• Lioness Ola

Training Ground.

Good Afternoon Family!

When I was first saved, I was so zealous for the things of God. Did you ever have that? Everything the Lord said, you’d do straight away, no hesitation, no delay. Talk to that person? Ok sure Lord. Don’t do that? I would never Lord! Give this person xyz? Haha, erm, I’m broke but ok Lord! Your will be done! *skips off into sunset*. 

So when the Lord said He was going to birth some things in me, I was READY! Let’s go! We move! I didn’t even wait for further instruction, I started planning and mobilising. I didn’t count any costs - felt that scripture didn’t apply to me, because “where the Lord guides, He provides” right? I was so fanatic and so naïve, I started operating quickly and I was excited! (Paul called it Zeal with no knowledge)

Big mistake. I birthed 3 ministries in the space of a year, I was moving so fast, I didn’t really know what I was doing, I was just kind of winging it. I didn’t really know about structure, I didn’t know about anything really. I didn’t even really consult anyone too much because I felt like I had to make it out on my own, this was between me and God - it had to be original, different (this is a WHOLE other blog post. We gunna talk about this!). But as the zeal began to run out, really quite quickly, reality hit me. It hit me really hard. 

I didn’t realise how hard it would be to stir up and maintain the energy of a group, I didn’t know how discouraging it would be when people completely ignored your leadership, I didn’t realise how frustrating it would be to send messages to people and ask for responses and literally get airtime, over and over. I didn’t realise. I didn’t realise how heartbreaking it would be to see people who were initially so excited about your vision and were with you, become despondent and fall away. My heart was broken. I also didn’t realise just how ill-disciplined I was.

And in my complete discouragement, I felt like God had given me all this responsibility with no guidance. HOW LORD? HOW was I meant to do this? It was so much easier when I was doing this by myself, but YOU had to go and tell me to start something. I hated leadership, my heart was growing hard to people. Outwardly I was smiles and love but inwardly I was angry, I was frustrated, I was disappointed and sad, i was embarrassed, I was emptying. 

As I was wallowing in my annoyance, knowing I was called to this but seeing how poorly it was working out, I was looking back to find out where everything went wrong. And guess what I realised, I realised God had never said it was for RIGHT NOW. He never told me that in my infancy I should birth what I birthed - it was premature. Yes, I was called, but this wasn’t the time. I still tried to force it for a bit more after that, because I don’t go down without fight, but it was really useless. A super super humbling experience. I felt like a complete failure. I completely doubted my calling - literally didn’t want it anymore. Let the enemy tell me I was useless, I even joined him in beating me down.

All this time I was serving in other ministries, if I’m honest at times quite poorly, but I was operating poorly because I was secretly hiding my shame. I thought I was hiding it well, but it was seeping into everything I was doing. The shame of failure and the fear of it happening again, affected everything I did. To everyone, I was always happy, but lazy, and my leaders had to sit me down and talk to me several times about it. They saw more than what I was giving. They knew what I had in me, what I was fearful and reluctant to bring out.

My leaders constantly push me to achieve and utilise my gifts, they won’t let me be mediocre (which I can’t lie, is frustrating at times because sometimes I just want to sleep, eat and do nothing... for extended periods of time lol). They pray for me constantly, prophesy over me, speak life into me. Where I couldn’t see anything good in me, they saw it and they draw it out of me daily. 

They are teaching me - (with and without words), what it means and what it takes to be in ministry, what humility and dependence on God looks like, how to deal with issues, how to lead, how to stir up those serving, how to effectively steward the things of God with excellence. They are training me, so that eventually when it is time for me to step out, I have a wonderful set of building blocks to work with. 

An athlete doesn’t win an Olympic medal by just getting on the track that day and running. They train, day in and day out, they work, they push themselves and are pushed by their trainers. Days, weeks, months and years of training in “secret” build up to public events and moments in time. We don’t see all the training they do, we just see the 10 seconds of action on the track.

This right here, is training ground. And sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s stretching, but it’s always necessary. God is drawing out of me things that could destroy what He has put inside of me. He needs to pull out all the weeds that would choke the wheat, all the characteristics and bad habits that would bring a bad reputation to His Holy Name. And in it’s place, He is putting all the things that will bring forth success, bring forth excellence, bring forth greatness. But all of this happens amongst the tears shed on the training ground.

I thank God for the people I sit under, I want to publicly honour you - shout out to Susan Deborahs (and because they are one Ayo Oduniyi scooped me up too lol). Shout out to my Pastor, Pastor Peter Nembhard. Shout out to my parents, brother and friends, who do life with me and have prayed me through my pain. Remember up top I said “where He guides, He provides”, that genuinely is true, I was just using it incorrectly back then. As God is guiding me, He is genuinely providing for me. He provided those around me, He provided friends, He provided leaders, He provided encouragers, He provided seers. And He continues to do so.

And He will do the same for you. Just requires you to yield to the process.

Love, Peace and JOY!

- Lioness

"[...] Then he [Elisha] went with Elijah as his assistant" - 1 Kings 19:21.

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