Taking the first step into something new can be terrifying. Especially when it’s something completely unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. Its easy to doubt yourself during these times. But did you know that even heroes of the Bible doubted themselves before they stepped into something new? Allow me to share with you my own story of taking steps of faith as well as share a hero’s story from the Bible.
This past month, I had the opportunity to attend the She Speaks Christian Women’s Writing Conference right here in my backyard in Charlotte. It was 3-day writing, speaking, and leading conference full of 750+ other like- minded gals all pursuing their passion. Like me, most were new and unfamiliar to this.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts about how I left my VP corporate career in finance 2 years ago to pursue a passion on my heart for women. A passion that’s been on my heart since I was a little girl. That day two years ago, I was full of excitement, yet even more full of fear, because I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I had NO IDEA where to start. But mostly I thought WHO AM I to step out of everything I’ve ever known and influence women?
It was roller coaster of emotions. Some of the questions I wrestled with myself:
- who is going to listen to me?
- what exactly do I have to give that is unique enough to share with other women?
- where do I even start?
I have always been blessed with a lot of amazing girlfriends, as I am without a doubt, a girl’s girl. I’ve always had girlfriends confide in me with issues they were going through. And I’ve been able to create a space of no judgement able to give sound advice. But yet I still wrestled with wondering what business did I have speaking to them about LIFE and encouraging them with my not so perfect decisions I’ve made in my past? I didn’t feel I had the qualifications to step into this new calling.
I felt unequipped, unqualified, and inadequate.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past 2 years, I said myself “this new chapter in my life was too unknown and too unfamiliar, so I was just going to go back into the finance industry and pick up my career where I left off.” But then every time this happened, God divinely and intentionally pulled my heart back in. I KNEW without a doubt I was to pursue this passion of working with women. Not to mention, I had a husband that gave me a wide open canvas of freedom to do whatever my heart wanted. And I’m not just talking about him working hard and providing for me financially in order to do so…which I’m forever grateful for. But bless his heart, he has listened for countless hours about all the new ideas fresh on my mind and then me changing my ideas week after week. And every attempt to take a small baby step usually involved tears like a baby too. And my sweet husband was along for the ride. (I love you bubba)
My first actual step was posting my first blog post. I know this may seem simple for some of you. But ladies – it took me 18 months to do that. 18 MONTHS! I remember my hand was shaking when I hit the publish button. And I’m pretty sure only 3 people read that first post. My husband, mom and dad. HA!
That first step of obedience into what God was calling me into, was an important step because I realized God was with me even in the small baby step of posting my first blog post. Sometimes we wait and wait for a sign or hope that God will roll out a red carpet from Heaven to tell us what to do next. That He’ll lay it all out in an organized way. But what if God is just waiting for us to take the first step? And then the next step, and every step after that with Him by our side? And the areas you feel weak or scared, what if He gave you ALL that you would need to accomplish the work for Him?
An example in the Bible of one who doubted taking the first step was Moses. Moses didn’t feel adequate enough either. Yes, the hero Moses. He felt insecure and didn’t think He was the person for the task God had called him to. When we think of the life of Moses, we think of the parting of the Red Sea. Leading the Israelites through the wilderness. Receiving the 10 commandments. Just to name some of the few significant things he did for God.
But before Moses started his ministry, he questioned his own ability. He had no idea the Red Sea was going to part or that he was going to be one of the pillars of faith in the Bible. He didn’t know that for generations and centuries after him, that we would know his name.
When God met Moses at the burning bush and told him He had called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, do you know what Moses responses was? Exodus 4:10 says that Moses pleaded with the Lord saying “Oh Lord, I am not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
Moses was doubting his own ability. God replied to him in Verses 11-12 “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see, or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?” Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
WOW! The Moses we all know as a hero of the Bible doubted himself too asking God the same questions I wrestled with, “why me?” He didn’t feel qualified. He even goes a step further in Verse 13 and says “Lord, please send anyone else.”
It’s so easy for us to think these characters of the Bible just went out with courage and confidence easily and never had any doubt in their mind because we know the end of the story. If we look at this scenario from the eyes of Moses, we realize that he didn’t know all those things were going to happen. Just like myself, all Moses knew is that God was calling him to do something. He didn’t know how it was going to end up.
Where in your life do you feel God is calling you? Where do you feel inadequate? Maybe you are a new wife and a new mom and feel like you don’t know what you are doing? Maybe you don’t feel like seeking that promotion at work or switching careers because you don’t feel like you’re qualified. Or perhaps you are settling in a relationship where you know God has called you elsewhere, but you’re too scared to take the step to get out.
I spent far too long feeling this way. Letting the lies of the enemy dictate me not taking steps. I let fear hold me from taking the small first step. It’s about taking each day and giving it to God, and taking each step with him. I realized as I began taking each step. God met me right there leading me and guiding me through every small step, every fear, every wall, every doubt, every lie, every moment on this journey.
I know that the conference I attended was God’s preparation to have me step out into my calling. I was nervous, but also felt like God equipped me for it the past 6 months as I’ve been taking baby steps leading up to the conference. Yes, God knew my brokenness, my imperfect life, my bad choices, my hurts, and all my weaknesses.
God kept saying to me, ‘Alisha, I’m going to use every single aspect of your life and use it to help others. What the enemy meant for evil to hurt you, I am going to turn it around and use it for the greater good and for my glory. “For I have plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Scripture promises us in 2 Peter 1:3 that “by His divine power, God has give us everything we need.” Isaiah 41:10 says “don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Ladies, do you hear what God says in His word to us? We are called to His purpose. It might not be without trials and a fight along the way, but He has big plans for us, He has equipped us, giving us everything we need, and will strengthen us and be with us, and we WILL be victorious. These are God’s PROMISES to us! It’s time we STEP into these promises.
I stepped out in faith last month to attend a conference I’d never been to, in an industry I’ve never been a part of, with a group of women I’ve never met. I was welcomed with an overflowing amount of open arms. I met amazing influencers, authors, speakers, publishers, editors, agents and Bible teachers. I gained so much knowledge and new friendships that I’ll keep in my pocket for a lifetime. Through the conference, I was given the opportunity to became a freelance writer for three large Christian sites (www.iBelieve.com, www.Christianity.com, www.Crosswalk.com). And my very first published article as a writer went live this past week. (click on this link to view published article)
If I never took the step, this opportunity would have never opened up for me.
God knows the plan, even though I don’t. He knew the plan for Moses, even though Moses didn’t. Our job is to just follow Him in obedience ONE STEP AT A TIME. I can’t wait to see God continue to move in my life and part the sea for me as I continue to take one step at a time into what He has called me to do. And although I have NO IDEA what I’m doing, I’m just going to do the next thing. Because thankfully, our God sure knows what to do!
Be encouraged if you are struggling with the feeling that you are called but unequipped, unqualified, inadequate, that you would let God meet you exactly where you are and that He will make a way for you. Trust him in the next step girl. You got this!
(below are a few pictures from the conference including some of my favorite authors who were speakers at the event: www.lysaterkeurst.com, www.jamieivey.com, www.wendyblight.com, www.biancaolthoff.com)