faithful living

Before the Rooster’s Crow

I have been thinking a lot about Peter’s denial of Jesus. I can relate to what drove Peter to the three denials before the rooster’s crow.

Fear.

He was afraid of being persecuted by those who believed differently than he did.

I may not be facing a threat to my life like Peter, but I have experienced a paralyzing fear of what others will think or say in response to my testimony. Our country has become so divisive and so focused on people being offended by each other. I worried assumptions will be made about me.

It took me a long, long time to start my blog, even though God put it on my heart years ago. Why? Because I am keenly aware that I have friends who don’t believe in God or were once believers who have since turned away.

The truth is, I have been scared…of reactions. I have been afraid of being lumped in with the radical “Christians” who are widely displayed in our media. So many times I see reports of what “Christians” are doing, and I think—that’s not like me. That’s not like my church. That’s not like my Christian support system.

It pains me that Christianity is not always represented in the way I believe a life of Christian faith should be lived, based on my understanding of God’s Word. It saddens me that this causes others to miss out on what could be. It makes me angry that I have used this as an excuse not to act.

I have come to realize that when I cower and shy away from God’s purposes out of fear, in a way, I AM forfeiting my life. I am keeping myself from living in the abundance of God’s grace right here, right now.

I may not have used the words “I don’t know him” outright, but I denied others the chance to read my testimony—the chance to see how I know Jesus in my life. Why? Because I was afraid of upsetting the perceived balance of things or ruffling a few feathers?

James 4:17 says “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Here’s what I know…

I believe in God, the Father Almighty.

And I believe in His Son Jesus Christ who died so that I may truly live.

I believe I have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. The veil has been torn!

I believe God is good.

I believe God is love.

I believe God is my strength when I am weak. I cannot image going through my recent struggles without my faith.

I believe in God’s whispers on my heart.

I believe God has plans for us.

I believe in relationship with Him is essential.

I believe there will always be questions and that things aren’t cut and dry.

I believe God can take broken things and make them beautiful.

I believe faith is a precious, ongoing journey.

I believe my life is better with God.

Let’s get real–How many of us allow a need for approval from man to keep us from truly doing God’s work? Don’t we, Christians, have a responsibility to grow His kingdom in our own ways?

This is my way. To write. To allow a glimpse into this one woman’s journey in faith. And to encourage others to grow in faith. Not by force. Not by guilt. By allowing them to see His profound impact on my life and hoping, somehow, they will think “Wow, I want some of that!”

I don’t know all the answers.

Maybe these are just the ramblings of a girl, her thoughts and prayers.

But I believe.

And I believe I have to share that fact.

For me.

For God.

And if I somehow reach someone, even one person, to God be the praise!

In Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis says “I refuse to live as half of myself because other people can’t handle all of me.”

I have hidden my light in the past.

Because I have been afraid of how people will respond to it.

Because I didn’t believe, deep down, that I am deserving of the gift.

But I am.

And I don’t have to be afraid.

Ask yourself…

What whispers has God put on your heart, but you turn away from them out of fear?

In what ways are you not being your whole self?

What is one thing you can do today to be purposeful in your faith?

It is time to breakup with fear. It is time to shine bright.

I’ll be praying for you.

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