeling it may be similar to Mary Poppins’ answer to the Banks children in the new movie:
“We’re on the brink of an adventure, children. Don’t spoil it with too many questions.”
Although, by nature, I like to be in control, to know what’s happening, and to understand what I’m signing up for before I commit, over the last few years I have been learning gradually to embrace the adventure of following Jesus, and it all began with a single word…
Towards the end of 2015, I encountered the idea of having a word for the year. The thinking is that instead of making lots of New Year’s resolutions, you choose a single word as a focus. I liked the idea but, as I prayed about which word to choose, I was less excited by the word that came to mind.
It truly was the first act of surrender to accept the word and, like the disciples, I embarked on a journey with no idea where it would take me.
The year that followed was an amazing adventure. Saying “yes” to God led me to places I’d never have expected but brought blessings beyond anything I could have imagined.
One of these was becoming part of a new church plant in the community where I live. I was apprehensive and there were many uncertainties, but when it became clear that it was where God was leading me, I had to say “yes.”
I am so glad I did! Having struggled with church for years, I have finally found a place to belong and a wonderful group of people that feels like a family. It has been so rewarding to work together and see God impact our community.
Another unexpected surrender was giving up the pseudonym I used for my first year of blogging to write under my real name. I still remember my fear as I hit “publish” on that post, but it was undoubtedly the right decision.
It opened up new writing opportunities, helped me find my voice, and grew my confidence in gradually sharing more openly with others.
And as I look back now, three years on, it is amazing to see the ongoing results of surrender to God, because last year it led to the fulfilment of a long-held dream.
Around six years ago, I had an idea for a curriculum for Christian groups in primary schools to help them explore the storyline of the Bible and understand how it fits together. I put a lot of work into it, I used it with one group of children, and I longed to share it with others, but there was no opportunity at the time.
After sharing about my writing with someone last year I told him about the resource and, all of a sudden, I received the encouragement and support that I needed to work on it and to share it.
Since the resource launched last August around 100 groups have been using it, and I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and the way God has multiplied the impact of my work beyond anything I would have imagined.
But it would never have happened without the surrender.
Looking back, I can see how God was working during those years of waiting to prepare me for what was to come. Each step we take in obedience to God paves the way for what is next, but we rarely get to see the whole journey in advance.Join us at #TellHisStory as Lesley Crawford shares how our part in surrender is to simply say "yes". @lesleyc1819 #featuredwriter Click To Tweet
I think I’m finally learning that it doesn’t really matter whether we can see the way ahead. God knows exactly where he is leading us and, if we trust him, he will take us there, one step at a time.
Our part is simply to say “yes”.
Where is God calling you to step out in surrender today?
Share some love today and let others know about Lesley and the #TellHisStory community.
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