Stacy Voss

See life differently. Live courageously.

Page 3 of 101

The Yes Challenge: A Dance of Trust

I’ve been dancing most the week, so for now I’m going to prop my feet up and tell you about it.

This round of dancing started in January, back when I felt God challenging me to venture back into the realm of being self-employed. Fear was the first emotion, for I have two precious ones depending on me, but as I checked off the list of conditions that needed to be in place prior to quitting the 9-5 (read: God’s provision and not my doing), excitement took over.

So what does that have to do with dancing?

Everything, my friend. It was a dance of trust, first of discerning and believing that the small promptings I was hearing were of God, then of relinquishing my desire for stability to venture into a land filled with unknowns.

And that list of conditions? All were checked except for one when I gave notice. After making the original list, I scribbled across the top of the page:

“this feels impossible, but God, I trust you. If this is what you want, then please make it happen.”

And then, as an afterthought, or perhaps as the groans from the depths poured to the page, I wrote,

“But what about writing and speaking?”

Are you hearing the tunes of music at this point, the soft whisperings leading me beyond the realm of lists and sticky notes (oh, how I love my post-its!) and onto the dance floor of trust?

The first challenge laid before me was yes, as in the prompting to say yes to the opportunities God placed in front of me. I spoke to my “business manager” one night (who really is a dear friend with so much business sense that she inadvertently got suckered into this role) and told her about my new yes mentality.

Did I mention that she’s a dear? That’s probably why she bit her tongue and didn’t roar with the knowledge that last year was more of a no year for me.

You see, when I stepped onto this dance floor of trust, it wasn’t just about finances and stability. It was the question that penetrates deep.

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes. No. I mean, um, well. I believe. Help my unbelief.”

And so, when Cher asked Monday morning if I’d fill in as a cohost on Crosswalk, a radio show on 94.7FM, I gulped. Radio doesn’t scare me anymore, but you know what does? Going on with a host I haven’t worked with before, of not knowing what kinds of questions they might throw at me or what their style is. Even though I’ve known Eric Reamer for years, the cohost of Crosswalk, this was still a new forum to me, as in I didn’t even know what the topic was about that day. If you ask me, the topic should be at the top of the checklist.

Checklist or not, I agreed to this yes challenge (within reason, mind you, and it always has to pass one crucial component). I prayed. No, there weren’t angels singing or great signs saying to do it. Just crickets, as in “I’m not stopping you, girl, so go.”

So I did.

And I danced.

Let me clarify that, for it’ll sound incredible prideful if I don’t. My parents were at my house helping me renovate my bathroom. My dad asked if I was excited.

“Honestly, it could totally flop. Actually, it probably will. I have no idea.”

Please don’t hear this as pride, but listen past that to my heart: I didn’t fail. In fact, it felt like–you guessed it–dancing, a beautiful waltz in which I was led and simply responded. That’s the feeling I get on those rare occasions when I know without a doubt I’m in exactly the place I’m supposed to be at that moment, doing the very thing God asked me to do.

So here’s our challenge: let’s say yes to the next opportunity God puts in front of us. It might take us well beyond our comfort zones, but in the end it just might become a beautiful waltz.

Stacy Voss

P.S. Sorry for those of you that are receiving this twice. I sent this as an email to those of you who are signed up to receive posts on my blog and then later decided to post it here.

In case you’re interested in seeing the dance, you can go to 94.7FMTheWord facebook and look for it under the video tab.

Ashamed of the Gospel

As I sit in one of my favorite spots on my little patio behind by bedroom with twinkling lights I wanted to share a few things that have been on my mind this week. They aren’t anything deep, or perhaps it doesn’t feel like it is, yet I find it keeps shaking me to my core.

Trust has been my key lesson the past few days. It’s a little ironic because if you asked me even a week ago, I’d say I had a lot of faith. Yes, hi Ms. Arrogant. Sorry.

Actually, I haven’t just been schooled on trust (and apparently humility, too!), I’m also learning about integrity in ways like never before. I know someone who had a choice to stand up for her beliefs and worth risking the value of all the houses on my street put together. We’re talking big-time money on the line. I’ve heard stories of people being forced to either spit on a picture of Jesus and live or refuse and die. Her options weren’t necessarily as black and white, at least not in my mind. I envisioned grey. Correction: I encouraged grey. Hoped for it. Even thought she was a little nuts for avoiding it.

“I won’t compromise,” she said. “People need the truth. Jesus is the truth.”

She has no idea how much she’s inspired me. You see, my faith normally is a between God and me thing, something wrestled in the confines of my home without others really knowing about it. But to make it public, to stand firm on it even when it costs everything?

I waited outside the high school to pick my daughter up today. I can’t stand carpool lines, so I park at the back of the school, the place where those kids to hang out. You know, the ones who use that substance that Colorado politicians decided to make legal even though the federal government is opposed to it and the kids who use more expletives in a sentence than I normally hear in a week.

I normally flip a u-ie to park across from this gathering, but I got there a few minutes late today, meaning their party had already started and was pouring into the street, making it harder to turn around without hitting anyone. So I pulled up to the curb, puffs of smoke wafting past my car.

I contemplated rolling down my windows as I waited for my Girlie, but quickly decided against it.

Why?

I wish I could say it had everything to do with wanting to avoid letting their smoke fill my car, but here’s the gut-honest truth: I was playing Christian music.

What will they think? I caught myself inquiring.

Really? Do I seriously care what a group of high school students thinks about me?

Apparently so.

Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” I, however, can’t say that I’m not ashamed of the gospel. Oh how I wish I could, but even something as silly as taking my hand off the automatic window lever reveals the true condition of my heart.

My friend doesn’t know the outcome of her stand yet. I won’t say that she doesn’t care what the result will be because she does. Deeply. What she stands to lose will affect her along with many other people.  Despite this, she understands all too well that what she promises to share won’t just affect her, either, for as Romans 1:16 also says, the gospel is the power of God to bring salvation. It is that transforming power that causes her to proclaim her faith with the windows down.

My bathroom light has a wiring problem that causes it to overheat after a few minutes and go black. Joking with my kids, I changed the words to a familiar song and belted out, “this little light of mine. I don’t like to shine.”

But just like I have a work order in with my general contractor (thanks, dad!) to avoid using my camping lantern in the bathroom, I’m asking the Great Physician to do some work on this heart of mine.

Because, after all, lights were made to shine.

Stacy Voss

Transformation through Cleansing

Sometimes I see truth more clearly through nature. Case in point: this picture above (which admittedly doesn’t do it much justice). Bear with me as I explain what the lens didn’t capture. Immediately to my right is a pond, a green, murky body of water that probably has every water-borne disease known to man.

Across the way just a few feet is another pond, this one so clear you can see tiny fish fretting to and fro. Lily pads cover portions of the water, its flowers adding another layer of beauty.

Why are the two ponds so different? Well, it can’t be because of elevation since they’re located so close to each other and the ground separating the two is level. That also rules out water supply. The main distinction is that the clean pond has a filter, as evidenced from the ripples constantly bubbling out of the center, whereas the other is stagnant. Both started as clean bodies of water, but as bacteria fell into each, there was a way for it to be removed in one whereas it was given a way to grow and breed in the other.

Sounds familiar, right?

If I’m honest, I don’t know which pond I’d prefer to be. I’d like to think I’d vote for the prettier of the two, the one that has benches lining its shore so people like me can get lost in thought while gazing at it. But in addition to the filters scattered throughout, the clean pond has another distinction: waders. I saw four women with fly fishing waders walk into the water and pull out the larger debris. They yanked roots of lily pads, not allowing them to overtake the entire surface. They tossed dead wood that fell from the overhanging trees into the trash. Their efforts paid off, but as one who has endured many storms resulting in people wading in to rip out the garbage of my life, the stagnant waters begin to hold more appeal. Well, at least until I recall the odor of the green pool. Talk about foul! Eww!

Let me state what is probably obvious to all but me: growth can occur, even during the mellow times. It’s a revolutionary concept since the periods of calm lasting more than a handful of hours during the previous decade are sparse. It can basically be summed as ten+ years of debris-chucking. The pain made me lean more on God than ever before.

The main differences between the two ponds are:

  1. the cleaner of the two has a filter that constantly purifies. We are offered this as believers if we let the word of God and the spirit penetrate and transform.
  2. One stayed clean due to additional forms of cleansing. If a body of water had feelings, I dare say it would have hurt as people walked in and ripped things out. We don’t sign up for the pain and heartache, but when it comes (yes, when), we can let it be a way to clean and transform us.

I’m changing my vote as I want to be a vessel that can be used by God, which most likely means that more of me needs to be cleaned out so that He can move in more powerful ways.

Stacy Voss

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