Today, I want to encourage you specifically to STEP OUT in your faith walk.
Out of your past.
Out of your struggles.
Out of your comfort zone.
Maybe that also means stepping out of fear or pride, worry or anger, insecurity or a judgmental attitude...
The Lord led me to the humbling task of penning a book for women that deals with these very issues, because I, too, struggle with each and every one of them. He led me to His Word and into the lives of many women who shared their stepping-out stories.
Rejoice with me, if you would, in the release of Stepping Out: To a Life on the Edge, published by CPH. I pray that God will use every word to powerfully impact women's lives for Christ.
I'd like to share with you a glimpse from the opening pages...
I'd like you to use your imagination for a minute. Picture an in-ground backyard swimming pool filled with calm, clear, cool water and surrounded by a beautiful concrete patio. There's a diving board perched over the deep end. It's a hot summer day, and everyone around you is enjoying a good dunk in the shallow end of the pool. Now envision yourself standing behind the diving board on solid patio. You eye the platform, then you eagerly step up, sprint to the end, yell "Cannonball!" and jump. What awaits you is the exhilarating feeling of release and total immersion in cool, refreshing water.
Or do you?
If you have timid tootsies like mine, you stare at the diving board in front of you and wonder how you will ever move from the solid surface where your feet are firmly fastened to the slick, slippery edge w-a-y out there. Do you inch up and onto the platform, or do you remain frozen at the far end of the board, paralyzed in place? Do you focus on the fear of losing control, of being in over your head?
My stepping-out story begins with a diving board and a backyard pool (as you can read in chapter 1). Moving from behind the board, where my feet were firmly planted, stepping up and onto the spring-loaded surface, and slowly shimmying out to the edge symbolizes for me so much more than stepping away from the safety of the solid cement.
Despite my sins and shortcomings and timid tootsies, God has called me to step out of my struggles to a life on the edge. He continually covers me with His grace and fills me with His strength; He extends His hand to me, walks beside me, and empowers me to live for Him. I must admit, some days I feel as though I am taking the cliched "one step forward and two steps back." But I have a Savior who enables me to keep stepping out in His strength because He keeps stepping in with His saving grace!
As we struggle to step out of our past, our insecurity, our judgmental attitude, and other circumstances, we may be trapped into thinking, If I just try harder or If I can just get my act together. We do try, but on our own, we are bound to fail eventually and sink to the bottom of the pool. (Many times in my case, I fail right away.)
The world shouts, "Get a grip! Just do it already. What are you waiting for?" But our God of grace knows we cannot take even one baby step forward all by ourselves. So He comes to us right where we are, stuck in our sin, and He places His firm grip of grace upon us. Forgiven, renewed, and strengthened by the Savior, we step out to a life on the edge, resting in His truth, which tells us, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
The Lord will lead you to take stock of your struggles and confess them to Him. And by His grace, He will unfasten your feet from where they are planted behind the diving board. He will help you step out to a place where He would have you live!
From Stepping Out: To a Life on the Edge © 2013 Deb Burma, published by Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact Concordia Publishing House at 800-325-3040 or visit them at www.cph.org.