Guest Blog Series: Kelly Balarie
She looked at me and said, “Kelly, I have A LOT of weight to lose. Can you really help me?”
On day 1: We hit the pavement with sit-ups, squats and pushups. Leaning in and cheering her on, she smiled – we both were confident she was going to move from point A to point B. She did great. I could almost envision her new confidence, faith in God as her helper and perseverance. Until something happened – after a month of working out – my hopes got smashed.
Day 30: Her body moved like a snail, it dropped on the mat like dead weight and her arms couldn’t seem to move her. I hid inner-bother under the outer cover of wild cheerleader. I couldn’t let her give up. I couldn’t let her believe in defeat.
I prayed with her, “God, please encourage my friend. She has a dream of being healthy. We know where we feel weak, you are strong. Please come in and equip her to do what she feels you are calling her to do.” We locked eyes and believed God.
Day 33: She called to say work was too busy to workout.
I texted back and forth with scriptures and encouragement.
Day 34: She called again to say family was coming and she had to get ready for them.
I wrote her a long email reminding her of the power of God.
Day 35: She said she gave up the new eating plan.
I called her and told her that is not the way to go. I told her she won’t see her dream come through if she doesn’t put in the hard work.
Exasperated and exhausted, I crashed on the couch and told my husband, “I can see this for her. I believe in what God can do. I know she can do this. Why can’t she see it?”
Something in me, wanted to grab her by both arms and shake truth, hope and life into her. I wanted her to see what God had before her.
Day 36: She didn’t return my calls.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Ps. 103:8)
God is compassionate. Yet, with her unwilling-to-change-heart, I felt condemning.
God is gracious. I was ungrateful for the time she and I had together.
God is slow to anger. I was angry God didn’t answer my prayers.
God is abounding in love. I didn’t much follow up with her in love.
Day 365+, I realized: I am not the controller of God’s conversions, I am not the maker of his movement, I don’t hold the stopwatch to his life-change but I am equipped with the transformational key of love.
It is love that doesn’t give up, it doesn’t count days, it doesn’t rely on words, it doesn’t demand results. It sits with those in needs. It listens where they are at. It expects that God’s timing is and will be perfect. It works – always and forever.
God’s Power, working through love, is the only power that changes people.
What I acknowledge today, new friends is – I am impatient with the process, because I love progress. I love seeing lives changed, hearts freed, and people alive. I get wild and crazy when this happens. I long to see it. Maybe you do too.
What I am coming to learn, however, is – the seeds God plants are, quite often, not Insta-grow trees. They are far greater. They are trees of beauty – tall and sturdy trees, deep-rooted trees – that often take time to water and nurture. They are trees that need love and tender care. They are trees that come alive in such a way that they teach too. They teach wise lessons about the power of shade, rest and grace.
And when these trees are left to grow, in God’s timing, somehow they work out glory, brilliance and something incredible – they work out the muscles of your own faith in such a way, you really start to resemble Jesus.
Kelly Balarie, blogger, speaker and author of Fear Fighting (Baker Books), helps women glow in the dark places of their lives. Through scripture, encouragement and heart-felt prayer, she joins hands with other women who want God’s transformational love to deliver them to new lands of purpose, passion and courage. Kelly is a contributing blogger at Crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Girlfriends in God. She lives with her husband and two toddlers near the sun-soaked shores of the East Coast. Get to know Kelly a little bit more at Purposeful Faith or about Fighting fear at http://www.fearfightingbook.com/.