By Ashley Friggle
I have a confession to make… I’ve been putting this whole writing thing off for a while now. Because of my procrastination, I have to be honest and say I have been getting my toes stepped on A LOT lately. It started a few Wednesday nights ago. Class started like any other, just a typical Wednesday night. We just started a new series called “If you love me…” About half way through class, we read some familiar verses from John 21:15-17. It’s when Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him. Peter, of course, answered yes. Jesus told him that if he loved him, he must do three things: feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and feed my sheep. It was in that moment that class seemed to pause. The Lord seemed to be asking me the same question- Ashley, do you love Me? Like Peter, I replied “of course Lord, I love you! You know I have been serving for several years in the children’s ministry, I love taking care of Your lambs!” He said “thank you for what you have done for my little ones; I appreciate your hard work. But how are you doing at tending my sheep? Are you feeding them?” As I sat in class trying to hold it together and pretending everything was fine, I immediately began making excuses: I don’t have enough time, I have so many responsibilities and obligations already, I don’t have anything to write about, I am not qualified, I’m not a good writer, the list could go on forever. Then the voices of fear and doubt started creeping in: no one wants to hear what you have to say, what are people going to think about you, they will make fun of, you’re wasting everyone’s time, who do you think you are?? Through it all, I heard His voice loud and clear, and I knew what I needed to do, what I was supposed. I allowed self-doubt and insecurity win yet again. So I did what I had always done before, I ignored Him and did nothing.
A few Sundays later, my brother had the audacity to preach on Peter, and he conveniently used the exact same verses. I was like Lord I hear you, I really do but the excuses continued to spew forth. I thought maybe just maybe the longer I procrastinated He would surely change His mind and hopefully let me do something else, anything else. However dumb it sounds, it that was “logical” way of thinking. The final straw came last weekend at the movies. A few of us went to see the movie Risen. At one point, Jesus wrapped His arm around Peters shoulder and said “Come with me a little further Peter, so that we can be closer.” He proceeded to ask Peter “do you love me?” By now, my heart was pounding, there was no more denying or ignoring. I wanted to be closer to Jesus just like Peter! So finally after Him trying to get my attention three times, I have stopped arguing. I am silencing the voices of doubt, worry and insecurity. I am getting out of my comfort zone and stepping out in faith to tend and feed His sheep!
The first steps of every new journey are always the scariest and yet most exciting. To know where we are going, I think it is important to know where we came from. With that being said, my next post will focus where I came from and the battle I have fought to discover my self-worth. I can’t wait to see where God is going to take us on this adventure!