Rise

God did lots of amazing things when I was at the IF:Gathering a few months ago (I wrote a little about it here), but it was the end of that weekend where the things He did humbled me to my very shaky bones. And what I love best about God is how His love for each of us is so personal and so specific — He loves us each in the different ways we need to be loved. He pulls our lives together in ways that make sense for me. In Austin, He created a story so intricate that I can’t share what happened on Sunday without talking about what happened on Thursday when I sat on an airplane in the last seat in the last row for three and a half hours.

As I left Los Angeles at 8:30 am Thursday morning, I glanced out the window and saw the vast, blue ocean below me and I snapped a picture of it to post to Instagram later. In the notes app on my phone, I wrote, “I’m coming into this long weekend expectant but with few expectations — I just long to see God move.” I closed the app after that and took out my Bible. I had a message to prepare for the high school girls I was speaking to on Sunday night. I read a few verses, thought about a few things, and started drafting my message. A few hours later, I was hot and sweaty and my sinuses hurt from the pressure of the plane, but I had a message I was proud of. I had confidence in delivering it.

Friday at the conference, I heard so many great speakers. And Saturday morning, there were many other great speakers, too, women who I respect immensely, whose stories made me long to love God with even more of my heart and life than I do now. I felt inspired and motivated.

Then Angie Smith, who has had the most impact on my faith walk a person can have, got up to speak. She wasn’t even supposed to speak. But she that her refusal to speak was disobedience, and the founder of IF overheard her and gave her 15 minutes. I am beyond humbled that God gave her those 15 minutes because it was while she was talking about the first two questions in the Bible — the snake to Eve and God to Adam and Eve — that I heard God tell me Talk to those high school girls about shame.

Shame? But that wasn’t what I had spent hours on the plane writing about.

Shame. Talk about shame, Krista. Talk about the shame I’ve taken from you and how you still give it Me every day.

So. Shame it was. While my friend Stef and a few other girls went to a cool shopping area in Austin, I holed up in Starbucks for three hours, deleting and copying and pasting my notes as I did some searching on shame. When Stef texted me that she was ready to meet me at the car, I saw that I had something ever better than what I wrote on the plane. And funny enough, as I was preparing to share my testimony, which is riddled with things that have caused me great shame in my own life, shame I thought was totally gone, I felt these waves of emotion rising through me. That emotion was straight up shame.

I felt unworthy to deliver this message.

Never mind that I was confident in my bones that it was God who had given me the message in the first place.

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I did the only thing I could do: I prayed specifically as I opened that God would rise up and be greater than the shame I felt, that I would rise up to the task that He had set before me.

I have to do that every day. Every time I post about my own experiences on Facebook or on my blog or anywhere, I wonder, “What will people who don’t know yet think of me? Will they look at me as less?” And so yet again I must turn it over to my God.

If I have to do that every day for the rest of my life, then so be it. I will refuse to bow down to the fear and taunts from an enemy who tells me I am not good enough; instead I will rise up to use the gift that God has given me, even when it feels daunting.

He is, after all, worth the climb.

– – – – – – – – – –

This post is part of a series leading up to my book launch! Check back here on Tuesday for the next installment. And if you haven’t preordered my book Four Letter Words, you definitely want to do it now! Simply fill out this form and I’ll send you an invoice.

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