I sat at my kitchen table, staring into space as my brother packed to visit my sister. He spent two weeks with me following the death of my sweet husband, Sam. My fears realized, it was time to lean in even harder to the Lord.
“Are you going to be okay?” my brother said before he left.
“You know what? I need to learn to be on my own. I may as well start now.”
I opened my computer and checked my emails, something I wanted to avoid. Facing more condolence communication as I tried to assuage the pain served to make the pain keener. The grief-fog provided by the Lord protected me, yet snippets of reality sliced my spirit, but not too deep. I saw an email from the Jerry B. Jenkins team.
Oh, yeah. That’s about the conference Sam wanted me to attend. I wonder if…
Jolted by the Lord’s hand spiritually tapping my shoulder, I knew He bid me go, but I was too tender to go alone.
I’ll call Nan (my best friend).
Two weeks later, we traveled to the Writer to Writer Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I came to faith through the Left Behind book series, and I looked forward to seeing one of the authors, Jerry B. Jenkins. God bested that wish. I got to meet Jerry and had my picture taken with him on my conversion birthday.
Thank You, Jesus.
My friends and my support group of believers have all been in awe of how I have obeyed as the Lord pushed me forward these past three-and-a-half years. The grief still stings, but God, who wastes nothing, has a plan and a purpose for the kingdom, and I get to have a small part in it. My shoes make a lot of skid marks as I sometimes fight to just stay home in my comfort zone, but, hey, who can win a fight with the Lord? He takes my fears and transforms them into wondrous things only He can do.God takes my fears and transforms them into wondrous things only He can do. -Lisa Kibler Click To Tweet
After the conference, Nan gifted me with a copy of Marlene Bagnull’s Write His Answer. Can you fall in love with a book? No, but I did fall more in love with the Lord because of how that book led me deeper into His Word. Each year since, I read it along with my devotions and gain more insight each time.
I am continually prodded by the Lord to both lean in to Him and extend out to others, but as whom? For the first fifteen years of my life my identity was wrapped in my immediate family. Then I met Sam and we married when I was twenty. We grew as a couple, and were both born again in 2000. With Jesus, our lives experienced an eternal change, yet my earthly character still cloaked itself in being a wife and then a loving caregiver when Sam got sick.
After Sam died, I held on to my status as a child of God but questioned my vocation. God furthered my writing journey and I flourished under His leadership. The good Lord gave me my new tribe—Christian writers. All the weird wonder of being a writer is manifested in this godly group who open their hearts and vaults of knowledge. I am a writer. Praise God!
As the Lord revealed everything that led me to this point in my life, I doubted my worthiness. It took a while to realize it’s not about MY worth; it’s His worth in me. He equips me every day and gently affirms His assured call for me to write. I came to faith by reading a book about God. How kind of Him to teach me how to relinquish my fears and allow me the privilege of sharing Gospel transformation as I lean out to others through this gift of writing.
Are you struggling with carrying on after a loss? As you ask yourself, “What’s next,” lean in to Jesus and He will give you the strength and direction to lean out.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV) Click To Tweet
Lisa Kibler, Guest Poster
Lisa Kibler is a writer/blogger and international speaker. She has been published in Celebrate Gettysburg, CBN.com, and is a contributor to Heart Renovation by Lighthouse Bible Studies. She has just completed Someplace to be Somebody, the memoir of Pastor Marshall Brandon. Lisa is represented by Hartline Literary Agency. Her website is https://lisakibler.com