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I’ve honestly lost count of the number of times that God has told me that I think too small.
I’d love to tell you that every time He said that it grew my faith and inspired me to speak some words that would amaze all around…
“Show me how to think bigger!” “Teach me to see like You, to think like You!” “I want all You have for me! Bring it on!” “I’m ready to cliff dive, Jesssuuuuuus! Let’s dooo it!”
But I’m honest.
So a handful of times the above have happened (except the cliff diving….heights and jumping from said heights are not my jam). Sometimes I feel brave and let words like that escape my mouth.
But usually it was more along the lines of “You made me this way, and I like small.” “Let’s just go with my plan this time, Abba. We’ll try your way next time.” “Uh…have you met me?” “Jesus, let’s just stay here all cuddly. You’re my guy. All I need. Can I just stay right here with YOUUUUU, FOREVERRRRRRR?”
There are times when I’ve rolled my eyes in response to the “too small” comment.
Other times I’ll remind Him of His Word, “Um…point of order God…doesn’t Zechariah 4:10 say “not to despise small beginnings.”
“What is the context, Jillian?”
FYI…the context God showed me is that in verse 6 the Lord told Zerubbabel that it wasn’t by force nor by strength, but by Holy Spirit that Zerubbabel would accomplish what the Lord declared he would do. So when you get to verse 10…which actually says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (NLT)
Essentially this is God’s way of saying, “Hey Jill. I’ve sent Holy Spirit ahead of you to prepare the way. I’m even more excited about this project than you! So what are you waiting on? Let’s get project started!!”
God loves it when I quote scripture to Him. It gives Him the opportunity to reveal things to me that blow my mind wide open, and pop my little eyes so wide that I resemble a cartoon character. Makes His day.
There are also the times that I put my hand up before He has a chance to say anything, and say “Yes, I know. I think too small.” Surrender fast. Like ripping the band-aid off.
Rarer of my responses, is the Jill’s got her sassy pants on, and she’s ready to go toe to toe. Then I’ll talk a big game about my screenwriting Oscars (That’s Oscars, plural. And I have a speech if you want to hear it.) People binge watching television series that came from my own imagination. Funny shows that both inspire and move people. My own photo studio. Multiple galleries with my work. Shelves of books with my name on the spine (Me and Jesus are productive partners, you know.) A stack of tear-stained letters from people I’ve never met telling me the words Jesus and I wrote helped them heal, grow, and step out into their own wild unknown. Book awards. Dreamy husband who sings to me. Stacks of money that I get to give away, funding other people’s dreams and visions from God. A passport so full of stamps they had to give me more pages.
When I pull this kind of Jill-ness, I can see Him smiling at me. The you’re so cute smile you give a small toddler when they think they have mastered the universe by putting on their own clothes. Their clothes that don’t match.
just as I’m about to finish…
I feel it….
rising up in the core of my inner most being…
Here’s the TPT: “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you.”
Why am I sharing this? Well, because it’s true, first and foremost.
But also because I do think too small. I find myself looking for scraps and thinking I can make this work. And there are seasons in our lives when all we have are scraps and we do need to just be grateful for the scraps. I’ve had those seasons. I’ve lost a house to foreclosure. I’ve had cars repossessed. Been under employed and unemployed for far too long. Had 2 operations in one calendar year. I lost 3 of the most important people in my life in 5 months, and too many other family members within that same year. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been gutted by loss, and swam in self-pity. I had a string of sprains and a broken foot. Then the same week I FINALLY got off crutches, I fell off a ladder in front of 100+ coworkers, including a 2-Star General thank you very much, and cracked my wrist. Not every day is gonna be a bowl full of cherries, kids. It’s life.
The difference between believers and everyone else is that we’ve got Jesus. We’re not in it alone. We have hope.
Don’t think a pruning season is the end of your growth. Don’t think a season of loss is now your new permanent life. God is a great, big, mah-vel-ous God! And the Dude is straight up funny. He is joy personified.
For those who don’t believe me, who say show me in the Word…read Psalm 16:11 NKJV “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
You can also reference Nehemiah 8:10 NLT “And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
And we can add to that Proverbs 17:22 TPT, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.”
God is all about the joy.
He does mourn with us. He is close to the brokenhearted, and does rescue those whose spirits are broken. He does heal the brokenhearted and bind their wounds, so that they can move forward. And embrace life again! Not just life though..Abundant life!
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP
Lest you think I’ve begun to rabbit trail, Why am I sharing this? 1. Because it’s true. 2. Because I do think too small. 3. Ah…yeah, no judging. You do too!
We need to be reminded, you and I, that God is the Great Creator. His imagination is endless. His love unending. He always wants to spend time with us. He’s never too busy. And in His generosity, the more time you spend with Him, the more revelation He shares you. He never runs out of anything. Ever. He’s the God who multiplies.
But here’s the part where the rubber meets the road…Are you willing to trust Him? Do you believe that He is? AND that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? Do you believe He is pumped to partner with YOU in YOUR dream?
Do I believe that He enjoys partnering with me from the first line of random, through the not so awesome editing phase, all the way to the published book? Yes I do. But I haven’t always.
I’ve quit and told Him I was done, more than once. I have given the Christian auto responses more often than not, when people asked me questions I didn’t want to answer, or I couldn’t answer because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what I was doing! But in my own private time, I wrestled and fought to understand. I’ve cried. I’ve told God off. I’ve lamented in the way of Jeremiah and David. And you know what, I came out on the other side, knowing more about myself and about the God I serve. I love Him in a way I never could before. So that’s how I know He’s hilarious. And sometimes infuriating. But always in it with me.
Point to ponder while you wander….I ain’t the sweet, pliable, easy type kid, who just says, “Yes, Lord.” I’m the one with the hard head, that goes around the mountain more than once. I’m the one whose mouth just gets her into trouble repeatedly. I’m the one who thinks too small.
And yet, He enjoys my company. He appreciates when I tell Him first, before anyone else. He sees me. He knows me. And He loves me.
And that is why He continually tells me I think too small.
“I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others & stimulate the search for beauty & creative excitement in the great world around us.” Ansel Adams
Who was Ansel Adams? Ansel Adams was a photographer mainly known for B&W landscapes, and for his love of Yosemite National Park.
I love how his B&W shots force you to see past the colors to see the textures and patterns. He inspires me to walk in the woods with my camera. Not to copy him. But to look for the views and details that speak to me.
Here are a few shots of Ansel’s. I do not own the copyright to these photos. All are copyright of Ansel Adams. If you’d like to have prints of them, please purchase them. Don’t steal art! ❤
Moonrise over Hernandez…I love this one necause he said it was one of those right place right time photos. Not every one may love this image…but it totally speaks to me.
Rose and Driftwood…I love all the different lined in this one. The texture in the rose
Clearing Winter Storm at Yosemite…
Point to ponder while you wander…”Well done, Ansel. You have inspired me.” -Jill @Jillbeingstill.com