So about three months or so ago I met with a friend that I felt like God had connected me with and we chatted about life and past experiences. The relationship was new and we were still getting to know each other. I also had something I felt lead by God to present to her. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go or even if I was going to bring it up. I came prepared with the materials and info I wanted to share but I prayed for God to open the door if this idea or plan was meant to be. As we talked, more and more there were so many things that we had in common and so many moments I felt God nudging me to share this with her. I presented this devotional that I felt would be great for us to do together and felt like it would lead to another opportunity for us to do ministry together. I was so grateful that she was just as excited as I was to do this devotional together and to see where it take us.
Now here we are, the devotional is completed. And it was amazing. It was one of the most amazing devotionals I’ve ever completed. What was so crazy is the last few weeks of the devotional we were both feeling this tug or push from God to step out; to try something new with someone new. I can honestly say this is probably the first time on my journey of trying new things that I didn’t instantly feel fear. I actually haven’t felt fearful one time. I have felt motivated and empowered. Putting yourself out there can be a lot. It can be scary. It can be emotional. But starting this blog and creating social media accounts where I share my personal thoughts or what I feel like God is sharing with me was scary initially. Sometimes it still is but it has helped me get to this moment right here. A moment where I feel more confident in branching off into something new because I worked the muscle of confidence and let my faith be louder than my fear.
As my friend and I are working through the start of this new project, I started thinking about the challenges that could and will come along with what we are doing. Challenges like time (we are wives and moms and we volunteer in ministry) and financial challenges to invest in ourselves; our future. I feel like no matter what you are doing in life there are bound to be some challenges attached to it. But here is what I learned: challenges don’t mean that you shouldn’t do it and challenges aren’t always bad. When I first started blogging my major challenges were time and what people would think of what I was sharing (mental challenge). I thought on more occasions than I can count– people are going to be like “Who does she think she is?” But I had to one, be intentional about my time because I felt like the blog was important. I knew God didn’t put this idea, these thoughts and these feelings inside of me just for me to sit on them and not try to help someone else. Two, I had to learn not to care about what people would say or think. It was not for me to worry about. If you are doing something from your heart and you feel like you were lead to do something to help or bless someone why does it matter what someone else thinks about that? Like how can people look down on or be upset about someone spreading positivity and love? We all know people who do have those feelings of negativity but those people have their own issues and internal work to address.
The good thing about challenges is when they show up it shows you how serious you are about something. Are you going to let a hiccup here or some frustration there deter you or are you going to work through those interruptions? If I had let all of the challenges and changes life threw at me after I started my blog and started sharing on social media with others stop me I don’t believe I would be where I am today. And I had some huge challenges thrown at me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. But if it wasn’t for me making the choice (and God’s strength) to push through those tough moments I would still be in that head space of wondering what people would think and operating from a place of fear. I would have taken all of the frustration, confusion and pain as a sign that sharing my story or sharing what was in my heart was not a good risk to take and not only would I have hindered myself, I would have gotten in the way of God using me to help someone. Another thing I’ve learned is every time I pushed past those obstacles, some of them being internal struggles, God has shown me that I was on the right track. When I stepped outside of myself and my own reservations I have always gotten feed back from someone who needed to hear what I wrote or what I shared. Those moments of confirmation further encouraged and motivated me to look past my own feelings or the hurdles I encountered and to keep going.
I looked up the definition of the word challenge and thought “Wow!” Challenge: an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof; to dispute the truth or validity of. Challenges are meant to push us to learn more and to seek the truth of something! How else will we learn the truth about ourselves and what we are capable of if we aren’t tested; if we aren’t pushed? Allow obstacles and challenges to change your mind set. When you are working on or through something or stepping into something new and things start to get difficult say to yourself “Ok let’s find out the truth of the matter! Challenge accepted!” Don’t let defeat sneak in. Don’t let fear over power you. Believe that what’s happening in the moment is meant to take you to greater in your life, in your job, in your relationships. You will never learn what’s on the other side until you embrace the things that create friction and mold you into your best self. Even God encourages being tested or challenged to prove the truth in what He’s saying. In Malachi 3:10 says He’s speaking of bringing tithe into the store house and the verse ends with Him saying “I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” WHEW! So just know to get to your truth you will have to be tested and challenged and pushed but it will be so worth it in the end. The blessings on the other side are HUGE! #CHALLENGEACCEPTED