What a word.
What an idea.
Our society is in the business of replacement. You get a new iPhone and a newer more advanced one is in the works of being released. Your boyfriend makes you mad there is a better guy just around the corner. Your friend is not quite the perfect fit with you, well that girl over there looks like she might be more fun and obviously has it all together. You make a mistake at work and next thing you know you are carrying a box of your personal items down the hallway as someone new is settling in decorating your office.
What a truth.
Growing up I remember being told, “If you don’t use what God gave you, you will lose it!” and “If you don’t do what God has for you, it’s OK He will have someone who will do what He needs done!”
Fear raged in my bones. Perfection became the goal because I did not want to miss one moment with God and I did not want to fail Him. I longed to be a player in the game and to never sit on the bench because of a mistake or a choice that was not of Him.
Belmont Baptist University was a moment in my young adult life full of success, pride and ultimate failure. God gave me everything I ever longed for during that brief moment. I got to work the Christian Country Music awards, I set up and tore down stages, I got to see my Hero on the Ryman Auditorium stage sing, I stood on the Ryman stage and felt history fill my lungs, and I watched a city alive with music and heart give life to dreams that had been dreamt with blood and tears, joy and hope. Every moment was incredible and then I left my dream. I walked away from the dream of one day being a tour manager. I was homesick and I felt a tug back to art and the one place my soul longed for…HOME. I could not handle the alone-ness of a booming city or the idea that I would trade a husband and family for a life on the road. I searched the Word and I begged God for relief and then I felt Him gently allow me to come home. Looking back I truly thought I missed it, I thought I allowed my homesick tears to make the ultimate call and I thought I was replaced on a future tour bus and ultimately as a Kingdom worker. I came home and when I did those words echoed in my ears, “God will put someone else in your spot.” “You are not worthy to work for the Kingdom!” “You missed the mark and now you are benched!” “You are replaced!” “Art is your consolation prize.”
Have you ever felt that way? Benched? Failure? Mediocre?
Have you ever felt like maybe God benched you because you simply did not measure up or you were just not strong enough? You had to settle for the consulation prize?
Have you ever felt like no matter what you did you simply could not compete on the field God was playing on? You simply fell into the mediocre category?
Jonah was a man who knew God. He had a relationship with Him and he blatantly chose to run the opposite direction from the place God commanded him to go, the city of Nineveh. God could have simply called up another prophet. Let’s be honest, it may have been easier on God to do this but God is not in the business of easy, He is in the business of holy and He did not simply call up the next guy in line to do the job of prophesying to Nineveh; instead, He provided a great big fish to swallow Jonah up and get him back on the right track. Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of that fish and then finds himself thrown up on the shore. Jonah then walks in obedience to God by going to Nineveh and doing exactly what God asked.
You see, when we are in God’s family, when you belong to Him, He is in the business of holiness and not exchanging us out for another willing individual because that might be easier. He doesn’t want to leave us mediocre or on the bench.
I always wanted to be a tour manager. You know traveling down the road late into the night, hanging out on the bus, eating horrible fast food, setting up the stage, staying in hotels watching the TV late into the night, being the encouraging motivating voice before the show, and then hanging out backstage with my heart pounding with pride as the band killed it on stage!
January 2018 as we barreled down the road headed to a soccer tournament in Paris, Texas God revealed to me the gift He had placed on my life. I had put Him in a box and He showed me that desire in the true form it was always meant to be. I am a tour manager, I get to step out of a bus after a long drive and walk onto a stage that is a green turf field. I get the honor of pouring into a group of girls and coach a game that is deep in my . I get to ride a bus late into the night with two dozen tired rock stars and learn the game of coaching from the best of the best. I get to encourage from the side of the stage as the concert rages, all 80 minutes of it. You see God doesn’t “replace” you! He promotes you and encourages you into His calling of making disciples and loving others. I was never meant to manage a singer or a band on a bus touring the country. No, I was meant to learn, mentor, encourage, co-manage and assist in coaching a team of girls on the stage of a turf field while God allows me to plant seed after seed into their vulnerable young hearts!
You aren’t replaceable…Let me say that again, “YOU ARE NOT REPLACEABLE!” God has a plan and a purpose for you and sometimes it takes a big fish and three nights in his belly to get back on track but God won’t give up on you, you are HIS and He is in the business of holiness!