The process of learning to fight for... anything, really... is an interesting one. It begins with an idea that something could be worth fighting for, and then transforms from an "I could" to an "I should" until finally the compulsion bearing the words "I must..." begins to overwhelm our souls.
It's a deeply painful and highly alienating process. Painful because God uses this process to carve a deep care and compassion into the depths of our hearts, and alienating because we often walk this journey alone. The thing that suddenly starts a fire in me doesn't necessarily start the same fire in the people around me, and our personal convictions are so strong that it becomes easier to fight with the people around us rather than fighting for the thing that's actually on our hearts. After all, it's easier to distance ourselves from people of differing opinions than it is to let our guards down and potentially have our hearts ignored.
Over the last few years, I've walked through this process. I have a deep care about helping people understand money and generosity from God's perspective, because I wholeheartedly believe that if we truly trusted God with what He's given us, this world would look so much different. Instead, our finances are a battlefield in which we try our best to outmaneuver our debt and our fears. My heart aches for people living in their invisible bondage trapped from making the impact they could be making. The debt that bought them their lives has now stifled their hearts to the point where they've moved from caring deeply to survival instincts. Our God is abundant in every area, and yet so often His people don't reflect His true abundance.
I began to care deeply for people struggling in many different aspects as God carved out a piece of my heart, and the process was painful. As people around me cared but not to the same extent, it became hard to explain what I was feeling and what I was going through. Every piece of me wanted to throw elbows to make space for my heart, but my brain knew that the fire I was feeling was a passion that hadn't yet matured. A fire can burn fast and hot, but to become beneficial to the world, it must become more subtle, much stronger, and very controlled. Throwing elbows makes short-term space. Developing a fire creates the potential for intentional change.
I prayed and spoke, taught and wrote. I developed what I wanted to do "out there" but, more importantly, God developed my heart in the recesses of my bedroom on my knees while studying the Bible. You cannot understand the passion in your heart until you are willing to study God's heart. It's often easy to think that finding our passion means setting everything else down until we totally understand it within our own context. The reality, though, is that to really find our passion (and the purpose that goes along with that) means digging deep into what God is passionate about and letting Him be the One to tell you exactly what He created each of us for.
Rather than throwing elbows, it's keeping your head bowed in prayer.
Rather than telling people who you are, it's asking God who He made you to be.
Rather than fighting for yourself out of fear that you won't be heard, it's about quietly whispering to the women around you who you can trust and allowing them to privilege of fighting for you in prayer.
Rather than burning fast and burning out, it's cultivating diligence and patience as God brings you into your future and brings your future to you.
I used to think that fighting for yourself meant standing your ground, speaking your mind, and being confident enough to do what you need to do. On this side of it, though, I understand fighting for yourself as learning to humbly walk the road of a developing purpose and passion, and being secure enough to let trusted women in to see your insecurities.
With this, I have space to create and time to do. I also have patience for God's timing, endurance for small beginnings, and a group of women who will fight for me and with me whether or not I succeed or utterly fail.
So my thought for you is this: While you may be asking God to develop a specific area of your life, be open to God developing a seemingly unrelated area. He knows what's coming and what you need, and the area He's asking you to work on right is probably the exact one you need in the future. I encourage you to let God be God in your life.
Stay connected. Stay engaged. And watch what God does to your heart as you focus on understanding His.
Lisa & the Fight For A Girl Team