I remember my dad teaching me to ride a bike when I was little.
Actually, I wasn’t that little, as fear kept me from asking to be taught for quite some time. It didn’t seem logically possible that my own sense of balance was enough to sustain me on those teetering two wheels. What if I just couldn’t get it, and ended up feeling stupid? What if I hurt myself trying? But as much as I tried to put it off, I knew that in the long term it would be a good thing to know. It did take me a while to learn – but eventually, I just got it. Once I started to think less, and use my natural instincts more, it came easy.
I’ve let fear hold me back from doing a lot of things.
I have a natural interest in acting and performing, yet I never auditioned for parts at school because I was just too shy.
I’ve always liked writing stories, yet I never really believed I could make a career out of it, as much as I wanted to. However when I met my now-husband Michael, he encouraged me to follow my dreams, and with his help and belief in me I was able to land my first job as a cadet journalist at a newspaper.
Fear, or lack of self-belief, can hold us back from discovering the God-given gifts and talents we possess. But in a way, it’s not really about self-belief. It’s about believing that God can strengthen us, ease our fears, and give us the boldness and confidence to follow our dreams.
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that God made you uniquely you, with a special set of qualities no-one else possesses.
How are you going making use of those?
I don’t think we’re necessarily meant to use all our gifts all at the same time, because the seasons of our lives change continually. There are always natural, external limits to what we can do. For example, right now I’m in the season of early parenthood. While it’s a lifelong commitment for sure, there will come a time where my kids are less dependent on me. My current season poses certain limits on my time, just as a career, or relationship, or other circumstances would.
What resources do you have right now, and what do you believe your natural strengths are?
It can be a bit of a journey to discover what they are, especially when people in your life have discouraged you, put you down – or if there have been interruptions to your life outside your control.
But whatever season we’re in, we have opportunities we’ve simply never had before. To exit our comfort zone and discover who we are, what we are capable of, and what God might be leading us to.
The possibilities are endless.
Sitting on that bike was scary the first time I did it. The first job interview wasn’t much easier – or the new school, or first date. But God reminded me that He was with me, and is still with me, giving me the strength and courage I need.
There is never a perfect time.
Is there a ‘bike’ you’re thinking about riding but aren’t sure? It might be as simple as sitting on the rickety seat for a little while, getting a feel for it. It might mean asking someone who’s skilled in cycling for advice on how to hold the handles. It might mean ensuring someone is there to catch you when you fall.
Jesus certainly will.
Why not start with these words from the Bible?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7 NLT)
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13 NLT)
And to finish, an excerpt from Zechariah 4 (MSG):
“The Messenger-Angel again called me to attention. It was like being wakened out of deep sleep.
He said, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top. Seven lamps, each with seven spouts, are set on the bowl. And there are two olive trees, one on either side of the bowl.”
Then I asked the Messenger-Angel, “What does this mean, sir?”
The Messenger-Angel said, “Can’t you tell?”
“No, sir,” I said.
Then he said, “This is God’s Message to Zerubbabel: ‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. ‘So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you’re nothing but a molehill. He’ll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Yes! Yes! Do it!'”
After that, the Word of God came to me: “Zerubbabel started rebuilding this Temple and he will complete it. That will be your confirmation that God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me to you. Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!”
And Zerubbabel did finish the temple God directed him to start building. (For more of this story, see Ezra 6:14–18, and the book of Haggai).
Let no-one despise your day of small beginnings.
Good post…My Michael and I will be beginning the ride of our lives next month, God willing. More details to follow, but God has placed a God sized dream in our hearts and we feel now is the time to YES, Yes do it! Your post, plus today’s Daily Audio Bible online, were additional confirmations in a long line of confirmation over the past 10 months! Thankis for sharing.
PS is that you on the bike? LOVE your hair…
Wow, that sounds exciting!!I looking forward to hearing about it! That’s awesome, I’m so glad God used this and other sources to confirm his will for the dream in your heart! 🙂
PS No not me, I just found it online 🙂 – it is pretty hair!
This is a really encouraging post. I feel like God has put a dream in my heart. It’s something that sort of terrifies me, but also something I’m passionate about and would love to see become a reality. Some of the verses you shared are exactly what I have been reading lately, and the post itself reminded that I’m not the only one that deals with this kind of thing. Thanks!
That’s awesome! I’m praying that God would continue to enlarge the dream that he’s placed in your heart as you walk it out in faith. It’s amazing how he brings all the pieces together isn’t it… God will give you the strength and courage to do what only He can do in you. Blessings,
Thank you for the encouraging words.
Great post. It reminds me that in God, all things are possible.
I can relate to your shyness. I love to sing, but have never had the nerve to sing in front of people. I dream of a career as a novelist, but haven’t taken a serious step in that direction. (I write stuff, but I don’t try to shop it.)
All things are 🙂 May he give us both courage to follow the call He has on our life.
This is so encouraging! Thank you for being His voice to us today, to help us take that first small step. 🙂 Sometimes to keep my little tries from being squashed . . .I don’t tell the ones that despise or nay-say more easily. I wait til I’ve already gotten up and riding awhile! God bless you and all the dreams He is planning to completion in you!
I think that sounds sensible. Our dreams are very personal, and I think it’s wise to reserve them for the ones who will value and encourage us on our journey. Thank you, and God bless you as you take those steps of faith and boldness in Christ 🙂
Thank you for this post 🙂 You’re always so encouraging and inspirational. I’m realizing that I do go through different seasons. A lot of things I miss…..when I was in school I played the flute & piano and I also danced for the Lord. In the early years of my marriage and my son’s life I acted in several community plays & actually had leading roles. Now because of my health and how busy I am with homeschool I don’t do those things. But now I’m trying to write more and blog. I get to do fun crafts and paint.
As much as I’d like to there’s just no way I can do the things I did before and still have time for these new things. But it is hard letting go of the old things and starting something new. Writing my book has been scary and it’s taking a long time….mainly because of fear and lack of time management skills. Also this book is supposed to be my legacy…..sharing with the world the redemption story in an allegorical sort of way….something that may reach people when I’m gone. Being a leading lady in a play won’t leave a legacy…..
it it hard understanding the seasons and knowing when to let go and when to begin….
God bless and love!
Thanks Amber 🙂 It sounds like God has filled each of your seasons with rich, fulfilling opportunities. But yes, as you say, it takes wisdom and perhaps courage to know when God is leading us to the next ‘thing’. It’s great you have that joy, and perspective to take stock of both limits and opportunities in each season – it’s not always easy I find. Sorry to hear of your health struggles – praying for a season of better health for you, and the time/confidence to complete that amazing book! Blessings,
Love this and relate as God has often used Haggai (and Zerubbabel) to speak His truth over my life regarding His calling for me:) Love how the Holy Spirit works.
That’s awesome. I was quite profoundly impacted when I saw the passages come together. God’s word is amazing! May He continue to speak into your life regarding His calling and purposes. Blessings,
Great Post – Reminds me that God has a plan prepared for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
I’m glad you were reminded of that – He sure does! God bless, and thanks for dropping by with this awesome verse 🙂