About Me

Monday, September 25, 2017

FEAR OF FAILURE VS. FEAR OF SUCCESS

Fear paralyzed me. I didn’t want to disappoint God or others. As a new writer, I was catapulted into the literary world. My first job was writing a column for an online website. One month later I was asked to be the managing editor of that website. I knew nothing about uploading articles and graphics. The founder of the site, also a literary agent believed in me and taught me the basics. I’m still learning how to navigate the site, but I’m more confident.
One year into my job, I became a submissions reader, responsible for forwarding book proposals to the agent and sending pass letters for those that did not meet the requirements. Now I’m a junior literary agent, all in less than two years. My knees are shaking, and my stomach is in my throat because I don’t want to fail God or my clients.

Fear of failure is not a new feeling for me. Life is filled with failure. School, relationships, jobs. I expect to fail, especially when I try something new.
 Through the Word of God, I learned I could overcome any obstacle because I have the power of Christ in me. So why do I fear?
As a child, my biological father told me I would amount to nothing. He was abusive and called me an animal. If my earthly father did not believe in me why would a holy God? I had a mindset to always expect failure.
 I wrestled daily with the truth of the Word. The lies I believed were deeply rooted. The Word took hold in my heart and destroyed the lies.  The transformation did not happen overnight.
How did the fear dissolve?
 I recited these verses daily.

“even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4 ESV

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

I said to myself, If God chose me before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless knowing everything I’ve done and will do, salvation has nothing to do with my works. He must truly love me. The shackles loosened and fear of failure dissipated.
I believe the Word and know I have the power to overcome. God proves Himself faithful over and over.
Gods power in me conquered the fear to speak, teach, write, and go places I never thought I could.
He led me to Honduras, Togo, Africa, the dark streets of the inner city, and speaking platforms. The fear of failure was gone, or so I thought. God had another lesson for me.
People would say I’m successful. I teach at writer’s conferences, ladies retreats, and small business’.  I acknowledge that only God can enable me to accomplish these tasks. I claim this verse daily.
 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)
When I looked at what God was doing in and through me, I got frightened. I feared success.
Questions whirled through my head,
What if I don’t want the spotlight on me?
What if someone in the audience confronts me with opposing views?
Will success make me prideful?
Will I fail God or someone I love?
I pondered these questions and realized— fear of success is fear of failure wrapped in a pretty package of pride. (click to tweet)
 If I truly believe God’s power works in and through me, how can I fail? If I operate in the Spirit and give God all the glory, fear should be eradicated, right? 

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV

Pride tried to control me again. I ministered in my power, and the fear returned. I looked to my inability and not to God’s perfect ability in me. I put pleasing people ahead of pleasing God. I wanted man's acceptance more than my Heavenly Fathers.
I demanded perfection from myself so that I wouldn’t fail God or people. When I did make a mistake, I would beat myself up.

“Forgive me, Lord for taking over again. Help me draw on your power.”
I realized that my fear, no matter how pretty the package it’s wrapped in, is distrust in God and His promises.
God has called each of us for a purpose,
 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
He will help us accomplish the work he has ordained for us.
I have the following verse hanging in my office to remind me that God empowers me, I need not fear failure or success.
 “Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; he will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. 1 Chronicles 28:20 TLB
Do you fear failure or success? God’s perfect love drives out all fear. Will you join me in trusting Gods Word when fear rear’s it’s ugly head? 
Join the conversation.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WHEN CHURCH HURTS-MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE BELIEVER

"Christians should NEVER be depressed." a friend said to me.
"Yes, we have the mind of Christ." I foolishly agreed.
Then mental illness hit close to home.
I became depressed. Nothing helped. Prayer, confession, praise, not even memorizing the Word of God lifted the cloud completely. 
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which affects serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can affect mood and social behavior, appetite, and digestion, sleep, memory and function.
My mind of Christ was clouded and confused.
I was prescribed a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and feel much better.
If I don't take care of myself, Depression takes over.
I'm in the Word daily, sing praise songs, pray to my Abba continually, and I eat healthier foods. This keeps me focused and joyful.
I know many believers who have fibromyalgia or another illness that affects their mood and mind.

Last week, I drove a dear friend to the hospital, she had suicidal thoughts and was very depressed. She was told her Depakote or Valporic Acid levels were severely low.
Her medications were adjusted and now she feels fine.
She loves Jesus with all her heart.  She fights her bipolar illness with prayer, meditation, and memorizing the Word. 

Two churches shunned her because they found out about her diagnosis. She left the churches heartbroken, feeling ashamed.
I have seen this dear friend lead others to Christ, sacrifice her last meal for someone, and drive miles out of the way to give rides to those without cars. She is a powerful prayer warrior and miracles happen around her.
Mental illness seems to be a taboo subject in many churches. If a person walks in with cancer, diabetes, or any other illness or disease no one questions. 
Mental illness seems to throw some believers into a tailspin.
They don't know how to react. I did not understand it until It affected my life.
The Bible is not silent about mental illness.
David, a man after God's own heart, was depressed.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?  Psalm 43:5 NIV
The psalmist wrote is the psalms of Asaph
My body and mind may waste away,
    but God remains the foundation of my life
 and my inheritance forever. Psalm 73:26 GW


Any illness is caused by the fall, including mental illness. A disease does not just attack the body and leave the brain alone- it attacks everything.
"When Adam and Eve exercised their free will and chose to sin against God, the world was affected forever.
I no longer believe the lie that Christians are immune to mental illness.
I know God can instantly heal if it is His will. He may also choose to wait until we get to Heaven.
Meanwhile, I pray that I will be loving and kind to those who suffer in silence.
May I be a testimony of God's power and grace as I cling to His Word & prayer.

Do you know someone who suffers from a mental illness?
What do you think about mental illness and the believer?
Join the conversation.