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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Do it afraid; Do it uncertain…. But do something!

My first book is out! It really is! I find myself sitting back and just staring at it. For real? Apparently so! I saw the first hard copy this past Friday but excited as I was, I was also in the thick of last minute preparations for the 2013 edition of the Return of the Helper conference. I guess the reality of the book ‘Uniquely Woman’ began to hit when my daughter-from-another-mother Blessing came to me in the course of the conference and said “Mummy, there are some ladies lined up at our stand waiting for you to autograph their copies of the book”. I could only but stare at her for a few seconds, absolutely speechless. As I signed those first few books, the smile on my face totally belied the fact that I was crying inside; it was just so overwhelming. I was simply in awe of a God Who is able to take the smallest of our efforts and bring great things out of them. I have since had several calls from people asking me where they can get copies, how they can pay, if it’s available on Amazon, etc. With every new call, my heart sings in gratitude and praise to God Who has made this possible.

Please allow me say this to you, sis: Whatever the Lord lays in your heart to do…. even if you are afraid, even if you are uncertain of the outcome… Just do it!  Regardless of how daunting it might seem, make the first move and then leave the rest to Him.

I don’t recall when I first had the leaning to start blogging. I was already writing for TW Magazine and at the same time working on another book (which will be out in another couple of months) yet I had a sense that I wanted to have an outlet to speak more regularly to an audience out there. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to blog about, but I knew at least that I am passionate about adding value to the lives of people and in particular women, so it was clearly going to be something motivational or inspirational. I can be a bit of a clown sometimes, so I did also plan to infuse some humor into my writings. But there was a snag….

First was the fact that my then friend-from-a-distance (now sister and prayer partner) was already blogging regularly as the Desperate Naija Woman (DNW). I followed her posts diligently and continued to be amazed at how similarly our minds worked and the other many commonalities that we clearly shared. She had published her blogs as a Diary which was generating waves (I personally have bought and absolutely loved every one of the Diaries) and I was so afraid I would be seen to be copying what she was doing. Secondly, another sista of mine also authors another great blog (Nevertheless: http://www.bidemimarkmordi.com) and I was even more afraid of being seen to be copying her too. I was scared enough to question myself as to whether I was suffering from some kind of ‘me-too’ syndrome. You know that one where you compare yourself to the next person and then wish you could, or even sometimes waste precious time and energy trying to do what they do right? Hmmm! Thank God for maturity and for now being able to take our full identity in Christ!

Thankfully, the Lord continued to lay this desire on my heart and so on this one day, I was opportune to be at one of Salt’s (DNW now goes by ‘Salt’ – http://thesaltchronicles.blogspot.co.uk) book readings, and mentioned to her that I was writing a book myself. Her first response? Excitement! She had said she would be looking forward to having me read sections of my book at her next book reading. As we talked, I had casually mentioned that I had also been considering starting a blog and she said something to the effect that she didn’t doubt that I would have something to say that will bless someone out there. When I also spoke to my sista Bidemi about this exchange, I got yet more encouragement and she went further to share with me all the technicalities about setting up and managing a blog. There I was worried that I would be seen to be a poor copy of these two amazing ladies, and all they had to give me was the greatest of encouragement and support. There is surely a lesson in that for someone sis. Surely there is!

The rest as they say is…history? Not quite sis! Not quite!

It still took a while. Even with all the encouragement I was getting – from my husband inclusive, it took a while. Finally though, I started to write…. very afraid and extremely uncertain. Afraid that nonetheless, I would be seen to be seeking significance; afraid that I really didn’t have anything to say; afraid that no one would really care if I did say anything. I started to write uncertain that I would be able to find the time to sustain my writing; uncertain that I wouldn’t lose interest at some point; uncertain that I really had anything to say that would sustain anyone’s interest; uncertain about what value the whole exercise would bring. I was afraid and uncertain of so much…. but I braved it and started to write anyway. At some point I had kinda figured that I had absolutely nothing to lose by at least trying.

In the shortest of times however, the Lord began to open up new things to me that I was led to share on the blog. I have since received such great feedback and some very deep responses from my readers that sometimes had me go back to re-read certain posts, finding myself in awe of the things the Lord is using these posts to do in the lives of both men and women who follow Uniquely Woman. And now three years later, Uniquely Woman the book is a reality. Some of those I mentioned in the acknowledgements have called to express surprise that I thought to acknowledge them. My response? Honor comes to those to whom it is due! It is the feedback and encouragement that has kept me going all this while and I am so grateful to each of you.

You never know how far a simple word of encouragement from you can go in the life of another. The Lord wants you to use your tongue as a vessel of honor unto Him, and one of your core assignments is to speak life into those around you. In the same way sis, God will use others to speak into your destiny and purpose and help you find fulfillment in your assignment, in Jesus name.

What is that thing that you long to do, sis? What is that large elephant that you wish with all your heart that you could swallow? Take the first bite, sis. You will never be personally fulfilled unless you are able to bless the world with the things the Lord has put in you. In Genesis 15 v 5 the Lord asked Abraham to look up and count the stars. Clearly there was no way that Abraham could have been able to do that in his own ability. All He would be able to do was to look up, and truthfully that was all the Lord needed him to do… to take the first step. God asked Him to count the stars because He knew that as long as Abraham looked up to Him, he would not have to depend on his human ability, but rather on the ability of our God for Whom counting the stars (the ones for which the Lord knows each by name) is not at all impossible.  

Do it afraid sis! Do it uncertain! The Lord will help you look up sis. He will help you take the first step and then He will use your obedience to magnify the output of your little effort. We serve a God that is no respecter of persons. Just as He has used a blog I was afraid and uncertain to start-off to touch lives; just as He has now brought it to the fruition of a book I know will bless even more people; just as He has done this for me with my little step of obedience and looking up to Him…. so also do I pray for you sis, that the Lord will help you to give full expression to the uniqueness that is in you, for the benefit of mankind, and to the praise and glory of His name.


Be blessed sis….for you surely are!


6 comments:

  1. Wow, wow! A total package indeed. God bless you real good.

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  2. Wow, wow. A total package indeed. You are indeed a woman after God's heart and He shall reward your efforts in Jesus Name.

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  3. Thanks for this beautiful post and the words of encouragement, got here through Salt's site.

    Congratulations too, more grace for more accomplishments IJN.

    Remain blessed.

    Abiola.

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  4. This is very deep and absolutely true. I've learnt that even when we start uncertain, as long as we are in the centre of God's will and taking that baby step in obedience, He will sustain and multiply our effort. Congratulations on your first book. I rejoice with you. I am encouraged to give more attention to the book I am writing. Blessings to you.

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  5. It is bad enough not to try. Like you said, there is fulfilment in trying to create something, however small. Congratulations on the publication of your book.

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  6. It is bad enough not to try doing something. Like you said, there is fulfilment in making an effort to develop something, however small. Congratulations on the publication of your book.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts. You are loved and appreciated.

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.