Discouraged to Encourage

A friend of mine made such an interesting connection when studying Ezra 4. She said the 3 words from that chapter kept sticking out in her mind, as if God was highlighting them for her: discouraged, futile, and afraid. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head. That’s exactly what happens to her when the enemy is attacking her. This is what happens when the enemy attacks me or you.

The next day, I found myself coming back to these three words. I decided to dig in and break it down in a practical sense.

We get discouraged. This can look like many different thoughts: It’s been a year already… You should be so much further along by now… OR Why do you bother trying?… You’ll never be as good as her… You’ll never get it right. Discouragement isn’t pretty.

We get futile. Now, y’all, I have a Master’s degree, but I’m gonna be honest with you. I had to look up what the word futile meant. Here’s the definition: “incapable of producing any useful result; pointless” … You guys, I literally gasped when I read that.

I gasped because I felt as if someone had been watching me my whole life. My mind tends to go this direction at times. Sometimes not even necessarily when things are going terrible, but when they’re going great… Like I’m waiting for the ball to drop. This mindset is no way to live.

We get fearful. Don’t we, though? We do. We worry about our finances, our relationships, the opinions of other people. Fighting fear is a constant battle.

I mentioned to her that it would be wise to have a game plan. Basically, have truth at the forefront of your mind. How do you know what truths to use to guard your heart? Well, just start with the opposite of those 3 words (or any specific lie, for that matter). Here we go.

God is encouraging. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Over and over throughout Scripture He confirms his love for you and me. He tells us He will provide for us. He delights in us. Use these truths to bring encouragement to your heart. (Romans 15:4)

God has given you a purpose. This seems basic. We hear it all the time.  But truly hear me here. God has given you (yes, YOU!) a specific purpose for the building up of His kingdom before you were even born. You have a voice. You matter. You are needed and wanted. You have purpose. (! Corinthians 12: 12-31)

God is loving. Perfect love casts out fear. This verse is gold. Again, it seems basic, but it only seems generic and basic… until we apply it. Then it becomes profound. Then it becomes magnificent. We’ve got to learn to walk in this truth. (1 John 4:18)

When you operate out of God’s love instead of fear from the enemy, peace abounds in your heart. No matter what the circumstance is, you can still have peace. This peace doesn’t exempt you from hard times. However, this peace allows you the mindset of knowing even if your world comes crashing down and you lose everything you hold dear; you know God is still good, and God is still here.

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Share Your Voice: Releasing Fear & Receiving Truth

I know it’s typical and generic. I know it’s terribly cliche. But the end of the this year is making me reflect upon my actions. My actions of 2018. I had some incredible wins this past year, but I also had some setbacks. And sadly, I’m heart broken by them. I’m heart broken by my lack of actions. I’m heart broken that I gave into fear more times than I leaned into truth. I’m heart broken over all the times I held back. 

I held back my words when I could have published blog posts that had the potential to help other moms. I held back videos on health and wellness that could have inspired others to take action towards bettering their health. I held back inviting loved ones to a doTERRA class when it really could have helped their kid’s tummy troubles or respiratory issues. I held back so many blessings, and for that, I am sorry.

Somewhere between changing diapers and school drop offs, I believed the lie that my voice didn’t matter. The lie that there are plenty of mommy blogs and health and wellness platforms, so I didn’t need to keep pursuing mine. I believed the lie that I wasn’t able or worthy to achieve the next level in my doTERRA business. I believed the lie that no one would care about what I had to say or write or create.

And then I thought… who cares? I need to do it anyway!

The truth is, all of those lies are a bunch of bull, and I recognize that, but—stay with me here—even if they were true… I still need to create. I still need to take the time to let my mind wander. I need to take the time to let my fingers roam on the keyboard and catch up with the words inside my head… because it’s been incredibly therapeutic for me. 

This fear and the lies have been robbing me of living out my full potential. It’s robbing me of being the best version of a mother to my children, it’s robbing me of being an exceptional wife to my husband, it’s robbing me of being able to fully connect with friends who are dear to me, and it’s robbing me of the most intimate relationship with my Creator. 

I want to feel free, loved, and joyful. I want you to feel free, loved, and joyful too! But there are days I feel trapped in this fear, unwanted, and discouraged. So, I’m taking the steps necessary to live freely. I’d love to take you on this journey with me. A journey of letting go of fear and receiving the freedom Christ has promised. I’ll share nuggets of truth I pick up along the way, and would love to connect more with you!

Who’s ready to share their voice this year? You story matters!