It’s all too easy to get discouraged when you’re trying something new, isn’t it?
What if they don’t like it?
What if it doesn’t make sense?
What if I’m alone?
What if I fail?
If you’re like me, I tend to only try new things if I know I’ll be good at it. I at least want to be pretty sure I’ll at least be half-decent at it. Looking back, this single fact about my personality is no doubt the reason I haven’t been too adventurous in my life. I’ve never gone bungee jumping or gone skydiving or hiked through unknown places…because lions, tigers, and bears, y’all. Duh!
I like the safe, I like the planned, I like the familiar. We all like to be comfortable, though…right? Just me? Probably not.
When I first had this sudden revelation about the direction I was about to go in, I was terrified. Writing those words down…”I want to write a devotional”…still makes my palms get sweaty. And I’m not a sweaty kinda gal. Putting it on paper made it feel REAL. It was no longer just a thought in my head, it was an outward confirmation that I was either on the brink of some great discovery about a part of me I hadn’t known or I had forgotten, or that I was just downright crazy and in over my head.
If writing it down made me sweat (I’m still getting a little uncomfortable just writing this part of the post!), sharing this new info with my friends or talking it out with someone else was intense.
I’ve pretty much always been a people-pleaser. I generally want to know that the things I do or say or put out there are accepted, appreciated, and loved. I want everyone to be my friend – or at least like me. I like to be the one to keep situations friendly and joyful and I avoid conflict and confrontation as much as possible. (I’m still a Southern girl, though…don’t push my buttons, okay?) Even as a kid, hearing the words “I’m just so disappointed” from my parents was punishment enough for me. My mom even told me when I was little, my dad could just give me “a look” and I’d break down in tears! So when I first started sharing this idea of writing, of sharing my story, there was part of me that was (silently) asking “Does this sound good? Does it sound like me? Does this make sense? Do you like it?”
Thankfully, my friends and family are the greatest cheerleaders. After sharing my idea with one of my friends, I told her that I swear she’d cheer me on if I said I would swim to Jamaica. (Not ever happening, for those of you who may be reading this literally. “Athletic” is not an adjective I choose for myself. Like, ever.) She said, “No, no, I wouldn’t! I’d be realistic!” Secretly, though, I feel like she’d be the first one to go buy me some pool floats just in case I got tired on the way and needed to take a break. Bottom line is, I have a great support system and I know this is a blessing in-and-of itself.
Even with great support, I believe you have to choose to be resolute in your vision. Whether someone else thinks you can or you can’t doesn’t hold as much power as YOU believing that you can. By the time I posted A New Season, the anxiety of “what if no one likes it” or “what if no one reads it” had faded. Why? Because I believe in me. Greater than that, I believe 100% without a doubt that God placed this idea in my heart and the opinion of someone else isn’t going to change that. Support from others is an amazing gift, please don’t hear me say otherwise. I’m just saying that believing in YOURSELF is so much more powerful and impactful for YOU than I think we realize. (Future Kelli, please refer to this specific paragraph when you’re doubting, hesitating, or leaning too heavily on acceptance.)
Fighting those lies we believe about ourselves or make us question ourselves is such an incredibly tough battle. They conjure up all of those what-if questions and we unconsciously start stock-piling doubts in our minds and hearts. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not ____ enough. What if?
Let me tell you this right now. You are enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH. You. Right here. Right now. You are enough. That secret thing in your heart – whether you realize it’s there or it’s waiting for the right moment, undiscovered…you are enough to accomplish it. You are enough to chase it down! Whether it’s to be the mom you always wanted to be, to change your major to take steps towards what you REALLY want to do, to start that weekly group, apply for your dream job, to learn something or teach something new, to sing, to write, to act, to travel, to swim to Jamaica. YOU ARE ENOUGH. (Maybe not the Jamaica thing…unless you have a lot of pool floats.) Whatever your thing is, friend, don’t sit down and wait for someone to carry you to the finish line they think you should cross. Fight for it. It’s in you. I know it is.
Maybe you can’t reach out a take hold of that final picture right now, but I guarantee you can take the first step. What’s the next thing? For me, it’s just putting pen to paper. Okay, more like fingers to the keyboard, but you get the point. It’s still daunting, it’s still uncertain, but I know without a doubt this is what I’m supposed to do. This is what I was created for. When you begin to pursue that thing that feels terrifying and bigger than you and you’re just not even sure how or why or when IT found YOU….you know what’s there? Peace. Purpose. Perseverance. You take that next step and you find it’s not as weird or uncomfortable as you thought it would be. In fact, it feels a little cozy. Still stretching you and making you tip toe out of what you thought comfortable was, but easing you into what was made for you – a custom-fit.
Maybe you’re reading this and saying “Yes! That’s me! I want the custom-fit!” All this sounds great, right? How do we get there?
For me, it all starts with Christ. Knowing who I am in Him, what He thinks of me, and what He calls me to – those things are of the utmost importance. Bottom line – without Him, knowing Him, or being in relationship with Him, I can’t do a single thing. Certainly nothing of lasting value or importance. If I want to live and leave a legacy of faith, family, & home, I’ve got to build a foundation and maintain a healthy relationship on the One who gives those things. And for me, it’s Christ.
So…let’s go back to those what if’s from the beginning – my what if questions – and see what the Bible says in response to those insecurities.
Q: What if they don’t like it?
A: Galatians 1:10 tells us “Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ.” (NIrV)*
Q: What if it doesn’t make sense?
A: “The Lord gives wisdom. Knowledge and understanding come from His mouth.” Proverbs 2:6 (NIrV)*
Q: What if I’m alone?
A: “Do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will hold you safe in my hands. I always do what is right.” – Isaiah 41:10 (NIrV)*
Q: What if I fail?
A: Jeremiah 29:11 says “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, announces the Lord. ‘I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.'” (NIrV)*
There it is. TRUTH in response to lies. If I’m being honest, I don’t always make this my first response – but I know that when I’m facing doubts and fighting lies, I can turn to scripture and battle those lies with the truth of God’s Word. It’s a habit that I’m working on building, so that one day, it’s just automatic. When the voices of the world are loud in my ear or the doubts of my heart are allowing fear to stop me in my tracks, I want the first place I think to run to to be the Lord and to be reminded of who He says I am.
Maybe you’re right here with me – somewhere in the middle. I know the Bible is filled with life-changing, life-giving Truth, but I don’t always seek it out first. Maybe you’re not quite there – either your faith is new and budding or perhaps, this is the first time you’ve really thought about faith or Christ or the Bible at all. Maybe you’re a vet – you’ve been in the trenches, you’ve fought battles far beyond starting a blog, and your Bible is weathered and worn and still holds the saltiness of tears as you’ve prayed and read your way through those pages. Whatever season of faith you’re in, I love that you’re here with me.
I’m typing this from my living room couch and imagining what it would be like to have these extra spaces – the couches, the recliner, the oversized chair, even the floor – filled with each of you as we talk about these truths. (If you’re curious, I’m totally cheesin’ imagining that picture!)
I want these pages of the Lettered Grace Journal to be a place where we can gather together, learn from one another, and encourage each other as we walk through all seasons of our journey. Reminding those around us about the power in finding truth in the Word, comfort in His presence, and that there’s incredible strength when we believe in ourselves and the women we are called and created to be. My goal is to share posts on Fridays (not every Friday JUST yet) to share my story as I grow in the habit of leaning harder into Christ. Growing my faith through reading the Word and spending time in prayer, these posts will, quite simply, be a peek at my journal of what I’m reading, what I’m learning, and how I’m growing along the way. I’d love for you to comment, to engage with one another (and with me!), and to let this be a fun place for us to gather together in the weeks and months ahead! Just like any good, Southern hostess, I’ll have some goodies along the way to share with those of you who stop by, so I hope you do stop by often!
I love that technology allows us to read and grow together – and the accountability always makes the walk a little more fun, doesn’t it? Speaking of goodies, click here for a free printable of November’s Gratitude Challenge! I always liked the idea of keeping a list of gratitudes/blessings during the month of November, but the pressure of posting every day is a little, well…overwhelming. Plus, it can get a little tricky with my heart – am I posting because I’m actually reflective and thankful, or just to keep up and check it off my list? Anywho…I’ve created a FREE printable for us to use together this month! It’s cute, I made it all by myself (woot woot!), and I wanted to share it with you! There’s a handful of scripture about thanksgiving, prompts for gratitude journaling, and get this – if you journal 10 gratitudes each day of November, by December 1st, you’ll have 300 blessings written down! Imagine referring to THAT when you’ve had a bad day! I’ll be doing this challenge right alongside you, friend, and if you want to share and connect on social media, use the hashtag #GratitudeChallengeLG and let’s cheer each other on as we watch our list of blessings grow!
My prayer for you today, friend, is that you find the strength to believe in yourself, the faith to believe in Him, and the courage to take the next step!
See you soon!
* The scriptures used in this post are from the New International Reader Version. It’s a newer version that my girls (8 & 6 years) use and I love it. Less paraphrased than The Message and definitely perfect for new readers, it’s easy to understand and a great resource for studying scripture…whether you’re 6 or (almost) 36. 😉