Testimony Tuesday: Experiencing Discouragement While Pursuing Your Passion

How I learned to silence the noise while pursuing my passion of blogging.

Edward Gebel Photography

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Sweater: Ralph Lauren via Goodwill (try this option) ; Jeans: H&MShoes: Manolo BlahnikHair: SHOP JMTR

This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path- the my- isn’t- that- impressive path- and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly.”

My literal face as I read these words from Michelle Obama’s Becoming book.

Michelle discussed her disdain for practicing law, and how she came to the realization that she was practicing no so out of passion, but simply to please people. And even when knowing in her heart the field was not for her, she continued for some time, being driven by some reflexive wish of the approval of others.

#ICanRelate,Michelle

…and how many of you express the same sentiments. Stuck at careers, wishing you weren’t. Fearful to jump off the cliff, diving right into the passion that God placed inside of you. We are all guilty to some degree.

In 2013, when I publicly launched my blog and shared it on my social media platforms, I heard a lot. At the time, blogging wasn’t a reputable career. Most Africans didn’t even know what a blog was, so trying to explain my new passion pursuits was so difficult. The idea that someone wanted to take photos of their body and clothes and post it for the world to see seemed vain and provocative.

“Why are you wasting monies?” “You should be pursuing another degree to advance at work…”

These are just a few of the negative remarks I’d receive in regards to my blog. Because I didn’t silence this discouragement, it affected me- and so much that I ended up quitting blogging. Read post here.

When God spoke to me in 2016 and told me that my fashion blogging days were limited, and that I wasn’t called simply to speak about fashion, I assumed that meant that I was wasting my time blogging. I concluded that all of the discouraging words I’ve heard about my blog were true. boy was i totally wrong.

The biggest mistakes I made were not seeking God’s guidance from the onset, and receiving this discouragement in my spirit. Although I received so much joy and passion while blogging, I couldn’t shake off my desire to live up to the expectations of people. But then things changed.

I heard God again. And I heard Him clearly. And at that point, I knew it was time to block out the noise.

People are scary. People speak from a place of fear, insecurity, or ignorance. And although these three aren’t usually categorized as sin, they are sin. And we know that sin opens the door to the accuser- Satan. When we allow people communicate to us from a place of fear, personal insecurities, or ignorance- we confirm to Satan that we don’t value the voice of  Almighty God. We indirectly tell Satan that the opinion of man comes before God’s Word.

When you know your purpose in life, you protect it and deal with it delicately. You can’t allow everyone to speak to you concerning it. You should pray the Lord gives you wise counselors- ones who will edify you and keep you on the right track. Not people who will discourage you, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

When you hear God call you to pursue something, you often share with others not always out of excitement but because you question whether or not God really spoke. You need confirmation from others that the Voice you heard is indeed a Trusted One. This is a clear indication of a shaky relationship with God.

 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me… John 10: 27  

If ever you believe God is calling for you to do something but you’re unsure, don’t make any moves. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t open up the door for the enemy. Pursue God even more. Tell Him you won’t move until you are sure that you are sure that you are sure! If you make the mistake to move or speak too early, the devil will be sure to discourage you from the right path.

Some passion pursuits are so out of the ordinary, common human beings can’t wrap their minds around it. Sometimes God call us to do the abnormal, and to share that with others can be a grave mistake. Imagine God telling Hosea to marry a prostitute. Imagine God telling Noah to build an arc. Imagine God telling Abraham to go to a land which he doesn’t know. Imagine God telling Isaiah to preach naked for 3 years. If these people didn’t commune with God as they did, some aunt or brother or friend would have discouraged them not to do so.

Other passion pursuits are so common that others will discourage you not to purse them. Why do you want to be a nurse? Everyone is a nurse! Why are you going to cosmetology school? They don’t make money! Why would you become a mechanic? You’ll work long hours and never make enough money.

But here’s the thing, if God called for you to be those things, why listen to the voice of opposition? Is it because you lack faith in God? Is it because you fear God won’t sustain you in that career? Is it because you worry what others will say about you?

In 2019, I’ve positioned myself to hear only from God and Holy Spirit led counsel. If I’m unsure about what God is saying, I don’t move until I become sure. The race isn’t to the swift. I won’t rush something because of man made expectations. Because those who encourage you to be disobedient to God, will also criticize you in your disobedience. Simply obey God and ignore everyone else.

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