I have some fun news to share with you. For the past two and a half years I’ve worked as an on-call radio host for a live talk show. In June we launched my new radio show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson. The program airs every Saturday morning from noon to 1:00 CST (you can also listen online).
Last week my guest was Chrissy Toledo (daughter of author and Pastor Jim Cymbala – Brooklyn Tabernacle and Carol Cymbala, director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir). She shared about her prodigal journey away from God’s heart, and how she found her way home again. This was a powerful show!
If you need a spiritual boost, check out the podcast from that show.
And, I am REALLY excited about this week’s show! Listen in as my guest is syndicated radio host and author Jim Burns. We’ll discuss his great book, “Closer: Devotions to Draw Couples Together.” We had an excellent interview and Jim offered lots of great wisdom for couples. Listen in on KTIS AM 900, or listen online at: www.faith900.com
Today I want to connect with you about the very real phases most of us walk through in order to step out and step into our dreams.
Maybe you’ve read this famous Hudson Taylor quote before. These words inspire me: I have found there are three stages to every great work of God: It is impossible; then it is difficult; then it is done.
I post on the last Thursday of each month about the topic of building a speaking platform. Today I want to explore the idea of when it is okay to share about a personal heartache or trial, and when it is better to hold it for a while.
While I do believe that sometimes God calls us to step up and share a vulnerable story (while we are right in the midst of it all), most of the time wisdom calls us to give it time, to get on the other side of it, and to wipe the dirt off of the spoils from our war.
The thing is, certain types of pain produce amazing testimonies right in the midst of the pain, while other types of heartache require a time of healing and understanding.
For instance, I have heard of parents who have lost a child and who stood up and spoke about their loss with power and conviction only days after their tragedy. And, after hearing their testimony, many came to Christ. Absolutely amazing.
But when it comes to divorce, betrayal, or any kind of relational break down, those messages need time for healing, understanding, and even wisdom about what is best to share, and what is best to hold. Furthermore, when our stories involve other people, we need to be respectful of their story.
I post on the last Thursday of each month, which these days, puts me on holidays. Oh, well. 🙂 My monthly theme is around building a speaking platform.
When was the last time you had a conversation with someone, and something they said about knocked you over? Maybe it was one word or a short phrase or a word picture, but when those words went into your ears, your heart beat faster and maybe your cheeks even felt flush. Does that ever happen to you?
Sometimes those moments happen while watching a movie, reading a book, or listening to a song. Such moments are now-moments when God is speaking to us and we’d do well to slow down and really listen to what the Creator of the Universe is saying to us.
Prior to every new speaking season, I spend some significant time in prayer and I ask God for a few inheritance verses for my upcoming season. And since faith pleases Him, I also ask Him what I can believe Him for – what He wants me to reach up for and lay hold of. Surprisingly, one of the things God asked me to believe Him for was for many more now-words for my audience.
I doubt very many of you will be visiting this blog in light of the holiday but it’s my day to post and I hope to encourage whoever stops by!
I’m scheduled to post on the fourth Thursday of every month. I apologize for being AWOL last month. Between my travels and my work load, I just couldn’t get it done. So sorry.
Today I want to explore the idea of expectations. By definition, expectation is a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
We’ve all felt the pain of disappointment when someone has failed to meet our expectations. Some of our assumptions were legitimate, others, misplaced. Even so, human as we are, we are going to disappoint one another.
I post on the fourth Thursday of every month and I’m thankful to share this time with you. Last month I shared the story of how I got my start in speaking. This month I want us to take a closer look behind the scenes.
In the fall and spring seasons, I travel about three weekends out of four. During the winter months, I drop back to only one or two weekend events per month. Often, as I’m out and about, women share with me how they feel sure God has called them to become a conference speaker. I think that’s wonderful! The world is full of hurting, desperate people and there is enough work to go around for all of us.
I’ll be here on the fourth Thursday of every month to chat with you about the ins and outs of developing a speaking platform. Please feel free to ask questions along the way.
First, please allow me give you a little background on how I got started as a speaker. God built my platform out of the ashes of my pain. When I was a young mom battling a vicious disease (and the financial hardships that followed), I wondered if God had lost my address. My prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling and God seemed especially silent. Then one day a woman from my church called and said the most amazing thing to me:
“Susie, I’ve heard about all of the hardships you and your family are going through and I took those concerns to God in prayer. The Lord showed me a picture of a platform that He’s building with your pain. Lean in and learn everything you can during this time, then you’ll have something to say when you get to the other side of this painful journey.”
That’s all I needed to hear. God was up to something. In spite of the fear, fatigue, and despair that swirled around me, I leaned in. I listened. I took lots of notes. And I trusted God.
One day, out of the blue, I received a call from the leader of a MOPS group. Somehow she had heard about me and wanted me to share my story with her women. I was a weak, scared, and wounded little bird, but God used me in my weakness. And thus began – from very small beginnings – my speaking ministry.
For me, every new stage of growth in this ministry has always been preceded by a deep (and somewhat painful) character cleansing time. I now know to lean in and learn during those refining times so that I can stand strong in the next place He has for me.
That blessed phone call came about 17 years ago and in His wisdom, God has established my platform in pace with the ages of my kids and with the state of my health. Now that my kids are grown and I have the time, I’m running to keep up with it all. I’m represented by a wonderful national agency (Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau) and my platform is steadily growing. I say no to more events than I say yes to, but I have to in order to keep up with my writing and the occasional radio work that I do. It took a while, but now I’ve got some great momentum and to tell you the truth, I’m hanging on to the Vine for dear life!
I tell you all of this to encourage you. If you have a heart to speak…lean in – right where you are – and learn everything you can from your current season of life. Take lots of notes. Notice how God is working all around you. Be a student of God’s Word and a helper of the human condition. Be faithful right where you stand. Be fruitful with what you have. And believe Him for open doors and new opportunities.
God wants to use you more than you want to be used by Him!
Next month my blog topic will be: Hone Your Craft and Humble Yourself.