I’ve never been good with words. I don’t like speaking, writing, or even praying out loud. I consider myself to be "bad" at doing anything that requires words; especially if it requires me to come up with these words on the spot. I feel like words are my weakness. I let fear of what others will think keep me quiet.

I was labeled early on as “shy” and “awkward." I was considered “shy” because I was slow to warm up and quiet. I feel like I fell into those labels and trapped myself there beginning at an early age. If you get called enough of the same names, you start to believe it as truth. Others saw me as those two words, so I saw myself the same. Looking back, I often wonder if nurture or nature was to blame for me being that way.

I spent most of my life seeing myself as the girl that was super awkward when she spoke. So, I stopped talking. I let others do the talking for me, and I didn’t have my own voice. I was a turtle hiding in my shell, living in my comfort zone.

When I finally started going to church in my late teens, I became friends with people that weren’t like me. They weren’t shy and quiet. I was called out on my awkwardness and shyness. I wouldn’t call it bullying, but the constant picking pushed me further into my shell. I was scared to come out for fear of drawing attention to myself. I let fear control my life.

At that time, I had no idea what my calling was. I didn’t know I was going to be called to lead worship; to, ultimately, use my words to give God glory. I, by the grace of God, became part of the youth band and praise team in my late teens-early 20’s. Had I not had people that basically shoved me out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It took years of doing things that were uncomfortable, and God placing very specific people in my life, to shape me into the person I am today. I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I still don’t like speaking, but I’ve made some growth. I would have never thought that at 31 I’d be singing on a stage at church, giving devotions at band practice, and sharing my stories on a website blog. God took this little child, scared of her own shadow, and called her to use her words. What?!

As an adult that’s gotten over some of those anxieties, I realize that I fell (and still fall) into traps laid out by the enemy. He doesn’t want us to know how much power we have. We all have a calling. God has gifted us with very specific things to bring glory to Him and help us reach others. The enemy knows how to attack us, and he attacks us where it hurts. He tries to keep us from our calling, and a lot of the time, he succeeds. He tells us we aren’t good enough, that God could never use us (that’s a story for another day), and he uses fear as a tactic to keep us from doing God’s work. For a long time, I thought I wasn’t good at things and, therefore, shouldn’t try them. I put myself in a box because of the things I “couldn’t do” and because of what others said about me. But I’m seeing things a little different lately.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s this:
• Don’t let fear control you. Push through. Do that thing you’re terrified of. Do it scared. One day, you’ll realize you aren’t as scared as you once were.
• God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips those He calls. The Bible is full of God using people you wouldn’t expect him to. In Exodus 4, Moses doubted that he had the ability to do what God was asking of him. He tried to get out of it, but God used him and spoke through him. God blesses obedience. Step out in faith.
• Our weaknesses are an opportunity for God to show up and show out. We were never meant to do anything without His help. Step out of your comfort zone today and let God show up for you. Pray for Him to be there to make up for your weakness.

Whatever your fear is, don’t let the enemy use it to debilitate you. Ask God to give you opportunities to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t underestimate the power of God and His ability to use your weaknesses. They may only be “weaknesses” because it’s out of your comfort zone. Step out of your comfort zone, embrace your weaknesses, and maybe you’ll realize God meant them for strengths all along.

GOSH GIRL, you can do this!

Until next time,
Xoxo - Halie