Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to Overcome the Fear of Judgement

Five years ago, one small, terrifying act of courage changed my life. 

Until then, fear had consumed me. During one of the darkest times of my life, God had given me a beacon of light—the gift to write and capture my feelings. Instead of being pleased with my gift, I was terrified. I will never be able to express my fear, with exactly the right words, because it seemed so horrific to me. 

My body trembled. In some ways I felt as if I was fighting for my life. Like a strong force was trying to push me under the current. I paced the floor with tears in my eyes. Every so often, I would attempt to pray or more accurately plead with God. 

Are you sure? I don’t even know what I’m doing. No one will even read my blog. I don’t have any followers. How will this make a difference? 

But that day I could feel Him in my heart. Regardless of my protest or plea, the nudge to publish my blog remained. So did the fear. I didn’t want to share my heart with the world. Really, I didn’t. I was so incredibly vulnerable that day. But that moment of obedience changed my life. Because God gave me a true glimpse of my purpose. 

Soon people all over the world discovered me. They read my blog posts and sent me messages. But the beautiful part was that they shared their stories with me; the fears, struggles, and deep heartaches. As the comments poured in via my blog, private messages, and social media I discovered something amazing. We all struggle. We all have heartaches. And we all have fears. No one is immune to these vices.

When I shared my weaknesses with the world, God was strengthened. My vulnerability showed that yes I am weak, but my God is strong. Yes, I have all of these struggles but my God helps me to overcome them all. At that time my spirit was broken. My body was so physically challenged that I was unable to work. But every week as I sat down to write a blog post, my spirit awakened and hope bloomed in my soul. I will never be able to express how that tiny spark of hope helped me. 

So often we think that sharing our struggles, heartaches, and fears makes us weak. But, it doesn’t. My friends that it what makes you strong. 

Through my struggles, heartaches, and fears I have a deeper level of compassion and understanding for others. I have cried with strangers, hugged them, and felt their pain. Because I’ve been there, too.

When I started this blog, I thought that each word and aspect of it needed to be perfect. But what I have since discovered is that none of that truly matters. What people want and need is the connection. I have read beautifully written words that never touched me.  And I have written beautiful pieces that never touched anyone. When I am wiping away the tears, however, and pouring my heart and soul into the words, people feel that from me. It’s all about the beautiful way God blesses us to connect.  

For so many years of my life, I have felt that I am not good enough. Those thoughts and feelings stem from years and years of stares and harsh words from others. I’ve had people tell me that I am not good enough. And for so long, I believed the lies. 

Not only did I believe the lies, but I took them inside my heart and nurtured them.

Even though that sounds crazy, that is exactly what I did. I allowed the fear of judgement to dictate my life. Until I followed the voice of my Lord. He helped me break free. Since that day, He has blessed me to share my message of hope all over the world. Now I have 9 published books—some of them translated into different languages. I have spoken at over 100 events, and my newest book (Despite Your Circumstances) has been nominated for an award.


I’m not sharing all of this because I want to brag about me. But because I want you to know that God can take you, as He did me, with all of your imperfections (like me) and turn them into a beautiful gift. Don’t be afraid of all the things that could go wrong, but focus on the glory of God. He thought the world needed you. Use your gift to glorify Him. 

And when our ways please our Lord, He opens the windows of Heaven and pours out His blessings on us. His approval is all that we should seek. 

If you would like to vote for me, I would be honored. Regardless of the outcome, being nominated and loved by so many is enough for me. Every time I read a testimony of how my story touched another heart, my cup runs over, and I know my gift is making a difference. 


May God bless you, 
Candida

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