Wearing Your Own Armor by Tracy Joy Jones

Wear Your Own Armor

I first met the incomparable Meg Wilson at a writer’s retreat by the sea. Meg and I were the only early risers, eager to see the sunrise. So each morning, we traipsed down to the beach together, and there on the seashore, God used Meg to change my life.

At the time, I was struggling with some really difficult heart issues and questions about my future and what God had for me. One of those issues had to do with who I was called to be in the kingdom of God. As you probably know, I’ve preached for my parent’s ministry, and I’ve written a blog for many years. Jesus is the passion of life, and He’s part of every conversation. But I also LOVE stories. And when I write stories, I am giddy with joy. It fills my heart instead of depleting it. As soon as I pour out a story, the next story pours in.

Yet it has been hard to value story writing at the same level as preaching sermons. Now, since my week on the beach with Meg, God has unpacked this for me in incredible ways, and I want to share that with you because it’s profound. But in order to get free, I first had to hear what Meg had to say to me.

“You’re trying to wear someone else’s armor,” she said casually as if this wasn’t the moment my entire perspective on my calling shifted.

Of course, I asked her to repeat herself. I needed to hear it again.

“You’re trying to wear Saul’s armor, and you have to figure out how to be David. What has God called you to wear? You can’t say that Saul’s armor had more value because it would have kept David from doing what he was supposed to do if he’d worn it into battle against Goliath. David had to wear his own armor.”

I felt the truth of Meg’s words to the core of my being. My father is the best preacher I have ever heard in my life. If you follow his ministry, undoubtedly your life has been transformed. No one knows the Word like he does, or makes it come alive with revelation and grace. It’s beautiful. My mom is so prophetically practical when she preaches and lives out her faith in a glorious way. Together, they daily touch lives and have impacted so many.

For many years, I thought I had to wear their armor to have maximum effectiveness for the Kingdom of God. The problem was, though I am their daughter, I have a different calling on my life. Trying to wear their armor had left me feeling exhausted and daunted. I knew it didn’t exactly fit, but I blamed my shortcomings rather than recognizing the problem as ill-fitting armor. As long as I was weighed down by my own expectations and incorrect valuing system, I couldn’t do what God had called me to do. And the burden was too heavy.

As the truth of Meg’s words rolled over me in waves, I repented. I asked the Lord to show me what He had for me, and to forgive me for despising my slingshot when He was the one who was going before me. The battle was always God’s, not mine, and not dependent on what my armor looked like.

Here’s what the Lord began to show me when I laid down my parent’s armor…

Jesus spent his ministry telling stories. As my friend Sherri McCready brilliantly put it, “Jesus tested the soil of mens’ hearts with story.” I had to have her repeat that as well. How could I see story as less important when it’s the way Jesus chose to plant the seeds of His ministry? Yes, he preached. Yes, he had times when he was direct and bold, but he also hid the truth of the kingdom in story. He tested people’s hearts to see if they were ready for the full truth, and He trusted that those who had eyes to see and ears to hear would see and hear.

So how did I get this weird idea of what is valuable in the kingdom and what is not?

The immediate effect of laying down my parent’s armor was that my soul felt like it had shed a million pounds. Courage rose inside me to just be me. I stopped worrying about what I looked like walking into my battle. I stopped worrying about my shortcomings. The questions in my heart changed. In fact, they started to line up with the same questions Jesus asked.

In Luke 13:18 in the Message Bible, Jesus asks, “How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? What kind of story can I use?”

Jesus asks this question multiple times. And I ask myself that question daily now. Sometimes the story I’m called to tell is overt and direct. Sometimes the story is something I plant into my children like a seed. Sometimes it is a fairytale by the sea (Second Reads By the Sea). And sometimes it is just the story I live with my life.

But I couldn’t ask the right question until I laid down the armor I wasn’t called to wear.

So how about you? Is there armor you’re wearing because you think it will look more impressive? Are their burdens you’ve taken on because you think that they will be more “valuable” in God’s kingdom? What if your tiny slingshot and five rocks and a willing heart are exactly what is needed to defeat the giant?

Sweet friend, don’t despise the small. Don’t despise what God has put in your hand and who He has called you to be. It’s all you need to slay giants.

Wearing Your Own Armor by Tracy Joy Jones
This picture was taken with Meg that morning on the beach. Do you see the heart in the sun? Because I definitely felt God’s heart that day.

Comments 6

  1. Such a powerful truth. Trying to be someone God hasn’t called us to be can keep us in a place of feeling defeated rather than celebrating who we are as God made us. Great word!

    1. This is my first time on your page. I love this story. We met you long ago at FBC Euless right after your family moved to Texas. Our daughter Tarrah is Bradley’s age exactly (same birthday) and went to LCCS with him. Anyway, we wanted to say hello and thank you for posting this!!

  2. Tracy, YOU touch my heart in such an impactful way! My husband and I have been set free under the anointing of your father’s words but goodness, your stories are imprinted on my heart in only the way YOU can share.
    From the Lego’s and God sitting in your pile to the story you told of the trials you ran up against trying to buy your last home .. And now this one!
    You are a light & I am forever grateful for your words of truth!!

    1. Post

      Elizabeth, your comment made me cry. Thank you for reading along and for taking the time to share this comment. I love that God used this in your life.

  3. Hi there Tracy!

    This is my first time visiting your website/blog…and I am encouraged! You have so much hope and wisdom to offer. What a privilege to see you and hear you in these words, just as our great God made you!

    I am a fan! I’ll look forward to continuing to be a part of your team, even as the Lord grows your story ministry from relative obscurity to renown with the masses!

    In Jesus’ Name,

    1. Post

      Thank you, Roy!!! I’m such a fan of your precious wife, and she has bragged about you for years. Without Mesu, none of this story would have happened. I so look forward to the day when Matt and I can spend time with both of you as well. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. I can’t wait to see what God is doing in your next season as well. Good things are ahead.

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