Imagine my surprise when I recieve an unexpected email from one of my "behind the scenes" readers. Her words brought tears to my eyes, the encouragement she wrote me came straight from God and I have invited her to be a guest writer on my blog today. Her name is Tara and she's from Faith Confessions. I encourage you to visit her blog she shares real life stories about what God is teaching her. Here is her Bio and post"
"Hello! My name is Tara, I am a follower and lover of Jesus Christ, a wife, a mother, a daughter and friend. I have always had a relationship with the Lord but allowed it to take a back seat in my early twenties as I fell into the norm of "I know better". After years of trying to ignore his messages and guidance I decided I loved Jesus and always had I just did not know how to be "ok" with that. Over the last few years I prayed for guidance and my prayers were not only answered but I was guided to become the lover, believer and follower I am today. I am just your typical mom and wife whose world changed when I acknowledged the person and child of God I always have been.
When Mandy invited me to post for her I was thrilled, a little nervous, but thrilled. I mean what do I have to offer to the readers of her site? I do not know scripture by heart, I am earlier in my journey than many and my testimony is simplistic to say the least. So after taking a moment to pray and reflect I realized that she asked me because of that, because I am not like everyone else, I have my own journey and experiences and that is what she wanted to hear.
While my efforts to dedicate myself to Jesus started years ago it was not until I started reading blogs that I found myself comparing my journey, testimony and habits with the Lord and his word with others. For example, I always knew that I was lacking at reading and understanding the Bible but I pride myself on the fact that I do not pray or read any testimonies or religious books (for lack of a better term) without full concentration. I pray all the time and often find myself talking to God like he is sitting across the table from me sipping on tea. I am nervous to pray in front of others and often turn to silent prayers if I hear someone enter the room. We have not found the church we want to raise our son in but I pray each day and continue to look. These are amongst the many things that stick out to me as I read others words in their blogs each night.
And these are just a few things amongst the list of differences that I stack up and compare each time I read of someone's experiences or adventures. I often compare the eloquence of one woman's voice to the casualness of my own. I see people not only quoting scripture but explaining it. I read of tragedy and triumph that makes me question how I ever thought my life was tough or rewarding. I see pictures and read stories that make me think I am not doing a good enough job as a wife, mother much less follower of Jesus. I go to my follow list and click over and over on the individuals newest post looking for at least a small resemblance of me, who I am, my life, and my journey. I find it sometimes but mostly in being a wife or mom. But all the times that I don't find it I take away not only the entertainment or lesson that the post was meant for but an insecurity that I don't fit in and that I am just not doing "it" right.
Well of course that was until recently! God will only allow you to be insecure long enough to let you learn a lesson when you are amongst believers. For months I had been searching for someone like me. a voice like my own, but there is none because there is only one ME! I love to write and have tried many different topics and venues over the last year but it was not until I started writing about my experiences with God and testimony that I truly felt comfortable. My place and my voice can be heard as the everyday mom confessing about how I did not live up to God's standard today or how I learned a great lesson from him while doing the laundry. They are written to hold myself accountable to the follower and child of Jesus I claim to be. I was not ever going to find those same words on someone's page, I was only going to find them within my heart. My dreams of being discovered as a writer were never going to be answered if my voice was the same as the many authors out there and thus I continue to write, I continue to confess and tell you my journey.
Sometimes we all get caught up in the stories that have lots of emotion or triumph and I have a feeling many of us are guilty of wanting the lime light or being disappointed when someone else comes along with the bigger and better or the worse and more tragic. I know I am. But we all have to remember that no matter what a persons story and journey whether it be great or small it is theirs, and it is just as important and interesting in their own way. So I challenge you to welcome a newer follower, listen to a story or testimony that is not what you would normally would consider exciting, or even just pray for someone that you never have for. I ask you and pray that you will make room for those who are new to the community of lovers of Jesus Christ. But most of all I remind you to be you and allow yourself a day or even a moment free from judgement and comparison because as children of the Lord he loves and supports us all and has given each and everyone of us our own story and voice."