After my last blog post, I felt overwhelmed and humbled by the positive feedback. It was a HUGE step of faith to share a personal season of my life. I wasn’t quite sure how people would respond.
I want to thank everyone for their comments and those who opened up about their own story. We all have a story, and sometimes reading or listening to someone else’s, can bring hope and reassurance, that we are not alone and we can draw courage from one another.
When I first thought about blogging, I had wrestled with it because I was crippled with fear and self-doubt.
Why would anyone want to read my story??
Most people don’t know this about me, but this fear stemmed from my childhood. I was a victim of bullying, and as a result of that bullying, I was robbed—of my voice and of any confidence. Over time, this spilled into other areas of my life—and my adult life.
I always used to feel incompetent to communicate in front of a large group of people. My voice would start to shake and my heart would race, then I would turn red with embarrassment because I was afraid that people would notice how nervous I was. I know this happens to others, too, however, the bully from my childhood would echo in my head.
From the outside no one knew how much I struggled with this, with my confidence.
When God spoke to me to start writing years ago, I was scared shitless—excuse the French! I couldn’t believe He would even consider that I could. But God kept prompting me. And prompting me. And prompting me. You get the picture. So, I obeyed.
When I started, my writing sounded like my six-year-old son had written it. No joke! That’s how I saw my first attempts. Because after all these years of fear saying: ‘you can’t do that!’, ‘who do you think you are?’, I didn’t think I could put my life into words and out into the world.
And yet, I can, and I have.
It’s been difficult, I’m not going to lie. Just because God impressed on me to do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy. I haven’t just whipped up my last post out of the blue in a couple of hours. For some people it might be that easy. For me, writing is a constant discipline like fitness the more you do something the better you become, writing has been mentally and emotionally challenging, a fight to get over my nerves, to change my mindset of what I had believed about myself: that I sounded stupid and people would laugh at me.
This has been my inner battle: to believe the truth of what God has spoken to me versus listening to the lies of how incapable I was and what I had experienced in the past.
So I continually speak out the promises God has given me especially in times of doubt. I ponder on words that have been prophesied over me as a reminder of all that God can do through me.
Another thing that held me back was comparing myself to others because comparison will always rob us from stepping out!
I read other people’s blogs and theirs sound ten times better than mine. I would start to role play in my mind “I can’t do it”
I’m also married to a very gifted communicator, so I would compare my writing to my husband’s, which made me feel worse. I felt more unqualified because I was not at his level. I kept putting it off to write until a friend of mine spoke these words:
“Jo what you have to say is different to Az you have a story of your own.”
That shifted my mindset from nah to yes! I have my own story to tell and my own unique way of communicating it.
My previous two posts I probably had over 50 or more drafts. Thank God for supportive friends who have kept me accountable and honest.
Some days I wanted to cry because I felt inadequate, but two of my close friends kept encouraging me, pushing me to write. Don’t give up!
It’s been a good reminder—a vital one—to surround myself with good company, people who have believed in me more than I have believed in myself; people who cheer me on.
I still have a looooong way to go with my writing but it’s a start that counts and stepping out of my comfort zone. It is rewarding when an act of obedience bears fruit.
So, my encouragement is: If you have been feeling a nudge from God to do something that is extraordinary, trust your instincts and step out in faith even if it means to do it afraid. I was scared as hell—still am, some days!
God sees our potential in what we can become, rather than who we are not.