Stand Up: Defending Your Calling with Lystra Wilson
Have you experienced persecution from the very people who ought to be cheering you on toward your calling? Do you feel God has given you a purpose that stands in direct opposition to what the people around you consider to be “acceptable”?
If so, you’re not alone. This week’s Publishing Secrets guest, Lystra Wilson, has experienced hurt and rejection, even from within the church. But with God’s help, she’s been able to step into her purpose – and now she helps other women do the same. If you’re tired of being beaten down, let Lystra encourage you to stand up for yourself and be the person God created you to be.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How experiencing rejection and loneliness led Lystra to reach out to others who felt outcasted and alone
- How to push through and let go of baggage from the past
- The importance of standing up for what you believe to be your calling from God – even if it means facing persecution
- The root cause of procrastination and how to overcome it
- Lystra’s advice for those who find it hard to stay hopeful in the face of persecution or doubts
Be sure to read all the way to the end for important links and information!
It’s so easy to get boxed in, and to let others dictate who we are and what we do. But Lystra Wilson is here to encourage you to resist. To stand up for yourself and who God called you to be. It’s your own journey, and you are the one that’s accountable for the gifts, skills, and talents that God has placed in you. So don’t be afraid to be different, to blaze your own trail and to chart your own course.
You see, Lystra has also had to battle this. She’s had to fight to be distinctly different, and now she’s on a mission to encourage others to step into the fullness of who God has called them to be. God has a plan for you, and your calling is much bigger than anything anyone could ever imagine. So let Lystra encourage you not to give up on yourself. No matter how hard things seem, the best is yet to come.
Rejection Starts Early
Lystra says her experience with rejection started from the very beginning of her life. As a baby, she was put up for adoption. Though she was adopted into a wonderful Christian family who raised her in the Pentecostal Church, she always had a sense of being somewhat on the outside.
“In a Pentecostal Church, there’s lots of activity,” she explains. “Lots of loud music, lots of people shouting and being free to be who they are. But somewhere in the midst of that, I always felt kind of tied up.”
Though she watched others being free to jump, raise their hands, sing, or stand up and testify, she often felt embarrassed to do the same. Or, if she did work up the courage to step up and lead, she found herself facing backlash or even ridicule.
On top of that, she looked very different from her adoptive family, and always felt like she didn’t quite fit in with other children her age. But as she grew up, Lystra found ways to help others who felt the same way.
“It just became my thing over time that I would make friends with the underdog, the person who was eating lunch by themselves, the kid at church who didn’t have a bunch of friends circled around them,” she recalls. “I would go to that person and start talking to them and make friends with them. Somehow, I guess I felt I could relate or because I didn’t want them to be by themselves. I was willing to be their friend.
Now, Lystra realizes this is one of her gifts: wanted to help people find healing, happiness, and purpose, free from the burdens and loneliness of their pasts.
Carrying Too Much Baggage
In Lystra’s experience, Satan often tries to take circumstances we’ve been through – things like abuse or neglect that have happened to us – and turn them into our identity. When we hold onto the bitterness and pain of those circumstances and think of them as our identity, it can hold us captive, blocking our prayers and our spiritual potential.
“All of that baggage you’re holding onto is taking space in your soul,” Lystra adds. “So you don’t have room for beauty. You don’t have room for the good things, the identity, the love of God and the fruit of the Spirit.”
She explains that the way to clear out the pain and bitterness and make room for goodness is to recognize the difference between what the Enemy is doing and what God’s plan is. When we succeed at shifting our mindset in this way, it empowers us to push through the barriers that are in our path.
To illustrate, Lystra gives the example of a traveler carrying far too many bags. “It’s like you’re going to the airport and you’ve got five or six bags you’re trying to roll around,” she says. “The end result of that is you’re exhausted… But at the end of the day, if you were to drop the baggage, you might have enjoyed your trip.”
Think about it: what joys of life have you missed because you were too busy carrying other baggage? What can you do to let some of that burden go, so you’ll be free to pursue your calling and realize your potential?
Lystra’s desire to see people set free from their baggage eventually led her to publish her book, Five-Fold Females, which helps women identify their gifts for ministry and step into leadership. She explains that many women in the church have been rejected as leaders despite being gifted and called by God.
“I wrote the book to help women who were being persecuted and held out of leadership positions,” Lystra says. “Titles that they feel called to in their soul, but they were not ‘allowed’ by men to hold these offices because of a couple of scriptures that people are taking out of context.”
Lystra believes it’s essential that we study the Bible in context, so we can understand what the Scriptures are really saying within the context of when they were written. She wants women to view themselves as God created them – not as other people have told them they must be.
“That’s why I wrote the book: to help those women who may have grown up in those various denominations and were told they couldn’t be leaders, and so they’ve never examined that they might be,” she concludes. “So examine yourself – and not only not from this perspective, what people say you can’t do, but from the perspective of what God created you to do.”
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you had an idea of what your calling might be, but it just didn’t seem acceptable in your circles. As a result, you’ve squashed that desire, believing it must not really be your calling.
If that’s you, Lystra wants to remind you that your calling isn’t always going to be popular. History is full of amazing leaders who were persecuted and killed for the work they were called to accomplish. Like those leaders, you might need to take a revolutionary stand for change. Or you may simply need to move to a new environment – maybe even a new church – where you will no longer be stifled.
However, this kind of action is also often discouraged in Christian circles. Many people who move to a new church experience guilt-tripping and being called “church-hoppers.” But sometimes, as Lystra has seen, leaving may be the best thing you can do. “God did not call me to be in a box and taped up where other people cannot experience His glory through me,” she says.
While her intention is never to break up families or ministries, Lystra does believe it’s important for us to remember that the permission to be who God has created us to be comes from God alone – not other people’s approval.
Defeating the Procrastination Giant
Lystra says that while the writing of her book only took about a month, getting it published was another story. Not only did she face external challenges – including persecution from fellow Christians – but she also had to battle her own fears that were holding her back.
“There’s something about making something permanent that makes you feel like you’re so vulnerable out there for people to say you’re wrong, or for people to persecute you in some kind of way,” Lystra explains. “And so the enemy wants to put that fear in you and raise that up, so that you believe it so much that you never do it.”
That’s why Lystra says procrastination is rooted in fear. Specifically, the fear of “What if?” Sometimes it’s the fear of what others will think when they read it. Other times it’s the fear of failure and not living up to your calling. And sometimes it’s the fear of succeeding and having to move on and find something else to fill the void left by the project you’ve been working on for so long.
Lystra compares those “what if” fears with the story of David and Goliath. Just as none of the Israelite soldiers wanted to take on the giant Goliath, most of us would prefer to avoid our “what if”s. But, like David, we need to learn to run toward our fears instead.
“You have to push past your inner fear of what people are going to say, because the fear of people, the fear of man, it’s a false fear,” Lystra explains. “Because most of the time, people will celebrate the thing that you are most afraid of.”
Despite her own fears and family crises, Lystra was able to push through by trusting that God had called her to publish this book because it was important. She pictured herself as a sort of David, championing the cause of the women she had been called to help. Though it meant sacrificing sleep and facing tough challenges, she knew she was working for the greater cause of God’s Kingdom – and that was enough to keep her going.
The Enemy Is Afraid of YOU
Maybe you find yourself in a similar place. You’ve tried to step into your calling and the true identity of who God created you to be, but you’ve fallen under attack because of it. Now you’re tired, weary, and finding it hard to stay positive and hopeful.
If that’s you, you’re not alone. For those who have suffered rejection, abandonment, or feeling like they aren’t good enough, Lystra offers encouragement and hope: you can heal from past hurts, move into your calling, and fulfill the purpose God has in store for you.
“If you continue to get hit, you continue to get stolen from – the enemy’s attempts to steal, kill, and destroy keep hitting your front door – then you know that you have something valuable,” Lystra says. “You know that you have gold inside. You have something that is not just for your own self and your family, but it’s for the world. You have something that’s not going to just affect your life, but it’s going to affect generations inside of you. And that’s the part that the enemy wants to stop.”
When you push through that fear and step into your calling with God’s help, you have the power to affect not only your own life, but also the lives of others for generations to come.
Born, raised, and still residing in beautiful Southern California, Lystra Aloha Lani Wilson is Mom to three dynamic entrepreneurs and Nani to four gifted grandchildren. She has vast wisdom regarding relationships, family dynamics, and is raising prophetic toddlers who know Jesus. She has a passion for seeing people healed and living in freedom, through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It is her personal mission to assist others to walk in their God-given Purpose on this earth.
Lystra is a successful Entrepreneur, starting her first small business at the age of 12. Today, she manages four small businesses and is the CEO of a non-profit corporation, which she founded. Her gifts of Administration, Leadership and Organization fuel her passion toward Kingdom Businesses and Entrepreneurs, to this very day.
Lystra is a kaleidoscope of creativity and has been writing and editing, professionally, since the age of 15. She is a Ghost Writer and also writes poetry, short stories, devotionals, magazine articles, and online blog posts. She has published many online works and was a contributing author for two Zoe Life Devotionals. She published her first solo book in May of 2020, entitled Get Real: Healing Your Identity and Unlocking Your Purpose. With this book, she took Amazon’s #1 Best-selling Author slot on launch day in the categories of “Christian Discipleship” and “Christian Counseling and Recovery.” She has also authored a workbook, due to be released in the spring of 2022, to accompany the book already published by her pastor, Five-fold Females. Her second solo book, on the subject of the Courts of Heaven, should be released later in 2022. Look for many more published works from this Anointed Scribe!
Today, Lystra is an Ordained Associate Pastor and an Anointed Teacher of the Word of God, with a calling as an Apostle, and there is much more to come! She inspires people all over the world with her messages, through Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (HSBN), her many social media outlets (listed below) and her Women’s Ministry, Women Inspire Women. Don’t sleep on this Sister in Christ, she is tearing down strongholds and breaking into new territory for the Kingdom of God and for women all over the world!