Sitting around the dining room table, all of us interns were facing one another, sharing some of our deepest dreams. The question had been asked, “If you could do anything, what would you do? No, really, what would you do?”
A smile came to my lips. My heart fluttered a bit. It was so easy. I didn’t even have to think about it. I knew what I dreamed of doing. I had dreamed of it for quite some time now.
“Write girl’s bible studies.” The words spilled out of my mouth. Everyone smiled around me, nodding because they all knew this was a desire of my heart.
“How are you going to do that? How are you working towards that now?” Great question.
“Um…” I stuttered. “I guess I could actually start writing some things down. Start studying. Start thinking of what I want to write.” (See I am a total dreamer, but when it comes to actually doing it, it takes me forever. If ever. Totally unlike my husband who, when he has an idea, shoots out of the gate to get it accomplished. Total opposites. Isn’t it great!?)
And so it began. Two years ago I began working on the dream of writing. I began dreaming and planning. I began sharing it with others, and as I did, I was floored by their supportive responses and how they prayed for me.
Tears come to my eyes now as I am seeing it all come together.
Right around New Year’s of this year, my mentor from Maui called me and asked if I’d co-author a book with her for young adult women.
As we began to talk about it—the vision for the book—I couldn’t believe this was happening. It was the exact bible study I had wanted to write when I first started to dream of it, but instead of doing it in a bible study format—we decided to write it as a non-fiction book with discussion questions after each chapter. It seemed so perfect. Easy (not the writing process, certainly, but us coming together to write on this very topic), right, and totally what the Lord was leading us to do.
We are still in the early stages of this coming to fruition, but I can tell you it’s been a thrilling & terrifying adventure already. Well, maybe terrifying is a bit exaggerated. (But it sounds so good next to another “t” word.) It’s been incredible to see what God is doing. But it also has exposed sin in my heart.
Here’s what I’ve learned about myself (that I already knew, but it’s another layer being exposed)—I fear man. If you know me, that’s no new news for you. But I do. I fear their approval of me—or rather their lack of approval. I fear not living up to their expectations, or letting them down, or annoying them or getting into conflict with them.
What if they don’t like it? What if I ask too many questions? What if I’m rejected? What if they aren’t for me? What if I fail? What if, what if, what if.
I’ve had this ugly sin in my heart forever. Really. Since I learned that there was such thing as fear of man, I’ve struggled with it. Yes, it’s gotten better throughout the years. But it seems that the Lord is stripping me of it one layer at a time. And here’s another layer.
I know without a shadow of doubt that God has led me here—He has put a yearning in my heart to write. To be vulnerable. To be raw. To share truth. So that young women can fall in love with, trust fully and adore our Almighty and Awesome Savior. I want to pour into a generation—to water them with His word, to shower them with His grace. God has done amazing things already—and He has brought me to this place to write.
And so I’m at this crossroad. To write or to run. To trust or to doubt. To have faith or to fear.
Following His leading takes courage. He has not called us to a life of comfortability, but a life of risk. A life that puts our lives on the line, while resting in the truth that He put His life on the line first. He does not call us to anything He has not already done.
A life lived fully for Him calls for courage.
I choose to be brave.
I choose to obey.
I choose to press into Jesus and let Him lead the way. I am available. I am willing. I am walking.
And I am rejoicing that not only has He led me here, but He also is using it to rid me of my fear of man.
Rip it away Jesus. Make me more like You. Help me to be so in awe of You, to fear You alone, that I don’t fear others.
Beloved, has God led you to a place where you are rejoicing, and yet trembling at the same time? It’s okay. He is with you. He holds you. You are His. He rejoices over you and arms you for battle. He intercedes for you always. He is your Helper.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” || Isaiah 41:10 ESV
Thank you Alyssa! You are such a blessing. I love your heart for Jesus and it spills out in each blog post. I am struggling with these same issues and it is nice to know I am not alone. I will pray for both of our insecurities.
This is amazing because just 2 nights ago I felt God calling me to the ministry with XXXCHURCH and I’m so eager to be involved with them, even if that means moving to CA! I’m looking into mission trips and I was feeling the fear of “What if I don’t get enough funding and fail to go? What if I desperately want to be a part of this ministry but they don’t think I qualify?, etc.” How encouraging it was to read your blog and remember that God is bigger than me and if it’s His will then He will provide a way!
you are amazing!!!
i fear man, too. i fear a lot of things and that’s one thing we Christians need the most…courage despite fear. action based in truth despite fear. love despite fear. it’s so hard…but it’s what life is all about. *sigh*
Thank you for sharing Alyssa! Many times I experience the same thing like you. Great vision from God yet I trembled because all I see is me and my capability. Too many what ifs. Your post is truly encouraging. Keep writing, I know many lives have been blessed through your obedience.
I have been praying for a mentor, someone to guide me in my walk with The Lord as I am discovering who I am in Him, and someone to encourage me when I am falling into my doubt. I didn’t feel like anyone was being brought into my life until I read this post! It is speaking directly to my situation! I have this desire to do amazing things but I am not doing anything because of my fear of man. As a senior in college graduating in May I don’t know what is next and I am falling into fear. I want to follow The Lord but I’m not doing anything because of my doubt! This post has helped me see that someone is conquering the same things as me and God is using you in amazing ways! It is so encouraging and I have bookmarked this page to allow it to continue to encourage me! Thank you I am praying for you!
Whatever books that you co-author or write by yourself, I will definitely buy and recommend to everyone that I know! Thank you for your vulnerability, your words, and your faith in God:)