A couple years ago, the Lord gave me a message that paralleled my own physical condition at the time. I was not only pregnant with my third child, Skyla Destiny, I was pregnant with a dream. Just like a baby starts as a tiny seed in the womb, so did this God-sized dream. The Lord spoke to me about the vision of Refresh years before and it grew in my heart. Similar to the first trimester of pregnancy, there was something living inside of me that not many could see, but I was fully aware. As I nurtured the seed, it grew, took shape and formed into something ready to come out and impact the world around it. And just like giving birth to my sweet baby Skyla, this dream was ready to come out and turn into a living, breathing reality.
Today, I find myself in a new season: the toddler stage. The word “toddler” is defined in the dictionary as “a young child who is just beginning to walk.” I personally describe this stage as “all together cuteness mixed with extreme exhaustion” (insert big-eyed emoji). When Skyla is out of her crib in the morning, it is all hands on deck! I typically sense my motherly alertness level rise and there is an underlying awareness that at anytime there could be a major catastrophe or messy disaster. Some days, I find myself in a perpetual state of strain until it is time for bed again. Ironically, I can see the parallel once again of this dream the Lord has birthed. Like a toddler just beginning to take her first steps and find her voice, I can see Refresh in a season of foundation laying. Not a day goes by without a heightened sense of the what-ifs, feelings of being overwhelmed, all mixed with total exhilaration. This tiny bundle of love has seemed to become one of my greatest joys and biggest challenges all rolled into one. The Lord has been leading and teaching me how to navigate this season and readjust for a new stride.
Now it is here, and along with it the constant demands, drowning cries, and needs of this living, breathing dream, you can see it's future. You know there are still many seasons and years ahead for this tiny toddler. You can see the vision of 5, 10, and even 15 years down the road, yet the reality of the daily grind seems to overshadow the thoughts of the future. Why is it that we are so short sighted? So quick to forget?
So how do we navigate this? When I asked the Lord this questions, I felt Him respond like this, 'remain faithful in the slow and steady while preparing for the wild and out of control'. Every time I have another child, we adjust our lifestyle. Everything seems to change. The budget changes. The way we structure our day changes. What I do with my free time changes (like I had any before). Put another way, priorities simply change. In the same way, the birth of a new vision will necessitate a lifestyle adjustment. This might mean saying ‘no’ more often, rearranging a daily routine, or sacrificing some spare time. Things need to be reworked to nurture the spiritual toddler the Lord has birthed through you. Life is not sustainable without changes. Staying faithful in the slow and steady is not always the easiest phase, but is where the Lord can continually chisel and challenge our hearts to expand for His great plans. Do not despise small beginnings or the slow and steady work of the Lord. This is where life is cultivated.
Giving birth is truly one of the most miraculous experiences of my life. Yet with it comes my greatest responsibility. Life requires action. I must press on.
Lord, I trust you and know that YOUR plans are far greater than the daily tasks I find overwhelming. I believe You today for a renewed strength. I ask you Father, to expand my borders and increase my capacity, that I may learn the unforced rhythms of your grace. Lord, I know that with new life comes new action, so help me Lord to raise these dreams to be fully grown and accomplish all that You intend. May we run and not grow weary, let us walk and not faint. Teach us O Lord to trust you more.
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:28-31
More about Sarah Birkbeck
Sarah is a wife, mommy of three and the founder of Refresh. Her heart to see women collide with their God-given destiny propelled her to pioneer this ministry five years ago. She loves a house full of people and that is just where it all began, her living room. As she gathered a small group of her closest friends, she had a vision to go deep. Not knowing what the outcome would be or how it would all unfold at the time, it was an effort to simply obey what the Lord had asked. Since 2012, Refresh has expanded to the place it is today and continues to welcome others to join the sisterhood. Her prayer for this next season is to create a foundation and build for growth. She deeply believes this journey is not about us and we simply need to obey and keep moving, activating women for eternity's sake. Find out more about how Refresh started by watching a short video HERE.