FTGI

Looking Back

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” – Deuteronomy 8:2

In 2008, a bunch of friends set out on a journey. Heads and hearts full of vision and dreams of what could be. We dreamed of a sisterhood of women, awakened to their God-given gifts and talents surrendered to God to use them to bring hope and healing to a hurting world. We had no idea how far and wide that dream would go, we just took one baby step at a time.

We were inspired by the verse in Hebrews 12:1 that says,

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

And we’ve been running ever since.

Sometimes we run so hard and so fast towards the NEXT that we neglect to take the time to STOP, REFLECT and CELEBRATE what God has already done so far.

Our official birthday for FTGI is June 10, 2008, so we’re like those people that celebrate their birthday month instead of just their birthday. We will be celebrating all year!

This past weekend we had our annual conference and I couldn’t help but think about all that’s transpired since the very first one. So many lasting friendships forged, beautiful experiences shared, so many dreams birthed and so much purpose awakened. We’ve realized even more now than we did in the beginning how much better we are together.

But there have also been seasons of drought. Seasons when, as a leader, I felt completely inadequate to walk out the calling I believed God had placed on me. Times when my resolve was tested beyond what I thought I could bear. But God showed up, time and time again to provide exactly what I needed when I needed it.

The dry seasons He allows us to go through teach us more than we could ever learn in the times of great blessing.

God designed it that way and we must resist the temptation to feel like we are being punished when what He is doing is teaching us, discipling us, and strengthening us for what’s to come.

Deuteronomy 8 reads:

“You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.”

It has only been 10 years for me, not 40, so I know I still have a lot of growing to do, but I am learning to hang on every word He says (my version of living by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.) I have tried to do it my way and have learned that His way is better.

If you are in a dry season. Stop. Take a moment to look back and reflect on how far you’ve come. Look at how God has provided what you need when you need it—even if it has been on a minute-to-minute basis. You’re still here, right?

Embrace the way that God instills in us perseverance because we want to go the distance. We want to experience all He has for us, don’t we?

Next week our blog will be called Looking Forward—so if you are a dreamer like me—always looking for what’s next hang in there. For now though, I challenge you to take a moment to look back. You may be surprised at how far you’ve come.

Take a moment to thank God for His provision thus far. Yes, there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be but there is also a gap between where you are and where you once were!  We’re all a work-in-progress, growing until the day we meet him face to face.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful verse to meditate on:

“For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

He has done great things and is about to do more!

Love and hugs,

 

Tracey Metzger
tracey@ftgi.org

Tracey Metzger is the co-founder and President of For the Girls International, Inc. Her passion is to see women awakened to their unique purpose and empowered to use their unique gifts to share the hope and love of God with a hurting world. As a speaker and writer, Tracey’s refreshingly honest, down-to-earth approach encourages and inspires her audiences to live and move in the fullness of who God created them to be. Through various avenues, Tracey spends her days connecting with women of all ages and walks of life and inviting them into a sisterhood of love, support, and encouragement. She loves meeting women and hearing their stories. Whether you’re attending an FTGI event, reading her blog, or sitting across the table from her at Starbucks, you will find yourself utterly engaged in what Tracey has to say. You will also feel loved and understood. Her willingness to share her personal experiences and thoughts allows for any woman of any background to receive a message that is relatable, relevant, and motivational. Tracey and her husband of 32 years, Dan, have lived in Tampa Bay since 1993. They are blessed with two grown sons, a teenage daughter, and lovely daughter-in-law and a sweet granddaughter.

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