The other day I was reading an article by one of my favorite bloggers Elisa Pulliam of More To Be Ministry. If you haven’t checked out Elisa’s blog or the More To Be Ministry page You Should! As a mentor of teen girls I love it! She also has resources for Teen Girls & Moms of Teen Girls on More To Be. Seriously I can’t get enough… I’m a More To Be fangirl.
On Elisa’s blog she answered some questions from Charrissa Steyn about Facing Your Fears With Faith. I was inspired by Elisa’s answers. I felt like she was inside my head! At the end of her post she challenged other bloggers to answer the questions as well, so I decided to go for it.
Below you will find the questions created by Charissa Steyn & I have answered them as best I can. Thanks for reading & go by and check out Elisa’s & Charissa’s pages when you have a chance! You can find Elisa Pulliam at www.elisapulliam.com More To Be Ministry at www.moretobe.com and Charissa Steyn at www.charissasteyn.com.
Part of seeing life as an adventure means we are prepared for danger, for risks, for obstacles, for challenges. We must realize there will be times when we want to stop, run away, turn back, or give up. Could you give us some specific instances in your life when you wanted to turn back or give up?
There have been many times that I have wanted to turn back or give up. Unfortunately that is a pattern for me. I remember learning in school about the “Fight or Flight” instinctual response that we all have when we are under heavy stress or in a scary situation. My response is usually “Flight”.
An example that instantly comes to mind is actually getting married. It was about 6 months before our scheduled wedding date and I started having second thoughts, not because I didn’t love him or had doubts about him, but because I had doubts about myself.
My parents filed for divorce when I was 18 years old and it was hard. I was devastated and I never wanted to go through something like that. I began to doubt myself and was scared for the future. Would I just end of divorced like my parents? Could I actually be married to someone for the rest of my life? After several weeks filled with questions, self-doubt, and a lot of prayer & counsel, I came to the realization that this engagement & marriage was of God. We said “I Do” in June & now after almost 9 years of marriage I can honestly say I cannot image my life without my husband.
Also, what were/are some of the challenges and risks you’ve encountered when it comes to your business, mentoring ministry, motherhood/family life, etc?
Family & Motherhood have been a huge challenge for me. I had an ideal in my head of the type of mother I wanted to be, which included staying at home with my children. After 2 years of staying at home with our oldest daughter I learned a lot about myself, the most important was that God did not make me to be a stay at home mom. I felt worthless not being able to be this mom that I wanted to be, but over time I’ve learned to accept how God made me. I am actually a better mom to my girls when I work & then spend my time at home focused on them.
Mentoring has also presented many challenges & risks. Sharing my heart with the girls I teach and mentor has been difficult. Sharing my personal testimony with them was terrifying, but it helped to build trust and begin some open & honest conversations that needed to happen. I have had some girls that I mentor share some very personal things with me. Some of these personal things are very serious & I had no experience with them. I am so thankful for amazing resources & people to refer them to so they could get the help that they needed.
Could you share with us some of the general internal and external obstacles you’ve faced and are facing when it comes to pursuing the God-given dreams on your heart?
Internally I am dealing with self-doubt. This is a continuing battle that I have fought my entire life. I am my own worst critic and I tend to think that nothing I do is good enough or worthy of any praise that I receive. I am very fearful of rejection as well, which creates a huge obstacle when it comes to promoting my blog.
The main external obstacle that I deal with is time. Being a wife, mom, working full time, blogging, teaching Sunday school, being a Youth Worker, & directing a Youth Drama Team (all of which I feel called to do) can be difficult to manage. Time management would already be a problem for most people with all of these activities; it is even more difficult for me because I have Attention Deficit Disorder.
How have you learned to overcome and battle these fears? Any wisdom or resources you can share with us?
- My prayer journal is a constant reminder of how God answers prayers, not in our timing but in His. I have a journal entry from my first anniversary that I go back to often. I had woken up that morning & taken a pregnancy test that had come back negative. It was the 3rd or 4th that had come back negative in over a month. I had been so sure that time that I was pregnant & my prayer entry was so sad. I poured my heart out to God & asked him for strength and guidance. I told Him that I knew it was His timing that mattered, not mine. I prayed for him to help us. I love reading this entry just because I know how that prayer was answered. Our first daughter was born exactly 9 months to the day that I wrote that journal entry.
- When I become anxious or fearful I focus more on His word. I find it so comforting to find verses that deal with what I am going through. I am a very visual person, so I find it helpful to post those verses in places I spend a lot of time in. My favorite verse to battle my fear & anxieties is Exodus 14:14, in fact it is posted in my kitchen. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
- I also spend more in depth time in prayer. After I have spent some serious time in deep prayer, giving everything over to God and asking Him to guide me & give me strength, I feel like a weight has been lifted. It’s like therapy!
Can you give us some examples of times you’ve moved forward and taken action (even though you were afraid!) and seen God do amazing things?
I was very scared to volunteer to teach my Junior High Girls Sunday School Class. We were separating our two Youth Sunday School Classes into five and teachers were needed. I was already helping out with the Youth on Wednesday Nights and felt God calling me to volunteer to teach. I was scared to say anything though. I worried about whether I knew enough about the bible, if the girls would like my teaching style, even if I would have enough time.
I finally decided to go talk to our Youth Pastor about it and he encouraged me to teach. He was already praying that I would volunteer because he felt that God wanted me in the position. I began teaching and I am so glad I did. I love my class! I have been so blessed by all of them throughout the past few years and I have had the opportunity to be a part of their spiritual growth. It is through my class that God called me to mentor several of them one on one & even to blog. I look forward to seeing how God wants to use me through this ministry.
What do you do when faced with a challenge? How do you combat fear with faith? I would love to hear from you!