Entering the Fray
We received the shocking news via a text on my son’s phone, “Osama is dead.”
The attacks of 9/11 began a battle that is intense and ongoing. We had always had enemies, but that one day has changed everything. We’re now constantly vigilant for an enemy that hates us, operates undercover and wants to keep us off-balance and afraid.
Taking those first steps into my calling as a speaker began a similar battle in my spiritual life. These years of growing into the vision that God planted have been the most intense personal struggle that I’ve ever experienced. As I work with my Next Step Speaker Services clients, I’m finding that there’s a truly a war being waged against women called to speak His Word. Here are a couple of things to remember as you fight:
1. We have to recognize that war has been declared. I often think back to the terrible days before my first She Speaks. Signing up for the conference had been a tremendous leap of faith and a tentative step toward whispering, “I’m a speaker.” In the weeks before the conference, I faced a growing fear, and I made a huge mistake. I didn’t recognize the enemy. The thoughts of “What am I doing? I’m going to get there and be embarassed. Everyone is going to be better than me. They’re going to tell me that I’m not cut out for this. Who am I to think that I can do this?” ran through my head and pierced my heart unchecked. By the time I walked into Embassy Suites, I was completely sleep deprived, exhausted and physically sick. (Note: Within 5 minutes of walking into the conference, I realized that I had made a serious error. It was the most nurturing, encouraging place that I could have imagined. My dream was treat with tenderness and respect. I was affirmed beyond my imagination!)
Everyone deals with the voice that whispers, “You have nothing to teach your audience. You’re too simple, too boring, too, too, too.” “Who do you think you are anyway?” “It’s all been said and you have nothing to add.”
Just don’t forget that it’s the Enemy. You’re in a battle. It’s not just your own thoughts. Satan would love to intimidate you into sitting down and shutting up. That’s his plan. Recognize Satan for who he is–the father of lies, the one who has come to steal, kill and destroy, the challenger of our God’s authority and hater of His people.
2. We have to armor up and stand. I almost folded before that first She Speaks, because I missed out on using the protection that’s been given to me. Ephesians 6: 10-14 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
We have an enemy that hates us, operates undercover and wants to keep us off-balance and afraid, but God has given us armor for the fight so that we can stand. He’s also given us His presence for comfort, encouragment and direction. Let’s appropriate those gifts instead of dying as we try to fight in our own strength.
You’re not alone in this battle, sister. I want you to know that not only is it normal to struggle with negativity, discouragement and doubt but it’s part of the deal. We don’t have to wallow there, though, when we reconize the enemy for who he is and fight.
Next week I’m going to announce a new service for those of you headed to She Speaks. My desire is to help you fight the pre-conference battle and give you encouragement so that you can go in ready to experience everything God has for you there!
Thank you! I needed to be reminded that I DO have all the tools and all the strength I need to defeat the enemy when he comes at me! I have been feeling so cut off from my support group (I recently moved from Charleston, SC to St. Louis MO) and my mind has been like a play area for all kinds of defeatest thoughts. This will be my second She Speaks conference (I attended before as a writer, and now as a speaker) so I know that a wonderful time is coming, but I have been slowly covered with a thick wall of blandness that until now I have let overwhelm me. Your blog posts have been the connection I craved and the reminders I needed that I am not ever alone and not ever without His strength to face anything He brings my way. Thank you!
Wow Amy… I am woefully and embarrassingly guilty of all those emotions (and more). Without going into a lot of details, my husband and I decided several months ago to invest in Christian Image Consulting “training”. The financial cost was prohibitive but we dove in anyway. We believed that this was directly by the Lord. I am now certified (and certifiable *smile*) and my dream of being a speaker has kind of gone from a little something to a lot of nothing. For months I’ve felt like the biggest failure – eva! I can’t say for certain that I’ve ever felt, or believed, that I was affirmed in this calling. I am very passionate about image consulting and helping women to see themselves as beautiful as God sees them…. but….
I/we have taken a giant step of faith in registering for She Speaks. I’ve wanted to attend for a couple of years now. I fear that this may prove to be another potentially inappropriate use of our limited budget. There is so much more to the story and I can see the enemies manipulation of this journey. The emotion most often felt is shame. Like I’ve done something wrong. That can only come from the enemy, I know.
I hold tight knowing that in my weakness He is strong.
Thank you for being a light in my cloudy confusion. You are most appreciated and respected! I look forward to your blog each week. I look forward to meeting you face to face.
Much love –
I look forward to meeting you too!
Thank you so much for these thoughts. Today I wrote, “I need clarity to tell the difference between hitting my head against a brick wall and persevering in God’s call on my life.” So much of the confusion came from the very messages you detailed–it’s all been said, no one wants to listen to me–why would they?, others are more qualified. Then I read your post. While I still wrestle with whether there is truth in any of this, I needed to hear that these are the messages of the Enemy and be reminded to face this warfare with the armor of God.
Be blessed at She Speaks–may this year go well.
Thanks for the encouragement today. I’m preparing to head to She Speaks for the first time this summer, these words were timely for me!
This is exactly what I have been feeling, and I missed who was behind it. who, with a little “w”. Thank you, sweet Amy, for the wake up call. Feeling a little silly that I didn’t recognize for myself what I tell everyone else. Thanks for being a voice of hope to me today. And everyone you said about She Speaks is true…so thrilled to be headed back this summer.
This is so, so good!! Two years ago I attended She Speaks and heard the exact same phrases run through my mind and I too received nothing but encouragement and confirmation while at the conference. Crazy how life has a way of taking over and the lies can get louder, but you are so right there is a battle – I think it’s important to tell those attending She Speaks to be prepared for it to intensify even more once they return home!! We all need to be reminded of that, we must stand and be who God made us to be!! Minutes ago I just posted about how it’s not enough to know who God says we are, we must live it out – easier said than done, but it’s what He calls us too!! Thank you so much for this site, it blesses me and speaks to me every week!! In Him, Jill
Amy, JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR! Thank you for always sharing so vulnerably about your own personal struggles. God is enough!!!!
I am on the waiting list for She Speaks. Never thought it would fill up so fast! Anyway, if this is the Lord’s timing for me, He will make a way.
God bless you. I miss talking to you!
Oh! I hope a spot opens up for you!!! I miss our calls too, and I hope life is going well.
This message is just what I needed today! Sometimes, being battle-weary, it’s easy to to forget the need to be really diligent in recognizing the enemy and in staying in the Word, putting on the full armor of God. Thank you for your encouraging and wise words.
Sister! This was just what I needed this morning. Not only in ministry am I coming up against stuff, but at work. I’ve really been battling with the enemy and this just reminds me to stand firm. Amen! and Amen!
Thank you so much for this post! The timing of it was just at the best moment in my journey.
This will be my second She Speaks. The first for leaders track and this one for speaker. I have often been second guessing why I am attending. So hearing these words were like a warm blanket to my soul.