By Lynn Cowell
God's Brave Women - Lynn's Story
Have you ever needed to do something but lacked the confidence or courage to do it? Go back to college? Give a presentation? Look for a new job? Move to a different city? I’ve so been there! Especially when it has come to pursuing my potential with God.
I think a part of us believes if God nudges us to do something, it won’t be that hard. I’m just going to say that has not been my experience in this adventurous journey with Him.
Several years ago, one of my adventures began on the road to becoming a published author. Not knowing just how hard the journey would be, I naively sent out my proposals. One by one, the replies filled my box, each one saying the same thing in a different way: No. It was as if a huge, rubber stamp marked REJECTION was stamped right across my forehead. The stamp got larger and ink darker with each notification.
No–You aren’t well known. No–Your writing is not what we are looking for. No–We don’t publish books for teens. I felt like my heart could not take another rejection.
Some days, I was brave. I gave myself the little pep talk others had said to me when I shared more bad news, “Every no gets you closer to that yes.” Other days, I curled up in a ball on my kitchen floor and wept. It all felt so very personal.
With no college degree, no background in English, and no platform as an author, I didn’t offer a publisher what they were looking for; the reasons they needed in order to say yes. Encouragement from friends and family such as “God’s timing is best” or “God will take care of it” were no longer working on my wounded heart. In fact, they only felt worse.
"Encouragement from friends and family such as “God’s timing is best” or “God will take care of it” were no longer working on my wounded heart. In fact, they only felt worse."
After five long years of no’s, I received my nineteenth rejection letter. I wanted to quit. My confidence was shot. I felt like a complete failure.
Have you ever heard that you are not good enough over and over again? Are you in the middle of navigating rejection right now? Have you felt a rejection so deep it shook the very core of who you believed you were?
"Have you felt a rejection so deep it shook the very core of who you believed you were?"
Maybe you can think of a time in your life when the enemy whispered the lie that you couldn’t do it, whatever it was. You might be in that place today. You feel like you’re not good enough. You’re not fun enough. You don’t have enough. You’re not loved enough. Fear overshadows your confidence.
I wonder if these were some of the feelings of the women of the book of Exodus felt too. They, too, may have believed they were not courageous enough. Not confident enough. Not brave enough for the task ahead.
And yet, we see by their courageous actions, what they may have felt and what they may have believed in the beginning all changed as they found the confidence they needed for the undertaking that lay before them.
In Exodus 1:8–21, we read the story of Shiphrah and Puah, midwives during the time of Pharaoh and the great Israelite exodus from Egypt. These women were called to come before Pharaoh, where he gave them the command to kill all Israelite baby boys at the time the women delivered them.
The women had a decision to make: Would they obey Pharaoh or would they push past their fears and obey God, who had called them to be a part of His plan of bringing new lives into this world?
Exodus 1:17 tells us, “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.” (ESV) By choosing to place their focus fully on the One they were choosing to obey, trust, honor and glorify, Shiphrah and Puah were able to push past their own feelings, no matter what those feelings were.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I, too, was able to push past my own feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and discouragement in order to do what I believed God had asked me to do: invest in the lives of young girls so they would know just how crazy He is about them. I learned that all those rejections were not setbacks, but instead a set up for me to be a better writer who learned to be dependent on Him for what I could not do in my own strength. His Revolutionary Love: Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You was finally birthed!
"I learned that all those rejections were not setbacks, but instead a set up for me to be a better writer who learned to be dependent on Him for what I could not do in my own strength."
Are you experiencing resistance in the good you want to see come about in your life?
You may be experiencing this because, like me, there are things God wants for you first. God allowed the years of rejection to come in my life because I needed to learn to become a better writer; to hone my budding skill. He wanted me to repent of pride, which He knew had to get out of the way if I was going to glorify Himself instead of taking credit myself.
It may be because, like Shiphrah and Puah, the enemy knows on the other side of this resistance is something great in God’s plan, like the birth of Moses.
"It may be because, like Shiphrah and Puah, the enemy knows on the other side of this resistance is something great in God’s plan, like the birth of Moses."
Ask the Father to reveal to you what you need to know and what you need to move forward. Whether it is to keep working on what you are learning, something you need to ask forgiveness for, or perseverance to keep moving forward, He is willing and able to help!
** A portion of this post is an excerpt from Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures.
This week marks the official 3 Year Anniversary of the Brave Women Series!!
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So very grateful for you... and remember, all God's Girls are brave.
Lynn Cowell is part of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker and writing team. As the author of several books, written for women of all ages, her newest book is: Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotionals for Girls. Lynn calls home North Carolina, where she and her husband, Greg and the occasional backyard deer are adjusting to life as “just us”. Along with their three adult children, the Cowells love hiking, rafting and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.
Want to learn more on developing a confidence like Shiphrah and Puah? A confidence that is not shaken no matter what comes your way? Click here to get Lynn's free 5 Days to Unshakable Confidence – a video based daily devotional.
Connect with Lynn on her website lynncowell.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Feel to grab her newest book Loved and Cherished HERE and use the discount HRLFREE to receive a free copy of His Revolutionary Love with any purchase from her website.