the lies 2019 taught me

I love looking back on a year and rather than look at how awful (or great) a year was, I look back to reflect on how much I grew and what were the life takeaways.

2019 transformed me in more ways that I could have ever imagined.

In all my 30-something years on this earth, 2019 (next to 2013 when my older brother passed away) was the most difficult year I experienced. AND the craziest part is it had nothing to do with anything outside of me. Thank you, Lord, for a year of good health, no death, no broken friendships, no financial losses, no betrayal, divorce, or major things most of us equate to a bad year.

No, none of these things.

What made this year now my second hardest year of my life was the transformation done INSIDE me, not what was occurring outside of me. But sometimes the internal battles can far outweigh what’s going on around us.

THIS WAS A YEAR OF BATTLE WITHIN MYSELF.

In 2019, Satan tried to flex his power. He showed up. God’s called me to something big, I know that. Just as He has called you as followers of Him to something big. He says in his Word “many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) What does this mean? Some of us get trampled on by Satan and never step into our GREATEST calling or we try to do it all yourself which is a tactic of the enemy. Just as Saul did in the old testament. Saul was called to be king. King over all of Israel and rather than wait on the instruction of the Lord, he tried to do it himself. (1 Samuel 13:1-15) He therefore was overlooked as future king, and that’s when David took his place on the throne.

I don’t want to be overlooked for my major role in this life – my calling.

Sometimes God allows Satan and his army in our lives just as he did in Job’s story in the Bible. God actually “gave permission” (Job 1:12) to Satan to have his chance with Job. He allows things to happen to us to grow us. To strengthen us. To make us stronger than ever before preparing us for something bigger.

In the battle against the enemy, the key is to get stronger and to grow your faith muscle. Not to let the enemy take you out entirely. And for many of us, going through hardships end up discouraging us and taking us out before we ever had the chance to step into our calling. James 1:2-4 encourages us saying “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”

In order for me to step into something bigger, I needed to go to battle and fight off things from my life that have been hindering me. To RELEASE them from my life. It was torturous. It felt at times very defeating. It felt like my whole world was taking a step back from all that I knew to be my comfort. But sometimes you must take a step back in order to plummet you that much further forward.

THIS WAS THE YEAR I FOUGHT THE LIES HOLDING ME BACK.

Lies from the enemy that I wasn’t good enough. Lies of the unknown. Lies that every time my husband would walk out the door and travel for work, that he might leave for something better and never come back and abandon me. Lies that I needed status clout from others in order to feel loved and purposeful. Lies that in order for my life to be satisfied and complete, I needed things to look a certain way. Lies that I should just go back to the way things were and forgo my calling because the way things were, were safe and known. Lies that just because other gals have found what I deemed as success, that there was no room for me at the table. Lies that I had nothing to offer.

These lies affected every area of my life.

In recent years, I left my career as a VP finance boss-babe to pursue God’s calling on my life to write and speak to women. A calling I felt on my heart from the time I was young. I’m blessed to have a husband who provides for me financially and supports my dreams and is consistently inspiring me and encouraging me to live them out.

My husband knows what I’m capable of and has believed in me from day 1.

However, Satan knows what I’m capable of too.

Therefore, he was active with distracting me, discouraging me and ultimately attempting to destroy me. He knows that once God’s power takes over me, that I can leave him trembling in fear and damage his plan for destruction. He knows the impact I can have on women and some women are just waiting to hear from me. The enemy knows that I am the kind of woman that when my feet hit the floor each morning, it will leave him saying “oh no, she’s up.”

Because of the calling on my life, the enemy tried taking me out this past year. And as I drew closer to God, Satan drew closer to me too.

This was a year of RELEASE.

But day by day, the more time I spent with God and in the truth of His word, the more confidence and wisdom I gained. Instead of believing the lies and having them dictate my actions, I began replacing those lies with the truth. I began filtering everything that came my way through the filter of truth not the filter of my hurt. And as I began replacing those lies, I began to experience more freedom.

What happens when you become free, is you become everything God has called you to be for Him.

Remember – Satan is already defeated. He is a defeated foe. When all is said and done, and our short life here on earth is over, Satan loses. Not us. This is why Jesus died on the cross for us. To give us the option of salvation. When God comes back one day to grab His followers, Satan will spend eternity in hell. But his mission while he is still roaming this earth is to “kill, steal, and destroy us”. (John 10:10)

He tried to destroy my dreams, my well-being, my relationships, my self-worth, and most importantly my trust in God. He will try every tactic to get me away from the Lord where he knows that with the Lord’s strength in my corner, I will have the most power and can make the most impact.

Do you know you have POWER and authority to break ANYTHING from your life?

Friends – God gave us authority and power to overcome ANY stronghold, anything holding us back. To break them, to master them, and walk in true freedom and victory. He promises us this in Luke 10:19 – “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”

This year was the most challenging yet most defining. Most painful, yet most overcoming. Most defeating, yet most victorious. Satan is still out there to destroy me, but the wisdom the Lord has bestowed on me – I strive to apply to my life daily. Make no mistake, some days I still lose, but thankfully, God’s “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23) and we have the power and authority at our disposal whenever we choose to fight in any battle.

OUR GREATEST WEAPON IS THE BIBLE. BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE TRUTH RESIDES.

All the lies that consumed me this year, dictating my actions or reactions, controlled me, and stole so many things from me was because I didn’t know how to fight the lies. But now I do. The only way to fight lies is with TRUTH. The very first temptation in history started with Adam and Eve. And do you know what caused the fall of man and sin to enter our world? A lie. A lie from the serpent, Satan himself.

What lies are you telling yourself? What are you believing from your past? What strongholds do you have that are binding you up “choking out the life of God in you?” (Matthew 13:22)

Let this be a year of RELEASE ladies. Trust me, there is freedom on the other side.

Many of us have been trying to go to the next level and trying to do the next thing, but we are tied down to things the enemy has strategically placed in your way to prevent you from taking off. Things that have grounded us to the ground. But God is trying to launch you higher. Those habits, lies, beliefs, insecurities, fears, unforgiveness, scars from your past…they are holding you back from where God is trying to take you.

God isn’t just calling us to fly up in the air and go from one place to the next place. He is calling us to launch us into a whole new atmosphere.

So, it’s time to release what’s holding you back. It might be painful as you face it, but I encourage you to go THROUGH it, not around it, not ignore it, nor try to manipulate it. Rather go through the pain of releasing what is holding you back. Why did Jesus spread mud all over the blind man’s eyes in order to heal his eyes? (John 9:1-12) His healing was MESSY (literally), just as mine was. Don’t let the method or pain of release prevent you from the miracle and freedom of release.

A year ago, today, I would never have believed the freedom that I feel in this moment. But I had to go to battle. I received some battle wounds and bruises along the way, but came out stronger. Girl, you’ve got this. Don’t let the enemy trip you and rip you to shreds any longer. You’re beautiful. You’re brave. You’re a chosen soldier in this horrific battle with a glorious ending.

XO,

Alisha Headley

taking the first step

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!

XoXo

(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)

Lysa TerKeurst
Jamie Ivey
Wendy Blight
Bianca Olthoff