Ladies and gents, today I’d like to share my friend, author and youth pastor Tabitha Caplinger, with you. She’s a treasure trove of wisdom, and today she’s sharing about a snippet from her devotional, Daughters Arise, about stepping out in faith.
November of last year I released my first novel, The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline. Alongside it I published a companion devotional, Daughters Arise. My hope was that beyond writing a story that would entertain I could offer glimpses of my faith and the hope we have in Christ. I want young women to understand their worth and purpose. To that end I took small moments in the lives of my fictional characters to highlight lessons we can use to live chosen ourselves. Below is an excerpt from Daughters Arise.
“I know it’s hard, but I need you to trust me on this one. I wouldn’t make you move right now if I didn’t believe it was the right thing.” Claire calmly patted the sofa next to her.
Zoe studied the empty spot next to Claire with squinty eyes before walking over and plopping down next to her aunt, anger melting under another round of hot tears.
“I’m scared.” She stared down at her fingers, picking at chipped nail polish.
“Of a new place? Making new friends?”
Zoe let out an imprisoned breath. “That moving means leaving them behind.” Her eyes reached Claire’s, more tears hanging on the edge. She bit her bottom lip in a failed effort to quell them.
“Aww, Zo. This is just a place. An important one for sure, but just a place.” Claire wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close, letting her head rest against Zoe’s. “The memories can be taken anywhere.” (Excerpt from The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline)
God has chosen you. You are not the consolation prize to Him dying on the cross. You were never the default option. No, God in all His omniscience, His eternal knowledge, chose you. He saw you, where you are, exactly like you are and made a very conscious decision to love you.
Don’t believe me?
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
John 15:16 ESV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
And He didn’t just choose you, He chose you for a purpose. He has plans for you. Good plans. Great plans. Plans that are better then even the best plans you can dream up. And He wants to get you to that place, to those plans, more than you want to get to them. It’s easy right? Or maybe it’s not. Why? If God has chosen us, made great plans for us, and wants to see us succeed in them then why isn’t it easy?
Because we make it hard.
Maybe we don’t believe God really loves us. Maybe we don’t trust enough in the character of God to believe that His plan is the best plan. Maybe we think we know better. Maybe we are just afraid.
Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of what we are leaving behind. Afraid we will fail.
In the opening book excerpt we see a young girl who is afraid of what is to come. She is afraid of forgetting where she came from, who she is. What she doesn’t know is that what is coming will show her who she really is and she won’t have to forget where she came from, because that will be the foundation for everything. It is the same with us. We follow, we step out in faith and God reveals the real us. The one He sees behind the fear and facades. And He uses our past, good or bad, to propel us forward; the Great Revealer and Great Redeemer.
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Faith is scary. It can be risky because we don’t always see the outcome of that first step. We want it all mapped out for us with all the details given and questions answered. It doesn’t work that way. Because while God has chosen you for a purpose He loves you just for you. And the person you are is more important to God then the things you will do. He knows that we grow and learn with each step we take, especially when we have to choose to take it in faith rather than bowing to fear.
How do we step out in faith?
We get to know who we are following. When you spend time with Jesus, really getting to know who He is. Not the surface Sunday School stories but the deep layers of His character, then we can really trust Him. And when we can trust Him because we have learned His promises and seen His faithfulness and felt His unending love, we need not fear His plans. Knowing God means knowing that He really does know best and even when I don’t have all the details I can follow His path, His plan.
Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, he’s the one who will keep you on track.
The best part of all of this is while you are drawing closer to God, while you are growing in your faith and maturity, you are also getting ever closer to the abundant, joyful, successful, life that He dreamed up for you in the very beginning. Remember…
You are chosen. You are safe. You are loved.
Tabitha Caplinger has been in student ministry for close to 15 years, and currently pastors at Faith Community Church in House Springs, Missouri with her husband Brian. They have two sassy daughters, Lila and Rory. Student Ministry is core to who Tabitha is; she loves discipling others and helping them see themselves through Jesus’ eyes. Her goal is for every young woman to be confident that, “she is loved more than she will ever know by someone who died to know her.”
When not working, Tabitha and her family like taking in a good movie or walking through the park. She also admits to being a little obsessed with TV.
Connect with Tabitha online:
Facebook: Tabitha Caplinger
Visit Tabitha Caplinger on Goodreads