Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A WILD Adventure {Studio G article}

Several months ago I had the honor of being a small group leader at one of our church's women's retreats.  While everyone was out zip lining I felt the Lord ask me to stay behind in the cabin and write an article.  After I wrote the article I felt Him prompt me to submit it to our women's department to be published in Studio G(our women's magazine released twice a year).  I argued but eventually did it.  I was a little shocked when they told me it was chosen as an article for the Spring issue but am thankful God is using my story to inspire women to live life outside of their shell.  If you would like to receive this magazine for free you can do so by visiting here and requesting one sent to you or you can read it online.  Here is the article I wrote for the Spring 2015 issue:

A WILD Adventure

What comes to mind when you think of a WILD woman?  Most of us get an image of an out-of-control woman who has no boundaries along with no clear direction, or plan. When an idea strikes her, she just runs with it and often finds herself in less-than-perfect circumstances.

The dictionary defines wild as being "uncontrolled" or "unrestrained".  I personally had a wild streak in college that was fun while it lasted but left me feeling empty and alone.  When I chose to surrender my life to Christ I wanted to bury that wild girl.  I was terrified of going back to that way of life that had no control or restrain.  I longed for boundaries and protection.  The problem was that I went to the extreme. I thought if I couldn't be wild in the way the world defines it that I couldn't be wild at all.  I needed to be the good little church girl who read her Bible every day and prayed and attended church weekly.  Don't get me wrong, all of these things are great, but they are just our fuel for the wild adventure God wants to take us on.  

This mindset change came to me when I heard our church had a program called WILD(Women in Leadership Development), which consists of a series of classes designed to equip women for leadership. I was a little shocked and intrigued at the same time.  The world may have a negative view of the word wild, but God sees it differently.  God created us in His image and there's a reason He created us to long for adventure. Being wild with God does not mean living life in reckless abandon; it means wildly following Him when the things He calls us to don't make sense.

On my journey through WILD, I learned that I have unique gifts, strengths and a calling that only I can fulfill.  I learned that I was created for so much more than just being a quiet church girl. I was created to be a confident woman who walks hand in hand with God every day as He takes me on an exciting adventure.  

Even as you are reading this, the Holy Spirit may be stirring something in you and asking you to believe Him for so much more.  If you want to be a WILD woman too, start with these simple steps that will help you begin your journey:

Identify your passions.
What gets you up in the morning?  What could you spend hours talking about?  What could you do as a job that you would do for free because you love it so much?  Our passions tend to be reflected in our everyday life.  Whatever you're drawn to was put there by God for a divine purpose.  There is no passion too small(or too big) to be of significance in God's kingdom.

For me, I love to see women walk out their God-given dreams and passions. Because I used to be so shy and terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone, I felt God call me to start a blog called "Life Outside the Shell." God has already done more than I could have ever imagined in such a short time since starting that blog. 

Fulfill the destiny God created for YOU!  
The number one thing that keeps us from pursuing that passion is the sin of comparison. If you have breathe in your lungs, then you have probably dealt with comparison at some time in your life.  Think about a puzzle and all of it's many pieces.  Can you imagine if just one puzzle piece looked exactly like another?  It would cause confusion, frustration and exhaustion.  And the picture would be incomplete because of the missing piece.  When we compare ourselves to others, we not only bring confusion into our lives but also into the lives of everyone around us.  As we cheer others on around us and help them find their place, we will also find ours.  

Hear God's voice for you.
After we discover our passions and strengths and stop comparing, we must listen closely for the voice of God in our lives.  He is our guide on this grand adventure and if we want to reach our destination, as well as enjoy the scenery along the way, we must follow Him closely.  Read the word, spend time in worship, and pray so He can show you things and directions that only He can reveal.

Will you join me in becoming a WILD woman? 

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