I am awesome! I am wonderful! I am talented, beautiful and smart. I am not afraid to be all that I was created to be. I CAN do all things through Christ which strengthens me. I am unapologetically me, and I love it!
Excuse me, I was just having a moment where I needed to encourage myself!
For the past few weeks I have struggled to stay motivated and on course. My mind was swaying back and forth uncertain which direction to go. As the days crept by I felt weaker in my fight. I did not feel empowered at all! As a matter of fact I felt powerless and alone. I asked myself, What is going on? Why am I feeling this way? Is it hormones? Nope, it wasn't hormones! The problem was that I had become Lady Liuwa (Lou-ah). I'm quite sure you are wondering, who in the world is Lady Liuwa. Keep reading, and you will come to know who she is.
My pastor had begun a teaching series at our church (Faith4Life in Dallas, TX) titled, Brave and Bold. In it he challenged the congregation to be bolder in our prayers, bold with our faith, and bold in our obedience to God. In other words, we must recognize the God we serve. He is unlimited in supply, and with Him nothing shall be impossible. Why limit God when He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think? (Ephesians 3:20).
God can do whatever our faith will permit Him to do!
In continuing on, one of the scriptures my pastor referenced was Proverbs 28:1, The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. That last part of the scripture, BOLD AS A LION, stood out to me! After service I went home, and pondered some more. I muttered in my mind the words, Bold as lion. Although I had watched documentaries on lions in the past, I sensed the need to study the species a little closer paying more attention to the details, especially since they are often referenced as an exemplary in terms of bravery and boldness.
I watched video after video intently as the lion watches its prey. I read interesting articles from wild life experts as they sought to uncover all there is to know about the infamous king of the jungle. What I learned was eye-opening. I learned what it meant to be a part of a pride. A pride is a group of lions that consist primarily of females, their cubs, and at least 2-3 males who serve as protectors. Lions are social. They live in groups. They travel in groups. They fight in groups.
Secondly, I learned that lions don’t roar as loud when they travel alone, because they feel less empowered to proclaim territory, or war off predators, but when they have the power of the pack you can hear them roar from 5 miles away as they claim their land!
Next, I learned that although lions can survive on their own, they don’t flourish unless they are members of a pride. I didn't understand until I learned about a lonely lioness named Lady Liuwa. The natives of Liuwa, located in Africa, gave her that name. They reported that she had been wondering the grassy plains alone for many years before she crossed the lens of a wildlife camera man named Herbert Brayer who would later help transplant other lions into her domain. Intrigued by her he followed and filmed her for the next six years. In so doing, he stated that it wasn’t until after the third year of filming that he realized just how lonely she really was, and that she seemed very sad and confused. I believe it had to do with her living outside of her purpose. She was not created to live a solitaire life, just as we are not!
As I watched Lady Liuwa's story unfold I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her. Condensed footage showed the lonely lioness roaming the flood plains of Africa year after year, alone. No one to share her life with. No friendships. No companionship. I’m not a wildlife expert, but even to my untrained eyes she appeared very unhappy. It was as if I could sense her loneliness.
Can you imagine living a life with no one to share it with? Someone who has your back in a fight. Someone you can share a meal with. As a fact, the ability to eat together is the first building block of a pride. Lions depend on each other for food. In order for that to happen they must learn to get along.
The more I watched the lonely lioness the more I realized my own problem. I had become like her. I was Lady Liuwa. I was a woman without her pride, her crew, her girls, or her peeps. In my quest to, ‘Never Leave a Sister Behind’, I was leaving myself. As a result, I felt alone, confused, sad, and powerless as I wondered through my days trying to figure out which direction to go. That’s not to say that I am without friends, or people I can’t call, but admittedly, when you are a homebody it’s easy to become a loner at times. Before you know it days, weeks, and months go by before you realize that you have had very little quality connections.
Just like in the wild, an isolated person is the enemy’s greatest prey, and I had become prey. If only he can get us away from the group then can he swarm us with lies and discouragement, convincing us that we are left behind to fend for ourselves. We are meant to have fellowship with each other. There is power in numbers. It’s called reinforcement. When other lions are close enough to hear the distress call of another lion they respond swiftly. Never underestimate the extent of your sisterly involments.
In college, I pledged a sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc, and although that was over 20 years ago there is still a love in my heart for my fellow sisters. Many of them are always there when I call. Membership indeed has its priviliges!
Whenever I am in close fellowship with other women in whom I share a common bond I feel empowered, motivated, energized, and connected.That's because we are divinely joined together. We feed off of each other, but when we are disconnected we become weakened loosing our sense of purpose.
Purpose always involve service to others!
It happened years ago, but I still remember it today. I was having a woe is me moment, and I wanted to have a pity party in the worst way. I sat on my couch fixed to cry and feel sorry for myself. It’s funny now when I think about it, but I felt on the inside of me a strong determination to get deep down into the dumps of despair. I was ready to start my party on the count of three when suddenly the phone rang. It was my friend Lisa calling just to say, hey! Her phone call put a total halt to my party plans. We talked for about an hour about things unrelated to what I thought I was going through. I remember laughing, and just having a great conversation.
After I got off the phone with her I was happy and upbeat. I had forgotten all about that lil pity party, and it was all because someone in my pride was close enough to sense my distress, and act swiftly. That’s a lesson on the importance of reaching out to others even if it’s just to say, “Hey, what’s up?” You could actually save her, and YOU from becoming Lady Liuwa, because when we reach out to others we benefit in the process as well.
How Not to Become Lady Liuwa!
1. Don’t allow yourself to be left behind. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8). The devil is looking for lonely, isolated individuals who have wandered away from the pride, because he knows they are easier to prey upon. Stay connected!
2. Posse up! There is power in numbers. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he fall; for he has not another to help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:10-12) Lions get along well when they work together. They are more powerful. Why? Because they have each other’s back. When there are a lot of mouths to feed in the group they go after bigger prey. They are not intimidated by the size, because they know that together they will overcome.
I watched a group of lions take down a full grown elephant. It was like watching your favorite sports team set up a play that led to winning the game at the sound of the buzzard. It might seem a little gory to get excited over an animal making a kill, but it was the beauty and power of teamwork that had me so excited! There is not an animal alive that lions can't take down as long as they work together. When the team wins everyone parktakes in the celebration!
So, what about us? What wouId happen if we worked together in the same fashion as the lion? Understanding that when we help another we benefit (In HERS is YOURS)? There is not a dream in a sisters heart that is too BIG to conqueor if she is surrounded by those who sees her as an ally, and not as competition. For sure, we will be able to conquer BIGGER dreams!
3. Don’t isolate yourself from those who will tell you the truth. It’s for your own protection. When making a decision that you are not fully confident with, ask advice from those who are not afraid to challenge you, and will give it to you straight. Oftentimes, we are not trying to hear viewpoints contrary to what we have set in our mind to do; therefore, we will isolate or shun away from those who will provide sound judgment.
Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm], But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14 AMP.
4. Don’t be afraid to send out the distress call! Let the pride know you need help! Never fight your battles alone. Get others to fight in faith with you.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
5. Know your purpose, and live it without excuse! God said, before I formed you in the belly I knew you; before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you...Jeremiah 1:5. Living outside of the greatness that is in you will cause you unhappiness, discontentment and confusion. Don't settle until you know what you were born to do.
"The greatest tragedy in life it not death, but a life without a purpose".
~ Myles Munroe.
6. Live Bold, fearless, and focused: Refuse to be denied. The spirit of the lion is relentless. In watching her I never sense that she is afraid only cautious, and alert. When she locks in on what she wants the possibility of death does not deter her from going after her target. No one can stop you, but you!
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6
7. Never stop roaring. WE WERE BORN TO ROAR! Let the world know that you are here, and that you have a reason for being here, and you will not stop or be denied until you have achieved all that God has placed in you to do.
So, where am I now? I will tell you where I am not! I am not roaming about in isolation confused and alone. I have come to honor and respect the power of unity, and the purpose of PrayHers on a much greater level.
I believe God wants us ALL to get a clear, precise, undeniable revelation of how impactful it is for us to be confident in the abilities that He gave us. For us to understand the explosive power that is generated when we are not afraid to work together. For us to know, without a shadow of doubt, what our position and place is in this world. With that knowledge we can, with precision, conqueor any giant that comes before us.
I realize with a much greater revelation that I can’t soar in life without you, and you can’t soar without me. You are my pride. You are PrayHers! #ROAR