I thought I was being Punk'd...
Surely Ashton Kutcher was about to jump out like he did on his prank TV show and let me know this was all a mean joke.
I didn't know how to respond. I kept thinking, "why is the Doctor telling me all about epilepsy?"
A month earlier our youngest, Selah, seemingly out of nowhere, collapsed in my arms in a grand mal seizure with lips turning blue.
But I had prayed about it and was 110% sure the neurologist would review all the tests and let us know it was a fluke and she was great.
But that's not what happened. The tests showed other seizure activity and she was diagnosed with epilepsy.
I was crushed.
I didn't understand. I believed God's promises. For years I tried to always do what was right. We had been in full time ministry, loving and serving God, by loving and serving people.
Plus we were in the middle of walking out our faith and being obedient to what the Lord was leading us to do next.
Four months earlier my husband had stepped down as a team pastor to pursue a dream that God put on his heart years ago.
During this season trial after trial, thing after thing kept trying to knock us down.
But this was the final straw. You don't mess with our baby girl (11 yrs old at the time).
This crushing sent me humbly to the Father.
To a place where I was angry and vulnerable, then slowly reassured and restored.
I came out with greater awareness of God's goodness in the valleys.
Of course, I still prefer the mountaintop experiences, but I am thankful for a God who never leaves us, or forsakes us in the pit.
He is a good Father.
The picture above is Selah's medical bracelet. The front is inscribed with a healing declaration and her medical info on the back. This is our way to invite God into the process and mix our faith with her medicine, knowing God can heal however, whenever He wants.
We are believing and standing for complete healing and trusting God each step of the way.
If you are in a valley, feeling crushed by a diagnosis, divorce, disappointment or demotion, I want you to know that you aren't alone. God is with you each step of the way. Invite Him into your journey.
If there is something you are believing for, a promise you are standing on, I would love to pray for you and agree with you in prayer! Just let me know!
You are not alone,
It made me nervous.
I wasn’t sure.
I didn’t know enough.
It was all so new to me.
I had heard the horror-stories.
What if I would break it?
What if it would stop everything?
What if I wasn’t good enough?
What if it would fail?
What if I would fail?
Not long after being hired and implementing some new things, the web department was ready to hand over some responsibilities. On one hand I was glad to be able to take some things off their plate and was honored that they trusted me to do it, but on the other hand it made me nervous.
My response to this scary new opportunity? … I wanted to be trained, have someone to walk me slowly and surely through the process. To get me to the place that it was a sure thing, where I was guaranteed to succeed in this unchartered territory.
A Life-Changing Question
As I shared my apprehension and desire for hand-holding, the web department manager responded with a profound question. He said that whenever he starts to use or do something new, he always asks, “What could I do that would break something and make it unfixable?”
I paused and thought.
That was more than just a technical question. It was a life-changing question and thought-process.
I began thinking of a bunch of different life scenarios and all the things that stop people from living, loving, leading, learning and leaping.
Then, I began thinking of all the things that could be done in those attempts, whether heading in the wrong direction or making a poor decision that would be unfixable. To my surprise the list was short, almost non-existent.
In an age where we glamorize success stories, picture-perfect lives and viral moments, we have become paralyzed at the thought of making mistakes.
We’ve unsuccessfully dealt with loss and hard-knock life by putting up walls and coping mechanisms that keep us safe, but end up keeping us trapped. We want the 30-day money-back guarantee for life and living. We want the full-proof path. The road with the least detours, disappointments and demotions. We want to play it safe, no matter how unsatisfactory or unfulfilling it may be.
So today friend, I want to ask you two questions:
I think you may find that the things that are holding you back, shouldn’t be. Most often, deep down at the root, it’s probably fear that is holding you back.
Fear is a liar. It’s the monster under the bed or in the back of the closet that never shows its face when daddy is tucking us in and completely disappears when the light is on.
Today I want you to shine the light.
Open the door wide.
Scream at the invisible monsters under your bed.
Then go for it.
Even if you make a mistake, it’s ok friend. Don’t let fear hold you back from living, learning, leaping or loving any more.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
I think we should start rewarding people who try, not just those who succeed. Those who jump, leap, plunge or even tiptoe into the scary water of change. Especially those who do things scared with heart thumping, armpits sweating, and hands trembling.
Do it scared friend.
Your Biggest Cheerleader,
Caveat: Friend, if the fear that is holding you back is actually from a "red-flag," internal gut warning, Holy Spirit prompting, wisdom, or common sense, you should listen to that divine warning system and take some more time to explore options and decide. I'm talking about the fear of the "what if's," unknowns, and stepping out of our comfort zones that hold us back for no reason.
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, speaker, coach, confidante and cheerleader to help you birth your dreams.
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