If the shoe fits…


They hold so much meaning, and God-given dreams have the power to impart knowledge, wisdom, and determination where you might otherwise be lacking. There are a few dreams I have had in my life that have in seasons sustained me, but the most remarkable one, the loudest speaking, the most powerfully compelling one I feel the need to share.

As I opened my eyes to a sun washed yellow morning, the bed seemed crisp and cozy. I liked it there, it was where I wanted to stay, covers over my head, snuggled into a pillow, blanketed in peace. But something urged me to sit up, so I stretched and smiled and let my legs dangle to the side of my bed. Immediately, I saw them. Big black men’s shoes several sizes too large. I was confused. A Father figure stood beside me beckoning me to put them on.

“No.” I didn’t actually say it, but my body language communicated it.
Silently, I argued and pointed dramatically, “Do you see the size of those?!”

He merely smiled and with gentle authority pointed towards the shoes.
I looked at the shoe and pulled up my foot, inspecting the difference in size, thinking to perhaps show Him that there was no way my small foot would fit. He wouldn’t have any of it. He coaxed me off the bed and onto the floor. I stood still, frozen, staunchly unmoving. He wasn’t deterred, nor did He wait. He placed me in the shoes. I looked back at Him helpless, watching how the shoes engulfed my foot. Not only did they not fit, I could have fit a whole shoe-clad foot inside them!


Did I hear Him correctly? He pointed ahead of me and urged me forward.

“But, I’m gonna stumble! I’m gonna fall! I’ll walk right out of the shoes! They do not fit!” I was crying and pleading, I could not do this thing!

“Walk it out until they fit.”

Those words encouraged me. Something broke within my spirit and I found myself moving forward. He walked behind me and assisted me each time I stumbled and fell and all the while encouraged me onwards.

That seems crazy huh? That we could actually walk something into fitting us? But, there are things in my life that I have been led to do that just don’t fit. They don’t feel right, they aren’t looked at favorably, and they just leave me scrambling for that big, sun-soaked bed.
And I’ve been tempted to throw the shoes off, move away from anything resembling a life-form to an island where I can declare a law which states, “No shoes allowed!” Only, I can’t. Because the minute I reach down to release myself from their burdensome awkwardness, His gentle voice speaks, “Walk it out until they fit.”

“But you don’t understand!” I wail. “They look at me, they don’t like my shoes, and question where I bought them or if I should wear them at all! And they have another pair, they say they are the ones You intended for me, and the thing is, Daddy, they fit!”

He is silent.

“Wouldn’t it be easier, Daddy? To wear the shoes they have? Wouldn’t it be easier, more comfortable to just put these clodhoppers in the closet and run instead of stumble all the stinkin’ time!”

Then He speaks, “Easier? Yes. Comfortable? Yes. Would it make them happier with you, less unsure of Me in you? More favorable toward you and My work through you? Yes. But, will it strengthen you? Will you trust me as much? Would your faith believe the impossible and your heart hear My voice beyond the noise? Would you be empowered to stand for Me against the flow no matter how the great the cost? No.”

“So what You’re saying is…?”

“Walk it out.” Oh, that smile. Oh, that overwhelming peace that outdoes the purest yellow light of any sun-washed room! Oh, that loving glint in His eyes that undoes every fear in me.

Maybe this is you… Maybe the shoes He has for you are a little clunky, or maybe they are tight and uncomfortable and need some breaking in? This I know, you alone know the path He’s asked you to walk, and in the end, it isn’t about what others thought or what they believed, it is completely about your obedience – to the hardship, to the pain, or to the rejection. Allegiance requires big steps, unashamed trust, and a heart that only needs One yes.

So, if you see me stumbling a little, wearing shoes that aren’t trendy or anything YOU would ever wear, understand that you aren’t meant to, because I’m wearing the footwear my Daddy picked especially for me!




I was a bench warmer.

I got a front row seat to every game. I had the vantage point of seeing the plays before they were called. I got to crowd-watch and get to know other players on other teams, mostly because I wasn’t a threat. I got to enjoy those moments with the coach when my teammates excelled, and I felt the burden of defeat along side of them. I handed them water bottles when they were exhausted and provided a body to lean against when they were weak. I didn’t feel slighted or second best. I was a bench warmer, and I enjoyed my role.


My blood went cold, and my heart leapt to my chest when I saw the coach jump up from his seat and signal. I watched the look on the players faces and heard the star player begging as she made her way to closer, “Don’t bench me, Coach! Don’t bench me! I got this!” While my voice trembled and echoed in a silent prayer, “Don’t bench her, Coach! Don’t bench her!”

But, the whistle was blown, the look was given, and as I squatted at the table so the statisticians could record my number, I lookedlongingly at my bench. Suddenly nothing felt right anymore. The plays that I had just seen drawn and imagined played suddenly became mine to call, and Icouldn’t remember them! The Coach was trying to get my attention, and I was commanding lunch to stay down. My feet felt heavy and the ball felt awkward and my ADD brain couldn’t handle the activity around me.

So there I was. Bracing myself. “Just get through this play, Leslie!” I begged. “Play and you can go back home!” I barely felt the ball, concentrating all my energies instead on not regurgitating, making sure I was still upright, and looking for some word of direction from my teammates. The flurry of activity was amazing, and voices I recognized screamed out, “Pass it to me, pass the ball!” I strategized and I maneuvered and watched in agony as the ball was snatched and launched in the wrong direction. All the while, trying not to look at the safety of my bench and the discouragement of the star player.

“Go!” the Coach signaled frantically, “Get the ball back!” Almost to the point of tears, I rushed after the opposing team. The missionimpossible theme was playing in my head. Only it wasn’t for me, it was against me. This back and forth went on for quite some time before my substitution ended in a mess of tangled shoelaces at center court. And finally, Praise God, the whistle blew!

I sat back on my bench, resisting the urge to rub it and lie down and cuddle. I was home. Finally. Doing what I did best, cheering and encouraging and watching. I barely even noticed the Coach put his head in his hand after he ushered the now rested star back on the court; I had finished!

Here is the thing about us: the star player and I. We both had practice. We both ran laps and did push ups and learned plays and did drills. Only, she pushed herself, and I merely cooperated, doing the minimum to get by. She wanted to excel and I merely wanted to be a part of the team. She wanted to win, and I just wanted to finish. Needless to say, it showed on the court.

I am a bench warmer.

And the danger of that is, I want to stay a bench warmer. It is far easier for me to watch the game and do what is comfortable than to ever take the court! It’s far easier for me to cheer others on than to hustle and sweat and actually play the game. I don’t want to be the star player, but I want her to win!

Life isn’t much different.

I still long for the comfort of a bench.