The new year is before us and many of us feel inspired to take it on and accomplish new goals and dreams. For some, the adventure of achieving goals and dreams can be exciting and motivating. For others, the new year can feel daunting and overwhelming. Many of us wonder where to begin.
For me, all it took was a step, one that seemed almost insignificant but in actuality changed the direction of my life. Like some of you, I was a mid-twenties chick with a big heart and a lot of determination to do something mighty for the Lord. Although I had the heart and determination, there were a few giants that stood before me. I guess really there was only one giant but he always showed up with his squad. This giant went by the name of fear. It was fear that hindered me from speaking up and out and it was fear that hindered me from stepping up and out. It was fear that made me feel like I was incapable and inadequate. Sadly, it was fear that took God’s grace out of the picture and replaced it with self-sufficiency.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
It was fear that I had to come face to face with when I decided to take a first step, which led to another, which led to another, and eventually lead me to the creation of The She Laughs Project. The first step? Starting a personal blog. For you writers out there, it may seem like no big deal, but for me this was scary. I compare my call to writing to that of Moses when he was commanded by the Lord to speak in front of the most powerful leader in the world during his time (Exodus 3:10-14). He didn’t like speaking, he didn’t feel adequate to speak and he even had a stuttering problem. Yup, that’s me when it comes to writing. I realize now that it causes me to rely on the Holy Spirit and to trust in God’s hand, not mine. I heard this incredible message by Steven Furtick recently that pointed out that God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh, told him Pharaoh would say no and yet continued to have him go back, all to bring glory to God.
“And I will make Pharaoh’s heart hard, and multiply My signs and My wonders (miracles) in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not listen to you, and I shall lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts [like a defensive army, tribe by tribe], My people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment (the plagues). The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” Exodus 7:3-5
I realized that maybe, just maybe, God was asking me to write, not for my glory but for his. I can roll with that!
Maybe for you, that thing you are afraid to start, because you don’t think you can do it, is not because you have it all together but because God wants to show you his goodness and bring glory to his name.
I will always treasure the night we held our She Laughs launch party. I was driving home from the event thinking about all the incredible women in the area that I had just met with all of the God calls on their lives and thinking over the previous year and all the steps that had lead me there and I realized in that moment, that if I had not started a personal blog, She Laughs would not have come to life. You see, it was actually only one month after starting my blog that I was sitting on my couch reading my daily devotional which happened to be Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” It was there with my bible open on my lap that I believe God conceived The She Laughs Project in my heart. I couldn’t move away from the words “She Laughs” and I knew there was something significant about those two words. Over the years of 2015 and 2016, each step I continued to take took me closer to where we are today. But it still all started with that single step.
I want to encourage you girls that one step is ALL it takes, one towards God, towards your fear, towards the unknown. I want you to know that when I first started my blog, I only ever thought it would be a blog that I would read and maybe even my mom. In no way, shape, or form could I have imagined it becoming a global community. I think sometimes God wants to see if we will act in faith. Like Peter and the boat, he wants to see if we will step out onto the water and fix our eyes on him.
“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:28
It’s when we step out that he lights the path and as he lights the path, we continue to see where we are to walk.
So in 2017, I pray that you are willing to get out of the boat and put your faith and trust in the One who secures your path. No matter how small or big you feel it may be, just STEP. You never know where it may lead you!
If you feel called to write maybe you are called to step by starting a blog or writing in a journal daily. Maybe you are called to step by sharing your writing through social media. If you feel called to create, maybe you are called to step by giving your art to friends and family, or by entering a craft show, posting your art on social media, or starting a shop. If you feel called to do social or missional work, maybe you are called to step by starting volunteer work in your local church or community outreaches, maybe by interning at a non-profit or by raising awareness through social media or other artistic avenues. If you feel called to start a business, maybe you are called to take a step by starting to learn from webinars, or by meeting with someone who is doing what you hope to do one day, or by taking a class or interning with a local company.
It all comes down to this. Whatever you feel is IN YOU, there is a step BEFORE YOU.