I Am Ready.

I am so excited and scared to death… at the same time. Do you know what I mean? For years I have felt led to pursue a career of speaking and teaching on a regular basis. The truth is I have done a good bit of both – teaching and facilitating Bible studies in the local churches we have served and also speaking for events when invited. But I have never been willing to take the “leap of faith” and make myself and my life stories available to those who are seeking a speaker or teacher.

Now, as only God can do, He has lined things up, convinced me it is His plan, and confirmed in many ways that the season has come for me to get out of my comfortable boat and walk on water! In case you don’t get the analogy, it is time for me to be willing to obey God by taking some risks and perhaps looking foolish!

So… He has lined things up. What do I mean by that? Well, for years I was covered up with family responsibilities. It was fun, but that stage is over now and I have more flexible time in my schedule. I like to stay busy but I am wearing myself out making too many trips to Wal-Mart and organizing my closet over and over. God has convinced me that I now have time for this adventure. While I used to think I needed to find all the answers and get things right myself before I helped someone else, God has shown me that it is in the journey of life – good stuff and tough stuff that we can best help others.

God has also convinced me this is His plan, not mine. I have put this off for so long telling myself it was my idea and probably not a good one.  I am a very cautious personality… I mean very cautious… the kind of person who makes the biggest mistakes by sitting still and doing nothing. Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. I hate to admit I always identified with the guy who buried what God had given him. Not good. However, I now recognize that God is the one who has called me to this season and my biggest fear is that I might miss it! A friend gave me The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson last year for my birthday.  When I read it I just said “Wow!” God began opening my eyes to some things He wanted me to see. Recently I ordered another book by Batterson entitled In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, never anticipating that God would speak to me through this book. But He has! I have realized for the first time the potential dangers of my overly cautious tendencies, especially right now regarding this opportunity for service. I do not want to get to the age of 85 and suddenly regret the things I was unwilling to do for God. But one more thing….

God in His graciousness has given me many confirmations along this journey thus far. This is such a gift to a cautious one like me, and I do not take these confirmations for granted.  One is a very supportive husband who has encouraged me for years to do this. He is so often right and I am so often slow to realize it. Go figure! Our children are my biggest cheerleaders (and helpers with all things technical!), and I am blessed with a huge group of friends who have been telling for years to get serious about a career in speaking and writing. They have been faithful; I have held back. But, no more! Another confirmation has come through my current involvement in a very large Mom to Mom program at our church.  For the past year my most fulfilling, exhilarating moments have come when speaking to our girls. I love the study and preparation time and I also enjoy very much the delivery time and interaction with our audience.

Finally, God has confirmed through his Word and through my devotional time that this is his plan and that he will accomplish his purposes if I will just be willing to be used by Him.  To illustrate, I read in My Utmost for His Highest on March 11, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Acts 26:19. Oswald Chambers said, “if you allow God to plant you, you will bear much fruit.  It is essential that we live and walk in the light of God’s vision for us.” A good word for me.  And then I turned to Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, and read, “Do you sense there may be far more that God wants to do through your life than what you have been experiencing? Ask God to show you what it is. Then be prepared to respond in faith and obedience to what He tells you.” And when I opened Jesus Calling I read, “If you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing me work through you.”

Okay, God, I hear you. I am ready.

30 Comments on I Am Ready.

  1. Stephanie Doran
    June 8, 2013 at 11:00 am (4 years ago)

    So proud of you Shugie! You are fabulous at teaching, speaking and encouraging.

    Reply
  2. marilyn spencer
    June 8, 2013 at 11:15 am (4 years ago)

    Good for you, Shugie! Loved reading your first post and also the other pages about you, etc. What a wonderful challenge for you, and one that you will meet and exceed, I am sure. We still miss you in our ’empty nesters’ Bible study on Sunday mornings, but now we will get to ‘visit’ with you each time you write! Thank you! And may God bless your obedience to Him as you allow one more branch to be developed in your tree of life. Love, Marilyn

    Reply
  3. Renea Whitehorn
    June 8, 2013 at 11:15 am (4 years ago)

    So happy for you! I tend to be “cautious”too! Just reading your fort blog blessed me! I’ll be praying for you.

    Reply
  4. Pam Sloat
    June 8, 2013 at 11:57 am (4 years ago)

    Shugie, what a great word and jumping-off spot for your next ministry! You’ve always been an encouragement to me. I pray God will greatly use you and continue to bless you and your family.

    Pam Sloat

    Reply
  5. betty baggott
    June 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm (4 years ago)

    I am so proud of you. Full speed ahead and I will be praying for you.
    Love to my special griend.
    If once a church invites you to speak they will invite you back. God speaks through you.

    Reply
  6. Claire graham
    June 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm (4 years ago)

    You are so gifted and we all benefit from your wisdom from seeking our Lord.

    Reply
    • joan
      June 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm (4 years ago)

      Joy..joy..joy..So thrilled you are jumping in and sharing your God stories
      of doing life. So wonderful to be freed up to share the lessons, the love and the laughter of being a daughter of the KING!! Thank you sweet friend for sharing your gift of encouragement and challenging us your sisters as only Shugie can!!!!! Blessings and love!

      Reply
  7. Linda Frederick
    June 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm (4 years ago)

    I’ve missed you sweet friend but now I feel I can continue to grow through your writing and sharing. You have such a wonderful God given gift and Jesus will delight in your servant heart.
    May God continue to bless you and your family!

    Reply
  8. Martha Bonn
    June 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for blessing me with your wisdom and humor….now the world! Maybe one day I can be your escort…..like MM does for Beth.

    Reply
  9. Sherry
    June 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Shugie, I just read your blog. So happy for you to begin this next chapter in your life. You are both a gifted speaker and writer. I love your courage, obedience and willingness to be used by God. I am confident He will use you in a mighty way to bless others though sharing your heart and life experiences!

    Reply
  10. Judy Fox
    June 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm (4 years ago)

    I have been blessed to have you as a wise friend and I am happy to hear that your wisdom will be shared with many others!

    Reply
  11. Gay Lynn Brown
    June 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm (4 years ago)

    I can’t wait to see where this blog leads. You will do great as you seek/step out on the next step that the Lord has for you.

    Reply
  12. Rhonda Kelley
    June 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm (4 years ago)

    An exciting journey of faith awaits you, Shugie! Will be eager to join you in the ride. Praying for you as God opens doors!

    Blessings,
    Rhonda

    Reply
  13. Theo
    June 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm (4 years ago)

    So proud of my baby sister!! You will do great and all who hear you will be blessed!!

    Reply
  14. Jenifer Johnson
    June 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s about time!!!!! So thrilled!!! Love you so much. I’m in Atlanta because of you and your encouragement to go where God was leading my husband. It’s been hard at times but would not change it for the world and what God has taught me here.

    Reply
  15. Debbie Winter
    June 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Looking forward to following you in this new adventure!

    Reply
  16. Donna Strickland
    June 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm (4 years ago)

    I can’t wait to see where this journey leads. I too know what a wonderful, gifted Christian woman you are. I love that I can call you friend.
    Donna

    Reply
  17. Ann Leavell
    June 9, 2013 at 9:54 am (4 years ago)

    Yay! Yay! Yay!

    Thrilled and excited…..

    Reply
  18. Beth Burgin
    June 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm (4 years ago)

    I am so happy for you and giddy to start reading from day one. I can hear your sweet voice speaking each word as I read. Just let God lead you and we will all be blessed <3. Some days He may only have a verse or short paragraph for you to share. Other days he will ask you to get a little uncomfortable and share a very personal life story or struggle. I cannot wait to watch it unfold. Love you and miss you tons!

    Reply
  19. Rosemary
    June 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm (4 years ago)

    It is no secret what God can do!! I’ll be interested in seeing what He brings to you, Shugie.

    Reply
  20. Barbara Hendon
    June 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm (4 years ago)

    Enjoyed this lst blog Shugie….praying God will use you in a mighty way…love you!

    Reply
  21. Glenn
    June 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm (4 years ago)

    I am so glad JB led me to your blog via e-mail! I’ve missed seeing you every week in Missy’s Bible Study, but will delight in reading your inspiring posts! Let’s have a 2hour lunch sometime soon!!

    Reply
  22. Lisa Lanier
    June 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Yay God, and Yay YOU..for obeying HIS prompting! And Yay ‘US” for getting to see all God has in store to do in you and through you!!

    Reply
  23. Vickie Hann
    June 10, 2013 at 8:48 am (4 years ago)

    Ditto with all the other comments … I look forward to you sharing and teaching me through this blog. So much can be said for the written word… on many occasions it’s easier to convey your thoughts than when speaking, but with your talents – you are great at both!! Love you Shugie!

    Reply
  24. Deb Terry
    June 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm (4 years ago)

    As I think of you and what God is doing in you life He brought this scripture to my mind;
    Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (NLT)

    Thank you for being obedient… now bring it on!

    Love you my friend!

    Reply
  25. Debbie Moore
    June 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm (4 years ago)

    Amen, Shugie! You are an A-#1 encourager through your speaking, writing and praying! I’m very thankful for your obedience to Him as you take up this next assignment. God bless and continue using you for His glory!! Miss you!!

    Reply
  26. Linda Elliott
    June 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Shugie, what a special treat, encouragement & blessing to read your blog! You have such a God-given talent for writing in a very real and personal way….a way that seems to speak directly to the reader, regardless of their particular circumstances. Thank you for sharing your skills and talents, as God is directing you. (Enjoyed reading about you and your sweet family!)

    Reply
    • Shugie Collingsworth
      June 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Linda, for your sweet words. It is good to hear from you and look forward to keeping up!

      Reply

Leave a Reply