Do Not Be Afraid!

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Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12

I have dreamed of being a writer and speaker for as long as I can remember. God put this strong desire to write on my heart. I was afraid for a long time to step out of my comfort zone. I was worried that my writing would stink and people would ridicule me.

In college, I wrote a term paper for a class. I was so proud of that paper, but soon realized my writing was so bad the instructor lowered my grade by a whole grade level! My instructor said my research was fabulous, but I needed serious help in my grammar, punctuation, and writing style. Every time I thought about writing, I would remember her comments and instantly feel like there was no way I could be a writer.

Six years ago my twin brother, Mark, died. I was heartbroken. I felt strongly that I needed to give his eulogy. I was scared, but I worked on it for hours. I prayed. God took over, and I know he worked through me to help me honor my brother. Afterwards, a few people who knew my dream came up to me and told me I had the gift of speaking, and I needed to do something about it.

A few years passed and I started volunteering for an organization called “Good Grief.” The group helps children and their families deal with the death of a loved one. This organization is dear to my heart. My mom died when I was a teenager, and my family would have really benefited from a program like this. One day the directors asked for a volunteer to speak at their annual fundraiser. I felt God tell me I needed to do this. I waited to see if anyone else would volunteer. I waited until the next day and emailed the director that I would do it. I prayed and prepared. I met with Barb Roose, who is a  full -time speaker and author, and she helped me a great deal. As I was practicing the day before the event, my daughter, Sarah, who is a great speaker, walked in the room. She looked worried after hearing my practice run, but I was determined to do the best I could.

The next day, I was so blessed that many of my friends and family came to the event to support me. I know they were praying for me. I prayed really hard, “God, I can’t do this on my own—please work through me.” I believed with all my heart that he would take over, and he did. I wasn’t very nervous. I felt God’s presence as I walked up on the stage and I felt him take over. Afterwards, I got many compliments. Sarah told me she couldn’t believe it. She said, “I heard you practice and I am amazed at how well you did.” I smiled and told her God worked through me. My mentor, Zonnie, was there that day and told me God had given me talent and I needed to use it. She gave me a journal for my birthday so I would write.

My husband kept encouraging me to sign up to write for the LivingItOut, but I was scared. Every time I thought about signing up to write for the LIO, I remembered what my college instructor had told me so long ago. I finally got the courage to sign up. I didn’t tell any of my friends for a long time about my writing. Every time I write for the LIO, I pray, “God please speak to me and help me.” I read and study about the topic or Bible verse. I meditate on it; I read the Bible verse or chapter in different versions. While I am writing, I pray, “God help me! I can’t do this on my own.” Each time God takes over and helps me. Each time one of my submissions is published, I am so honored that God can use my weaknesses to bring him glory.

I hope 2 Corinthians 12:9 will motivate you to step out and let God use your weaknesses to bring him glory.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Questions:
What is God calling you to do? Do you trust God to use your weaknesses for his Glory? How is his power made perfect in your weakness?

Next Steps:
Think about what God is calling you to do. Pray about it. Plan and prepare. Then follow God’s lead and do it.

Prayer:
Jesus, I am so grateful that you turn my weaknesses into strengths. Help me to focus on you, and not my weaknesses. Fill me with your power and help me to fulfill the purpose you have for my life. Give me the desire to obey you fully and immediately. Help me to remember I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Amen.


This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.


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5 replies
  1. Julie Buehrle Estep
    Julie Buehrle Estep says:

    Thank you for sharing your dream with us today Marsha! Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And with Christ at the helm, you can do it well! God bless you!

  2. Wendy Acosta
    Wendy Acosta says:

    Today’s LIO (9/9/19) really spoke to my heart! Thank you Marsha for your honesty and for the great reminder that I can do all things through Christ Jesus!

  3. Paula Staul
    Paula Staul says:

    This is very inspiring, Marsha! Your story reminds me that all power comes from Christ and He can use my weakness to help others if I call on Him! Thank you!

  4. Nickie Mendoza
    Nickie Mendoza says:

    This writing was perfect for me today. Marsha, Kudos!! Your words have helped me take another step forward today.

  5. Don Miller
    Don Miller says:

    Thanks for this I have been afraid of what’s to come next in my life. I will keep this prayer close, and have faith that God will work through my weaknesses. God Bless

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