Check out the all new episode of Balm for the Soul with Tammy Nicole Glover podcast available on Anchor, Spotify and Google Podcast.
One of the things that appealed to me about being a writer was the idea of not being seen. It’s not really the writer that get’s the attention, it’s the story. I don’t enjoy the spotlight. I’d much rather stay comfortably behind the scenes, in my little shell. However, the more I stepped out into the writing world, the more I realized I had to be seen. I had to promote my work and people like to know a little bit about the author of whatever story or article they’re reading. I get it, I really do but it’s uncomfortable for me.
Even after being on social media for a few years now, I still freak out with every new Facebook friend, Twitter and blog follower. I always feel too exposed and I worry if all my flaws and open wounds are sufficiently hidden. My prayers started to change from, “Lord, please take me higher,” to “Lord, please hide me.”
To my disappointment, the response I continue to get is, “you are the light of the world.” As if that wasn’t enough, I’m always led to the scripture, “in the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
Is there really no other way to glorify God than by others seeing Him inside of us? This is a huge problem for me because I have to admit that I don’t feel worthy to be seen. I haven’t completely healed from the wounds of my past and now everyone will know that I really don’t have it all together. The horror and shame of it all!
With every post or article I publish, I can hear a voice saying, “no one likes you. No one will ever want you. You’re ugly and worthless. Just give up now before you get your feelings hurt.”
That voice has taunted me and bullied me for as long as I can remember. I’ve allowed it to keep me from doing so much of what God has called me to do and it’s time for it to stop. Confronting that voice isn’t easy and it certainly doesn’t feel good but if I don’t, no one will ever get to see how God can heal and restore. There are too many people who are being beat down by that same voice. They need to know that even with all our faults and scars, He still has a plan for us. I have to allow my life serve as a testimony to that. If God can use me to encourage others, He can certainly use others to do amazing things too. It’s not for my glory but for His that I have to be seen.
Although the valley is dark and terrifying things keep jumping out at you, don’t stop walking through it. It’s not the time to become paralyzed with fear, nor is it the time to contemplate the fairness of your situation. When you are in the valley, you must keep your focus on God’s promises. As He directs your path give Him praise because on the other side He has an amazing blessing prepared just for you. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from what God has planned for you. Go through and get your reward.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4 NIV
I’ve done all that I can do. I’ve prayed, I’ve fasted, I’ve immersed myself in the Word of God but still nothing has changed. It actually feels as if things have gotten worse. I’m afraid this is too much for me to bear. I don’t know what else to do. What am I forgetting?
Yes, I remember. I forgot to give the Lord Almighty praise. I’ve been so caught up in my problems that I forgot that God has been carrying me all along. When I didn’t know how I would make it out of the bed and carry on, it was God that gave me the strength. When I didn’t think I would ever stop crying, it was God who comforted me. When I was so afraid that I couldn’t think clearly, it was God who guided me.
Lord, You are the source of my strength, comfort and wisdom. I will trust You and praise You. Thank You for seeing me through every situation I face. Thank You for the encouragement to continue to press ahead. Thank You for loving me and providing for all my needs. Nothing is too hard for You and nothing is greater than You. This battle has already been won. All I have to do now is to thank You for the victory.
“Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11 NIV
This week is about fear of loss. A few years ago, my father, my rock and my best friend became ill. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever experienced. I didn’t admit to anyone how scared I was because I felt I had to be strong and positive for everyone. The thought of possibly losing him was unbearable. I took my fears to God and decided to keep a praise journal. It helped me focus on what I was thankful for instead of what I was afraid of. On the day my father passed away, I wrote an entry that I’d like to share. I hope it encourages others who are dealing with loss.
“Well, the thing that I’ve been dreading for so long has finally happened. My father has finally given up his fight. Although, I miss him so much, I know he is in a better place. He is home with You, Lord. In spite of my grief, Lord, I thank You. Thank you for taking him home with You where there is no more suffering. Thank You for surrounding me with loving friends and family and I thank You for Your Holy Spirit that comforts me. Lord, I also want to thank You in advance for Your strength. I know that You are still with me. Praise be to God!”
We will all experience loss at some point in our lives. Yes, it hurts and it’s traumatic but it shouldn’t be something we fear, not when we know that we have a God who has promised to be with us even in our sorrows. God never runs out of strength and He is willing to provide as much of it as we need.
“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13 NIV
I know it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted something new. It has been a rough couple of weeks but I’m back. With that being said, this month’s theme is fear. This week I’d like to talk about the fear of the struggle.
When God has called you to do something, it can be exciting and scary but because it’s God and nothing is impossible for Him, you do it. You don’t think about all of the hard work and the struggles that you’ll face trying to do it until rejection hits. You shake off the first rejection, the second and even the third but when the tenth rejection hits you start to pause and rethink things. Every new battle leaves you a bit weaker and it starts chipping away at your courage. You think, I can’t take not one more beat down. You’re officially afraid of the struggle. You don’t know if the next battle or the next heartbreak will be the one to do you in.
Of course you can’t admit this to anyone. Christians aren’t supposed to waver in their faith and be afraid. After all, we walk by faith and not by sight. We’re supposed to call things that be not into existence. What will people think if you show your weakness?
The thing is, we are weak. It’s Christ within us that makes us strong. It’s Jesus that we must refocus on. If God promised something, He will do it. We just have to keep pressing forward. Yes, the struggle is real and it hurts but you will survive this.
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ.” Philippians 3:13-14 NIV