“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”” Joshua 1:9
For a long time, I have lived with self-imposed limits that have kept me from pursuing what I knew God had placed in my heart. I would question if it was really Him, as if the enemy would do anything to draw me or others to God. Or I was concerned about it being “all about me”; a state I lived in constantly growing up. I didn’t stop to consider, that in using that as an excuse, I was literally making it all about me. I stayed frozen in my fear instead of going with God.
Other times, I would be all prepared to do what was on my heart but because someone else had done or spoken something so similar, I would just hold back what I had. I remember when I was helping lead in a women’s group, more times than I can count, I would have something prepared that God had just poured out of me onto paper. Inevitably, Sunday one of the pastors would preach along the same lines; so on Monday I would not share. I did not want anyone to think I had just took it from the pastor’s message. I never considered that I might say it differently, in a way that someone else could understand. Like when a parent tells a child something many times without results and then someone else comes along and says the same thing and they hear it for the first time. I never considered it could be a confirmation word for someone; despite the fact that God often has to use two or three resources saying the same thing, to drive it through my thick head.
There are still other times, that I wouldn’t step out because what I thought about doing looked too much like what someone else was doing. There is a young lady in my life who is both an inspiration and an antagonist is my life. We are alike but also very different. Many of our interests are similar. I would have an inclination to do something, and she would post something on social media that she was doing the same thing. It was like she was a fly on my wall, and as soon as I would have a thought, she was following through with it. Like I was feeling “write a book.” She shared “here’s the book I just wrote.” The books we’re not along the same lines but it was just that she had already done it. I stopped moving forward because in my mind there was some kind of competition and I thought she already won. There was and is no competition.
I am starting to realize I am on a path that God laid for me. I can not tremble or be dismayed when I know that God has called me to go. He instead commands me to be strong and courageous. At times my path may cross another’s path or run parallel to but it is not going to be the same path. No one else can walk my journey, even if we are traveling the same way. Some will be ahead of me, others behind me, and still others beside me. Our strides will be different, our gait will be different. We can not both step in the same place at the same time, even if it feels like we are. It can only be God and I in the same spot on the path for He is within me.