Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{When You Can't Take the Next Step}

Let’s do something fun! Settle down in your most comfy chair, close your eyes. Now, think about one of your favorite songs. Do you have it? Go ahead, hum a few bars! Does it stir something in you? Why is it a favorite? There’s a good chance it’s attached to a significant memory or moment in your life. When you hear it, you remember. I have an extensive list of songs like that! I am a confessed music freak, so my list may be excessive, and I have been known to burst into song randomly. My friends still love me.

But seriously.

I remember the song I played a million and one times after my first bad breakup.  I remember the song the girls and I LOVED to hear when we went, ahem, line dancing. After the Lord had started healing my broken and grieved heart, I knelt near the babies’ graves and sang. I remember that song, too.

There have been moments when I couldn’t find words and a song said just what I needed to say. And so, worship through song has long been one of my favorite things. I love to gather with other believers and worship. God birthed something in me a long time ago about worship. It’s where I’m at home. It’s my sweet spot. Our invitation to engage in worship is such a precious gift, a priceless one. I am convinced God’s presence, His Spirit, changes us as we engage. And, boy, do I ever want to lead well in this area. As a worship leader, I have the opportunity to stand in front of lots of people and point them to Jesus. It’s such a big deal to me. Huge.

A few weeks back, an incredible opportunity came my way. I mean, seriously, amazing. I was invited to participate in a worship leader training/mentoring program. Y’all. My one-to-one mentor would be Christy Nockels. I’d also be learning from other established, experienced (and incredible) worship leaders like Kim Walker-Smith and Kari Jobe in live, video-conference small group sessions. There’s an opportunity to get constructive feedback from these leaders as they watch videos of me leading. There’s roundtable discussion with other participants and the leaders. It lasts 6-months, with the opportunity to extend to a full year’s worth of mentoring/training! When I got the news, I was beside myself. Excited, yes. But, also terrified. This kind of thing is WAY outside of my comfort zone. Like, I’m talking in another galaxy. I was going to decline because it costs a few thousand dollars. But, there’s a fundraising option, they said. So, I said yes.

But now, I’m stuck. No matter how I try, I just can’t bring myself to take the next step and raise funds. I’m struggling here because there’s no doubt it’s a good thing. But, is it a God-thing? I think so.

Then, why can’t I do the next thing? Why don’t I feel ok about asking people to “fund” or “support” me? I have a feeling it’s because I’m afraid. Because I don’t like rejection. (What if NO ONE wants to give?) I am afraid to be misunderstood. (What if SOMEONE thinks I’m selfish?)  It’s all rooted in insecurity and pride. And, never mind my lack of faith!? Wouldn’t it be true that if God’s asked me to do it, He'd provide a way for me to do it? And if I say God’s prompted me to do it, doesn’t that make it a matter of obedience?

But, still.

I’m feeling a bit of a hot mess today. Have you ever been there? You know what needs to happen next, yet you just can’t. That's where I am. I want to, but I just . . . can't. Every time I start, there’s a nagging thought that mocks me. We’re sometimes hard on ourselves, aren’t we? I’m working through this process, and I’m impatient and fussy. I’m ready to bail. But that doesn’t feel quite right either. So, instead, I’m left to trust. It’s my choice, of course. Whether I’ll ease up and realize I’m not really in control of what happens here is up to me. I’m not there yet in this situation. But, we’re working on it, Jesus and me. We’re always working on it.

May I encourage you, sweet friends? It’s okay not to be okay. It’s not wise to stay there, but remember we have a Father God who is more than willing to walk us through the days when we feel like a hot mess. We can rest easy in His loving, wise arms believing that He knows what He’s doing, even when we don’t.

He loves you so.