The Journey Together Summit

Friends, Today, I am overjoyed to share a FREE online event I’m confident you’ll love: The Journey Together Summit, June 5-8. I’m joining hands with 34 leading authors—some really amazing women—with the sole mission of helping you discover new bravery. Whether you desire to be brave at home or at work, in your marriage or with ...

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Friends,

Today, I am overjoyed to share a FREE online event I’m confident you’ll love: The Journey Together Summit, June 5-8.

I’m joining hands with 34 leading authors—some really amazing women—with the sole mission of helping you discover new bravery. Whether you desire to be brave at home or at work, in your marriage or with your children, in ministry or in the mess of the day, dealing with a surprising life or just organizing it—this is the event for you. There is something for everyone with over 34 topics of fear covered (wait ’til you see them all!).

We’re also featuring an awesome line-up of authors who will give you practical, relevant and biblical tips for stepping into peace, purpose, and passion.

This is an event you won’t want to miss! Afraid you can’t “be there”? Don’t worry!

The 2017 Journey Together Summit is a FREE, VIRTUAL online conference!

You don’t have to travel—we bring the interviews to you! They’ll be broadcast over the web, so you can watch from the comfort of home.

What’s more? It’s FREE. Check out the lineup and see the agenda here. I can’t believe I get to be part of this.

 

So what are you waiting for? Join me and 34 other experts at the 2017 Journey Together Summit. Grab your FREE ticket today! And, if you can’t attend June 5-8, we have you covered. Get the All Access Pass and you’ll be able to watch the videos post-event.

I can’t wait to see you there! And I hope you’ll invite a bunch of your friends to join you. It’s a great way to initiate meaningful conversations and share this journey we’re on together.

Kelly

P.S. You can download my brand new e-book on prayer — for free — when you subscribe to my newsletter. Click here to sign up.

A victory in the battle against fear

Today, I’m happy to feature a guest post from Kelly Balarie for her new book, Fear Fighting. I got the privilege of reading this early and endorsing it. This is the really short summary of what I had to say: In spite of everything—our failures, our fears, our worries, our attempted control of our own ...

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Today, I’m happy to feature a guest post from Kelly Balarie for her new book, Fear Fighting. I got the privilege of reading this early and endorsing it. This is the really short summary of what I had to say:

In spite of everything—our failures, our fears, our worries, our attempted control of our own lives—God loves us. He adores us. And if you don’t believe me, read Kelly Balarie’s Fear Fighting. You’ll walk away believing that God is on your side. That you’re not in the battle alone. Kelly is known as a “cheerleader of faith,” but she isn’t just standing there shouting “Yea, God!” This is a woman whose stories are exuberant and passionate and hopeful—because she knows what she’s talking about. She has lived with fear, faced countless challenges, and learned that God is the answer to it all. I think every single one of us can benefit from her encouraging insights and practical tips. In fact, as I was reading, I kept jotting down the names of people who should read this. And you might as well add your own name to the list, because there’s something in here for you. I’m sure of it!

And now, here’s a post from Kelly (because ya gotta love another Kelly, right?). The book releases today and I hope you will hop on over to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or your favorite bookseller and buy it right now. This is going to make such a difference to so many people. It was even featured on the Today Show recently as one of their favorite things! But even if you don’t pick up the book today, please pray for it to end up in the hands of the right people, for people to face down the fears that are holding them back.

Also, before you go, please leave a comment below to enter a drawing for one a copy of this book. Just give a shout-out to one person you know who is brave, who faces their fear in any large or small way and inspires you or other people. If you want to share basic details about a fear you’re facing, that works too, and know that I will pray for each one of you who leaves a comment below. I’ll do the drawing one week from today. Thanks. Enjoy!


I was SO angry at myself. Again, I was not trusting God. While I had prayed and prayed, I just couldn’t believe He’d help me move this massive barrier out of the way. I couldn’t imagine how He’d do the impossible – for me. Sure, I wanted to believe that things could change – and I knew I should believe – but, when I saw the reality of everything around me – I couldn’t. I just kept doubting things would end okay.

And, then began what I like to call the Fear Cycle. It goes like this, in a mind: I’m doubting -> I’m not faithful -> Now God will leave me -> I won’t do well if he leaves -> I will certainly fail -> Now I am even more doubting -> Now I am even more not faithful -> And now, even more he will leave me…. (you all get the picture). It keeps circling until you find yourself in the barren dry tundra of Alaska, cold and without any comfort. Alone, and ready to die. Afraid, and feeling anything like a Christ follower.

This is where I found myself one evening. I sat at the dinner table hunched and chomping on a salad, one I was certain was missing something from it – maybe fried onions??? Either way, everything looked bleak. Still, trying to be a good mother, despite feeling like a bad Christian, I whipped out my tried-and-true nightly question. It’s my way of getting my family to talk about their day, so I have some iota of what is going on.

“Tell me the best part of your day and the worst part of your day?”

My husband went first. “The best part was…and the worst part was when I used an overly ‘stern voice’ with you, son.”

Thank goodness, I came up with the idea to ask this question, because no longer than a split-second after my husband’s response, breakthrough arrived. It sounded like a 5-year olds’ voice. He said, “Daddy, that should actually be the best part of your day. Because it’s a big celebration that Jesus forgives you.”

And, Boom! It hit me.

What is the deep fear that I am a horrible mom, Christian, woman, writer, sister, daughter or (fill in the blank), is instantly healed by the letters – G.R.A.C.E.

My sons’s words remind me – every time I am at my worst I can celebrate Jesus is always at his – B.E.S.T.

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. 2 Cor. 12:9

I love this! If we fall into his best gift, His forgiveness, He resurrects our mindsets again in our true identity – Him.

Where do you need celebrate that Christ is always at his best, even when you are at your worst?

We don’t have to go alone, wandering to some far off tundra where we sit in our anxiety and worry, but we can choose to receive God’s best and move to a place of new found freedom. We can go to the place where faith begins to return.


 

About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears: Author and speaker Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com

 

About Kelly Balarie: Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.

 

When you don’t realize you’re bound by fear

I am no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God. This past weekend, I was at a women’s gathering and we were worshipping to this song. I love the song but don’t think of myself as someone who is fearful. I wasn’t relating to the fear part, so I closed my eyes ...

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I am no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God.

This past weekend, I was at a women’s gathering and we were worshipping to this song. I love the song but don’t think of myself as someone who is fearful. I wasn’t relating to the fear part, so I closed my eyes and asked God what He had for me. And as soon as I asked, I felt the reply.

All resistance is rooted in fear.

Oh my. He’s right. Lately I’ve been aware of keeping God at arm’s length. Of resisting the teachings I hear. Of evaluating everything and having trouble soaking it in.  I never would have believed that it had anything to do with fear, but I can see now that it does.

Fear that I’m not enough. Fear that He’ll disappoint me. Fear that I’ll look stupid for believing. Fear that I misheard Him. Fear that I’m a hypocrite. Fear that He doesn’t really want me. Fear that I don’t belong. Fear that my sins will come to light. Fear that I’ll open my heart and then be hurt deeply. Fear that I can’t sustain this kind of intensity. Fear that I won’t like how God answers. 

Fear that I’m wrong about Him. 

It’s all fear.

But as the song reminds me, I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.

And because I am His child, these fears no longer have the power to keep me away, to hold God at a distance.

No more resistance. No more fear. Only God. The Father. The One who can always be trusted to love His daughter. No matter what.

You don’t mean me, do you?

Picture this scene. It’s a Sunday night church service, and a small group of “regulars” stand in front of the altar while music plays. One after another, we lay hands on people and pray. A woman comes up, her head wrapped in a scarf to hide her bald head. She has cancer, and she wants prayer. I pray, calling out ...

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Picture this scene. It’s a Sunday night church service, and a small group of “regulars” stand in front of the altar while music plays. One after another, we lay hands on people and pray. A woman comes up, her head wrapped in a scarf to hide her bald head. She has cancer, and she wants prayer. I pray, calling out to God to heal her, to let her feel His presence, and for God to put the right people in her life, people who can help her with the everyday things. And suddenly, my mind shuts out all the noise but this one thought: “You’re a person.”

It’s not enough just to ask for God to provide people to help someone. Sometimes we have to be willing to step forward and do the things that nobody else is doing.

I wish I could say I changed her life. I wish I could say that I did all of these caring, generous things. I made some efforts—offered help, bought her new head scarves, gave her some money. But somehow, that’s all I did. In my defense, I think I tried, but for whatever reason—inability to coordinate schedules, or something—I didn’t actually do much.

Years later, remembering this makes me feel embarrassed. How many opportunities have I missed to show someone kindness, to let them know they’re not alone?

How many times have I thought “someone else will do it so I don’t have to”?

More than I want to admit.

I wrote an article for Crosswalk recently called Three Things Jesus Didn’t Pray For. And one of them really stood out to me. When someone asked for healing, Jesus didn’t pray. He didn’t tell them he’d pray about it and get back to them. He healed them. Prayer was not a reason or excuse to delay. It was simple. They asked, and He answered.

If only it were that easy! If only I could miraculously banish cancer and disease and illness with a touch.

But Jesus said whoever believes in Him will do the works He did—and even greater things than these (John 14:12-14).

I believe that in abstract terms. I do. When I pray, I give myself over to the belief that God will heal. That He has given us power to act in His name. That we can still be part of miracles. When I offer myself to God, again and again, I ask Him to use me.

Sometimes, I think He does. And sometimes I willfully refuse to hear Him when He nudges me out of my comfort zone. I justify my inaction—I’m busy. I’m not equipped. I don’t know that person very well. I feel awkward. They’ll think I’m weird. Maybe I can find someone else to do it. I don’t know how to (fill in the blank).

We do need to set boundaries, and we have to care for our families and friends and take care of our responsibilities.

But I want to be used by God.

I want to show someone the extraordinary mercy and kindness God has shown me. I want to clasp hands and pray and then watch with tears streaming down my face when the person I prayed with sees God’s answers. I long to talk about God and the things He has done. I want to be God’s hands extended, reaching out to those who feel alone or afraid or unwelcome.

And yet as I typed that last paragraph, I bit my bottom lip. Stopped typing and took a deep breath. Stared at the backspace key and considered some serious deletion. Because here’s what I know: when you ask things like this, God answers. When you want opportunities to live out your faith, you won’t be able to take a step forward without finding them blocking your path. And I’m afraid. That I won’t live up to God’s expectations, or that I’ll come across as condescending instead of compassionate. That I’ll make things worse because I don’t have the right words. That I’ll start off well and then get busy and that person will feel abandoned, not just by me, but by God, too.

But I know that I can’t let fear of failure stop me. If God wants to use me, He will give me what I need to get the job done. So tonight, I hope you’ll join me in my prayer:

Dear Lord, it’s a frightening prospect to ask to be used in this way. To know that there are so many needs out there—all around me, among friends and acquaintances and strangers—and to not know what I can do to help. So please, Lord, show me. Remind me that I don’t have to do this on my own. I don’t have to find the need, or create a problem, or even know how to fix it. I just need to lean on You and let You lead me. Connect me with people and let me share what I’ve found. And, even better, let me learn from the people You put in my path. When the load is too heavy to bear, give me strength to carry it to Your feet and then release it into Your powerful hands. When someone else’s heart breaks, and mine breaks with it, be the soothing, healing balm that will put us both back together. And whatever I do—whether it’s a huge task or the tiniest of details—walk beside me. Whisper to me. Flood my soul with Your Holy Presence. And teach me how to let You shine through me.

In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


This was written for Suzie Eller’s #liveFreeThursday linkup. The prompt: You don’t mean me, do you? Take a minute if you can to read some of the other posts at the bottom of that page. There are some really amazing women and stories among the women who have been inspired by Suzie.

Prayer for the broken

It hurts. God, do you have any idea how much this hurts? I know that Christianity teaches that Jesus took on all our sin, pains, and sorrows when He died on the cross. I’ve been told that You’ve experienced it all—felt love and joy, grief and sorrow. There is nothing I can feel that You ...

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It hurts. God, do you have any idea how much this hurts?

I know that Christianity teaches that Jesus took on all our sin, pains, and sorrows when He died on the cross. I’ve been told that You’ve experienced it all—felt love and joy, grief and sorrow. There is nothing I can feel that You do not understand. Nothing I can say that You do not already know.

But is this really true, Lord? This feels too big. And at the same time, too specific. Surely You didn’t feel this kind of pain. Our cultures and societies have changed. You were without sin. I have way too much of it. Can you really understand?

The right answer, I know, is yes: You know, You feel, You care, You understand, You will never leave me, and You are the source of all hope. I can only find my strength in You. I can only discover answers in You.

But what happens when I know this in my head but don’t feel it in my heart?

What happens when I feel doubt? I want You to be everything You are supposed to be. But I’m afraid that You are not enough. Or that I’m the exception—maybe I’m too far gone. Maybe I’ve made too many wrong decisions. Maybe I haven’t prayed enough, believed enough, tried enough. Maybe You don’t love me enough.

But then I hear You whisper, shushing my objections.

Or is that just wishful thinking?

Lord, I want You to prove me wrong. I want You to push away my doubts and replace my fear with faith. I want it to be an instantaneous, miraculous transformation. But I’m so afraid You won’t come through for me.

And I wonder where that will leave me. What it will say about my faith.

But I guess those things don’t really matter. What matters is that You don’t let go. That You hear my desperate pleas. And that You let me see You.

Oh, Lord, please fix this. Give me hope. Give me something—even the slightest little glimpse, the tiniest little proof that You hear me.

Because, somehow, as afraid as I am to lay myself open wide, to fully trust in You, I do believe. And I pray that this tiny mustard seed of faith will truly be enough to grow into something magnificent.

If You are all that I hope You are, it will happen. And I’m willing to take a chance, because I want to believe. Because I need You, so much more than I want to admit.

So I give You my pain, my fears—and my desperate, fervent, tremulous hope. And I wish, and pray, and wonder, and wait to see what You will do.

Amen.

When prayer gets hard

Today, I’m at Kelly Balarie’s blog, talking about how easy it is to pray. For you. Not always so easy to pray for ourselves. If you come to me and ask for prayer, these are the words I will have for you: All things are possible. God is a healer. Hold tight to your faith. ...

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Today, I’m at Kelly Balarie’s blog, talking about how easy it is to pray. For you. Not always so easy to pray for ourselves.

GRAPHIC what if God is everything

If you come to me and ask for prayer, these are the words I will have for you:

All things are possible. God is a healer. Hold tight to your faith. Just believe.

I will carry your request to God, believing He can do anything. And that He will. Absolutely.

It’s easy enough to pray for my friends. I don’t even hesitate.

But for me? Sometimes the only words that will come are ugly, insidious whispers: You are not enough. You don’t deserve what you want. You haven’t been faithful enough. You haven’t trusted Him enough. He’s not going to come through for you, so don’t get your hopes up. << read more >>

What if?

How much faith can I summon for you? And how much for myself? All things are possible. God is a healer. Hold tight to your faith. Just believe. Those are the words I have for you. When you ask for prayer, I go to God. I believe He can do anything. And that He will. ...

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How much faith can I summon for you? And how much for myself?

All things are possible. God is a healer. Hold tight to your faith. Just believe. Those are the words I have for you. When you ask for prayer, I go to God. I believe He can do anything. And that He will. Absolutely.

But I have trouble finding words for myself sometimes. Except for some ugly, insidious whispers: You are not enough. You don’t deserve what you want. You haven’t been faithful enough. You haven’t trusted Him enough. He’s not going to come through for you, so don’t get your hopes up.

It’s a form of self-flagellation at its worst. Beating myself up and living in the assurance that because of all of my failures, God, too, will fail. Or, at the very least, will fail to act. It’s a cruel torture that leaves a mark as surely as a whip would do.

I’ve been worried the past couple weeks because I found a lump in my breast. When I went for my mammogram, they didn’t do it, and instead scheduled me for a high-res, diagnostic ultrasound. So I had to wait. And I knew, I just knew, that the best thing I could hope for would be an assurance that “it’s probably nothing, but we need to do a biopsy.” I figured I’d have to schedule a procedure or two. And wait. And wait a little more.

Instead of leaning on God, I snapped at my husband. Criticized everything in sight. And tried and tried to pray, but all I could manage was, “Dear Lord,” before I’d stop. Stumped. Afraid. Before I’d dwell on the fact that Mom died of cancer. That my dad has cancer. That my sister’s best friend died from breast cancer. That one in eight women will get it. And that there’s no reason in the world why that should not be me.

As I sat in that waiting room, with the little pink shirt-gown on, while my technician prepared the machine, I couldn’t focus. I finally cried. And I was so afraid. Too afraid to really pray. So I tried to block out all of my thoughts with a simple melody. The melody to Hallelujah (the Jeremy Camp version, with You Never Let Go) came into my mind, and I thought-sang-prayed my modified lyrics, You are with me, Hallelujah. You are with me, Hallelujah…

And I let those words push away my fears. I let them drown out the what-ifs and oh-nos. It’s so easy to forget God is with us. That He. Is. Right. There. With. Us. No matter what we feel. No matter where we go. So I just kept repeating that chorus. Until I believed it. Felt it. Rested in it.

After the ultrasound, the radiologist assured me that there is nothing there. It’s normal breast tissue. No cyst, no tumor. Nothing. I’m fine. I still have trouble believing it, but am so relieved. Because I doubted, I am having trouble fully accepting that everything is OK. Here I go again, down that messed-up path.

But the situation got me thinking. I believe with all my heart in the power of prayer (so much so that I wrote a book about it). And if I still have my moments of doubt, if I still think that maybe God will come through for everyone else but not listen to me, then many of you probably feel that way, too.

What if, just for today, we let ourselves pray as though God is everything we want Him to be? Everything that we think He is or should be? What if we prayed full of belief? What if we stopped torturing ourselves for our failings? What if God shows up? What if this is the moment when everything will change?

What if I can summon as much faith for myself as I can summon for you?

What might happen then?

 

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