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Guest Post: Emily’s Journey with Jesus

Nativity Set

Background

It was perhaps a decade or so ago that Emily Forsyth and I first met at church. She was young and pregnant with her fourth child. She was weary, but hungry to be all God intended her to be. Little did I know that the Lord would allow me to be a part of her “story” for all these years. I love being in the background, watching God work as he is molding her into a thing of beauty, fit for the Master’s use. She has found the path to the source of Joy.

God adores His “girls” and He is a good, good Father. He can be trusted to direct our steps if and when we surrender to His leading. He wants us to know that He is intimately involved in our lives, just as He has been in Emily’s. We are each a work in progress. And we all need someone to remind us it is not about us. We are merely to allow ourselves to be vessels through whom God works.

Emily has given me permission to share this article with you. She originally wrote it for her church newsletter. My prayer is that you will be inspired to stop and think how God might help you to more fully find your own unique path of decrease so that He might increase in your life.

And now…Here’s Emily……


…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:29-30

I just love how our church is buzzing with excitement over the children’s Christmas program! I can’t help but remember back in 1991 when the words were announced by the Sunday School Director, “and the role of Mary goes to…Emily!” That moment, my ten-year-old heart must have skipped a beat. I couldn’t have been more happy to have been chosen to wear that sky blue robe and hold the plastic baby Jesus as the congregation sang Silent Night. At that year’s Christmas eve program, I’m sure I was beaming with delight.

I have always felt the urge to be front and center. What is that about me? It’s not that I have many skills or talents to offer. It’s just that I sometimes don’t mind the “story” being about me.

Several years ago, I had taken a stance in front of a group of people, and in the days following, I began worrying. I found myself at an emotional low. I turned to an older, wiser sister in Christ for counsel. She patiently listened while I shared my heart. I told her of the people, and the things I had said, and how I must have sounded stupid, or unkind. They must have thought I was hateful. I carried on… After a while, she stopped me. She gently put her hands on my arms, and looked into my eyes. “It’s not about you, Emily.” What did she mean it’s not about me? I was the one with anxiety because of this stance that I had taken. Didn’t I have to get it straightened out to be myself again? But as she paused, that truth struck me. This. was. not. about. me. This was about GOD. Everything is. The moment I took myself out of the picture, and focused my concerns on the story being told about God through that situation, I could breathe again. Not only could I breathe, but I felt joy! John the Baptist said “…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

From then on, I realized how much of my life I spent trying to play the starring role in a story that was never about me to begin with. I realized that I was created for a purpose, with giftings, and talents, and passions that were given to me to play a specific supporting role in God’s story. I was created to direct all attention to Him, like shining a spotlight, or making the announcement, or opening the curtain. I no longer had to be the shining star, because in His eyes, I already was! He made me precious in His sight! There is nothing more, nor less I can do to be worthy. And the joy is found when each of us works together to fulfill our supporting role as part of the body of Christ to further His kingdom and shine the light on Him.

When I adapted the principle that “it’s not about me,” everything changed. I stopped striving and over-preparing, and watching to see what others were thinking of me. I knew that it no longer depended on me to get it right, but that God would always get it right. My relationships, my health, my finances, and my faith all grew stronger. Now, whenever I feel consumed with thoughts about what people think of me, or whether I am succeeding or failing, I stop and find a way to serve someone else in the name of the Lord Jesus. It’s amazing how small acts of service toward others can relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s a way of directing our attention away from ourselves. It’s because we were created for that — to play a supporting role in God’s big story! If we do His work, we will find a joy that passes all understanding.

So, to that ten-year-old little “Mary,” I would say, “hold that Jesus high and make sure the light shines on Him. Don’t worry if you fall out of the spotlight, because there is no greater blessing than to be the one who makes great the name of the Lord.”


Emily ForsythEmily Forsyth

Emily finds her joy in Jesus, coffee, and people. As the only extrovert in her family, she admires her quiet, steady husband, Aaron, and their four children. They homeschool and live in Clear Lake.


God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Let’s Have Some Fun

I don’t know about you, but this week I need a bit of a break from the serious and scary stuff in the news. People everywhere are really suffering from physical, mental, emotional or financial challenges. Have we forgotten how to laugh? Have we forgotten that choosing joy is good for our health and our relationships?

I know some days I can be a curmudgeon. A Debbie Downer. What about you? With all the stress of these past months and the unplanned circumstances and health challenges that have thrown many of us into a bit of a tailspin, let’s take a short sabbatical and just have a bit of fun on this post this week. Nothing earth-shattering. No bad news. Rather….

Skip The Scary Stuff in the News

I have a fun quiz for you. Try to think outside the box.

Define these medical terms:

  • Artery
  • Vein
  • Varicose
  • Dilate
  • Bacteria
  • Node

The fun “thinking-outside-the-box” definitions are below the graphic. And after that, I share something new I learned from Pastor David Jeremiah.

Dog in Box

I welcome any terms you would like to add to the list. Here’s the thinking “outside-the-box” definitions (just for fun):

  • Artery: The study of paintings
  • Vein: Conceited
  • Varicose: Nearby
  • Dilate: To live long
  • Bacteria: Back door of a cafeteria
  • Node: To be aware of

On a more Biblical note

This week, I learned from David Jeremiah a stunning clarification. Satan is NOT the opposite of GOD. Michael the archangel is opposite of Satan. Satan and Michael were both created. God is the Creator.

I am so very grateful for faithful God-fearing Bible teachers.

Never ever stop learning, friends. It keeps our testimony fresh and vibrant. Go, therefore…into all the world…teaching what God has taught us…

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com

Filed under: Christian Life Coaching,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , — Pam Taylor @ 7:00 am

Stepping Confidently into the 4th Quarter of 2021

Sun setting over a pumpkin patch

Can you believe it? 2021 is 3/4 behind us. Many of us have been like a fish out of water. Our regular routines have been disrupted and our plans have been smashed against the proverbial rock. So, now what? I don’t know about you, but I want to finish out this year well. How about you? Join me? Can we do this deliberately and confidently? YES! I absolutely believe that we can!

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How shall we start?

Let’s start with prayer: Lord, Jesus, we want to honor You in the midst of confusion and scary things. We have not come this far to give up now. But we turn to You as our Guide. Our Ever-Present Help in times of trouble. Our Strong Tower. Our Wisdom. Our Provider. Our Healer. Our God.

You are our Creator–You created us just the way You knew we would need to be in order to finish the work that You prepared in advance…before the creation of the world…in fellowship with You! You knew what TODAY would bring and what we would need in order to navigate through it. For Your Glory!

Two Choices

I am reminded that there are ONLY TWO choices. We are either seeking God or forsaking God. There is no lukewarm middle ground. It is either one or the other. And…Since you have already read this far, I am going to assume that you are SEEKING GOD. Praise the Lord for that!

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain.”

C. S. Lewis

Anchor devotional September 30, 2021

“We need God. He cares about us.He promises that one day He will end all brokenness and suffering. We may not understand why He has not ended it yet, but we do know that He came and entered into it with us through Jesus.”

He is with us in our laughter and in our tears.

I want to stop a bit here to meditate on the “WITH US” part of that last quote. He entered into it WITH US THROUGH JESUS. That’s BIG! That’s how we are able to continue. We are not alone. He is Immanuel. WITH us.

Psalm 27:8

“My heart says to You – Your Face, Lord, do I seek.”

Actively seeking

That is a choice that sets you and me apart from others. Unfortunately, some are getting into Heaven “by the skin of their teeth”, but we want something more than that. We want the joy that comes from being in communion with God when we ACTIVELY seek the Lord and His Word and His ways. And, that, my friend, puts you and me right smack in the middle of a deep joy-filled relationship with the Lord. And THAT, is…

the safest place to be AND the wisest place to be—right in the center of His will—in a two-way, back-and-forth relationship with the Lord.

Take time to step back and PLAN to finish this year well…don’t leave it to chance…

I would love to hear about your plans.

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com