Have you ever gone through a period in life that was really trying? You didn’t think you’d make it out?
I’m not talking about ending your life, but rather it affected you so much, you thought all that would remain was a skeleton of your former self.
I had been through a season like that. My season was filled with health problems and then add in anxiety, depression and I felt like I had been through a war zone.
The thing is, if I had been through a war zone, I could proudly display my wounds and scars. Anxiety and depression make you want to put on a mask and deeply hide that you ever suffered from them.
After 4 years of battle, God nudged me to start writing. I remember the day and I remember my reaction. Are you kidding me? Insert a crazy laugh.
I had been journaling for the last few years, but those were my private thoughts. I didn’t necessarily want to share out loud. Some of those thoughts were too raw, too authentic.
You know what I mean?
I snubbed God for a few months, and when it entered into my thoughts again I chuckled, and pushed it back down into oblivion…or at least I thought so.
A few months later, a friend of mine was dealing with depression and anxiety, I would text her and send her messages. Those messages, she later told me, were her life line during those stormy days. The words I scribed to her were light in her darkest times.
God did a 180 on me. I finally realized that I couldn’t suffocate the nudge any longer.
Honestly, I was afraid. Who was I, and what did I have to say that was unique?
Here’s the point:
Does that mean as soon as I signed up with God to minister, everything became perfect? No actually I felt more resistance and more doubt than I ever felt before.
What I have noticed is when you say yes to God, it doesn’t mean you feel confident and have all the answers, but God will be your final answer. He will give you what you need, when you need it, and He will guide you.
The basis of this journey was stepping out in faith and trust. You need both, especially on those days when doubt and fear are waging.
We all have gifts that God has given us. We all have this little voice in our head that likes to compare us with others. That voice gets stronger when you step out doing God’s work.
The passages that really spurred me on to work can be found here. Matthew 25:14-30
I had always thought about this parable in regards to money, but then I heard it again by a pastor who used our spiritual gifts as the object in the parable.
If I have gifts that others could be served by, give God glory, and I waste them, it affects us all. However, if I use them to bring glory to God and bolster others’ faith, we all get the blessings.
With this act of stepping out, God gives me more responsibility.
Matthew 25:21 (NLT) “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]’ ”
Did the responsibility part just make your stomach turn?
As I’m blogging, the Lord is opening more doors of opportunity to me. I’m hearing from others about the gift I have and the encouragement I have given them. I’m humbled to believe God is using me far beyond my expectations. He’s giving me more responsibility which can turn into more souls for Him.
Those nudges are scary, but if God is nudging you to step out, don’t be afraid. He has some great things in store for you!
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years.
She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can find her blog @unmaskingthemess.com.