A 2016 Repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine by Katie Clifton
I spent most of 2014 fighting God on church planting. I ran from it. I cried over it. I begged God to call someone else. Then, I surrendered with excitement and joy.
In 2015, we launched Renew Church. It is wonderful. It is a gift. It is refreshing and reviving and renewing. The Lord is healing people and allowing us to have a front row seat. The view is breathtaking and humbling. The Lord taught me that I needed full possession of faith, not full possession of knowledge. He whispered to me about Promised Lands and reminded me that I am no grasshopper living in a land of giants. He led me to fall in love with the story of Rahab and redemption and scarlet ropes of freedom and faith.
I longed for foreign missions and He handed me the desires of my heart. I prayed for opportunities to glorify Him and a platform for ministry. He allowed me to speak to churches, women’s conferences, student conferences, youth groups, and Bible studies on American and African soil. I was given the place, space and words to share and He equipped me for the call I asked for.
He showed me that He cares about my dreams and that He is the One who gives me the desire and power to do what pleases Him. He allowed me to be broken, nervous and desperate for Him in all of my weakness. He made me strong. He taught me patience, grace and forgiveness in fresh new ways.
The Lord revealed idols that needed to be cast down.
He showed me that I put my faith and worth in other people far too often. Through prayers and tears and scripture digging, He pointed me back to who I am in Him.
The Lord showed me friends. He gave me a community of women who are real and genuine: Authentic, raw, transparent, beautiful, encouraging, and full of the love of Christ. He brought friends who rallied around me when I felt I had nothing else to offer. Friends who rode in like the cavalry when I was worn out and ministry was breaking me. Friends who covered me in prayer and friends who held my hand and wiped my tears.
The Lord told me to fight for the next generation. He told me to fight harder for my children on my knees. He told me to go to battle for the souls of other people’s children. He gave me a heart and a longing to raise up young women to be warriors.
The Lord showed me that the safest place to be is in His will.
The Lord showed me that He is always going before me.
That He is my safe place.
That when I fly over remote African lands and I am surrounded by foreign tongues and tribes… He is there. He is my hiding place.
The Lord revealed to me immense amounts of evil and He showed me how He rescues me from the domain of darkness. He protects me from every lawless deed.
The word the Lord gave me for 2015 was “HOLD”. I wanted the lens of my living to be focused on holding. I wanted to cling to the Lord so tightly, that letting go would look like death.
He taught me to hold unswervingly to the hope I profess.
He told me to not just pretend to love others, but to really love them.
He showed me I am to hate what is wrong and hold tightly to what is good.
He truly taught me that He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
He has given me a burning deep within my soul to be used, even more:
-To speak, even bolder.
-To write, more transparently.
-To use my voice, even louder.
-To live, more obediently.
-To love, even bigger.
-To go, more confidently.
-To seek, even deeper.
-To listen, more patiently.
-To be still, even longer.
-To give, even greater.
God showed me that there is a season for everything and I can look forward and press on in this race, because He is calling me ahead.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3: 12-14)