When God Meets You In The Place You’re Afraid Of – TOYS Linkup with Guest Blogger Deidra Manning

 Deidra Manning is an inspiration to me.  She shares from the most intimate parts of her life, and that is a very brave thing to do.  Having struggled with eating disorders and depression, she shares with an open heart how she continues to walk in victory.  Please make sure that you visit her place, The Middle.  You won’t be sorry!

I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Ever. Not because it’s hard, not because it’s a huge sacrifice, not because it’s all guts and no glory, not because I don’t like being a wife and mom, but because I was afraid—of silence, of myself, of not mattering, of losing my identity in the laundry and cleaning, of not using my education, of causing financial hardship for my family, of failure.
But almost two years ago I was pushed into it—that space, those feelings—when I got fired from my job. I wondered where God was and why He let it happen; I thought I was being punished. Banished from my comfort zone, I was stranded in a strange land. I didn’t want to be there; I didn’t ask to be there; I couldn’t understand. I felt trapped in a place I wasn’t made for.
But the truth is, I was created for the very place I was scared of.

Home is still. Home is peace. Home requires the real, authentic me. Home demands my full attention, requires every piece of me. Home forces me to listen, to look into the world through windows of love, to enter it through doors of grace. Home is where truth is ignited, where full acceptance is found. And that’s what I was afraid of—being, listening, changing, becoming. I was afraid of me, of what He would require.
I thought home meant missing out, but home really means being full. I thought home kept doors closed, but actually, it opens them.
That’s what happens when God meets you in the place you’re afraid of—He transforms it, makes it wholly yours, gives fresh purpose, reveals the truth.

My home, once scary, is now sacred. It’s where He meets me daily and reminds of His grace. It’s where He’s teaching me to sit and listen—it’s where I’m finding freedom to be me.

Won’t you join me on Fridays for a new series and linkup called, “Take Off Your Shoes, You’re On Holy Ground!” or TOYS? Each week a post will be shared about the significance of a place and you will be able to share as well!! Just 1) Write a post about how a place has ministered to you. 2) Add your post to the linkup. 3) Add the button to your post. 4)Visit and encourage your neighbors!


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Tremble In Fear and Do It Anyway

I once knew a man who belonged to a chat room called, “Young Millionaires”. He wasn’t even close to being a millionaire, but he was convinced that everyone else in the room was a millionaire and so he pretended to be one too. I quickly pointed out to him that they could just as easily be making up their financial picture as he was, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He believed them to be completely sincere despite his insincerity.

Last week, at the Write To Publish Conference, I had my first experience at a cyber-friendship made real life or (RL). I was really quite nervous about it.

“What if she doesn’t like the real me?” I wondered. “What if I’ve accidentally created a virtual me that doesn’t reflect the real me, like the guy in the young millionaire chat room?”

But the moment I saw her all fears were chased away. It was like I had known her my whole life…and I should have known all would be well, because Adela Crandell Durkee is a pretty amazing woman! She writes with wisdom and wit. She tells side-splittingly funny stories. She smiles under pressure, and everyone is stronger for her being in their presence.

She was the very first blogger to offer her friendship, writing to me an e-mail that stated, “Let’s be Best Blogging Girlfriends!” And that’s just what we are.

It occurs to me that our relationship with God can be much like a virtual friendship. We don’t see Him face to face, although we could get nervous about when we will someday.

When I do see Him in RL, will I stand before Him realizing how much of the time I was trying to be someone I am not? Will my insincerity drive me away from His presence?

I only know that I am told that I can stand in His presence boldly and that my faith pleases Him. It takes faith to stand in His presence. He sees right through our pretending. But when I do? He welcomes me the way my friend welcomed me, with open arms and loving acceptance, pleased by my reliance on His grace…the outpouring of grace which I gladly receive to tremble and go anyway.

On In Around button

…sharing a playdate with Laura: