More. Real. Brave.

Today, I found myself at the feet of Elisabeth Elliot.

Technically at the foot of a laptop, Pinterest on the screen, her quotes a treasure before me.

If you are a lover of words, and also a lover of God, spend some time with Elisabeth (E.E.). In beautiful and unique ways, you will see the power of one voice in harmony with her Savior. She is a woman whose heart, in her own words, is to “live a life of reckless abandon in the Lord.”

While I desire to be a woman after God’s heart, Elisabeth’s is certainly one to emulate.

When I first started this blog in 2012, I considered it an adventure in writing. There was no expectation for audience or followers. It would simply be a place to share my heart and the snippets of wisdom God laid at my doorstep. I wasn’t an expert in one particular area, but I certainly knew my way around my own life.

I wrote seven posts that YEAR. Good thing I didn’t have an audience.

In early 2014, God engaged me in battle. Well-seated in a place of restlessness and uncertainty, I called out to Him. He spoke one word into my life ===> MORE.

Then He proceeded to turn my life upside down.

This is what I remember: frustration, confusion, shock, and awe. Determination, fear, impatience, more fear, various stages of anger, a smidge of denial, more fear, and finally surrender.

“One does not surrender a life in an instant.
That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.” E.E.

At battles end, I was certain that I had lost something near and dear: my voice.

I had been vulnerable in places it wasn’t received. Spoken truth where honesty was not affirmed. Looked for grace where it was hoarded and while I’d like to think I walked away intact, there were broken pieces of me trailing behind.

“When our plans are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless, or wasted or unendurable) forward.” E.E.

While my voice seemed of no value, my identity and self-worth had also unraveled. God was moving, but I felt stuck. Aside from my practical labels of wife, mom, daughter, and friend, I wasn’t clear on who I was or what I was supposed to do.

So I did the one thing I knew I could – I wrote.

I used nouns and verbs and adjectives to define the hurt. God stripped away the pretense, yanked my need for perfectionism with both hands, and wrapped a warm blanket around me: Words. 

God gave me back my voice. Then He told me to use it.

For Him. To His glory. With truth, honesty, and vulnerability. He wrote a new word on my heart ===> REAL.

When my words were read I didn’t want the response to be, “I want to be just like her.”
I wanted people to breathe deep and sigh, “She is just like me.”

Fifty posts later, I pray I’ve accomplished that.

Along the way I’ve wondered if my words were enough or too much. Fear said nobody would care or relate. Worry came over other people’s opinions and judgments. Shame came when nobody responded or liked or followed.

“If we wait until we’re sure we’ll do a thing perfectly,
we’ll never accomplish the will of God on earth.” E.E.

What stands out above all the rest, like a bright beacon set across the sky, is joy.

God told me to do it for one. { JUST ONE }

If one person read my words and related, found truth, or was encouraged then I had accomplished what He asked me to do.

Oh, you bet there were moments when I scoured and hunted and searched for more, but God faithfully brought the one. He’s held me accountable to not strive beyond that single digit. The process, the words, are mine – the results are His.

That is pure joy. Simply for One.

“Everything, if given to God, can become your gateway to joy.” E.E.

This haven for words has become a lifeline. A place to serve and minister with the gifts that God has given. A community of sweet friends and kind words. A safety net for my weary heart. A pillar for God and the promises and prose He writes.

And on the cusp of a brand new year, full of opportunity and unknown, God spoke a brand new word ===> BRAVE.

“Sometimes fear does not subside and one must choose to do it afraid.
The heart set to do the Father’s will need never fear defeat.” E.E.

Brave is big and bold and mildly terrifying. But God is great and mighty and full of grace.

He whispers to my heart, “Watch. Stand fast in faith. Be brave. Be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13)

Friends, let’s take brave steps and big leaps, holding nothing back from Him. May our hearts echo Elisabeth’s, “Of one thing I am perfectly sure. God’s story never ends in ashes.”

*Elisabeth Elliot is widely published and you can find her books almost anywhere. I was pleased to find that Bible Broadcasting Network has re-released the archives of her popular radio show, Gateway to Joy. Check her out – it will be time well invested.

** Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthMeredith BernardKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

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34 thoughts on “More. Real. Brave.

  1. I just let out a deep breath and thought the words, she may just be like me. I could have written your thoughts and emotions about a “battle” pertaining to myself and the situation I have been trying to avoid, but have just picked up my “arms”, to lead. I know I’m being called. I happened to randomly come across this blog, not searching for anything like this. Another sign of his calling me. I may be the one you were writing for. Thank you is insufficient for my gratitude in your writing this. God Bless you and please, never stop writing.

    1. Wow, Anna…how blessed am I?! So glad that God brought you to these words today, and ones from the archives too. He never ceases to amaze me. If He spoke to you through them, then it must be with great purpose and I pray He clears the path for you in your battle. I know He goes before you…you are never alone. Blessings to you and thank you for the encouragement. So long as He keeps giving me the words, I’ll keep writing them! :)

  2. Oh dear my words seem to have disappeared…I’ll try to reconstruct. Love your one word…and Elisabeth Elliott. I met her twice at conferences. She is one wise woman. And you’ve learned some powerful lessons from her! Thanks for stopping by Circles and sharing!

  3. Amen, sister! I’m so glad you answered his call. He spoke that same truth into my heart, that if even one person was encouraged through the words he gave me, it was enough. And thank you for introducing an author I’m not too familiar with! Love the quotes and I will definitely check her out.

  4. Beautiful, Tiffany. I appreciate your transparency and “realness.” Do it for ONE. Such a simple concept, yet difficult for me to follow-through with continually. Thank you for pointing those of us who wander from time to time in the right direction. Bless you and your writing. You’re certainly gifted!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Julie. One is a tough one sometimes, isn’t it? We just live in a bigger is better culture and our hearts long for more. It’s so much easier for me to focus on the one and let God bring the extras…lets this recovering perfectionist off the hook a bit. :) Blessings to you and so glad you stopped by.

  5. Tiffany, I just appreciated the honesty in your post and the words of encouragement you provided. So much of these truly resonated with me. You have a beautiful home here, one I look forward to visiting again. :)

  6. I too loved reading this and was very blessed by your words. Encouraged and challenged to go all the way with God no matter what the fears, insecurities, or uncertainties. To be real and brave and go with Him. Thank you and keep writing and using your voice!! Kristina

  7. I’m so glad you found your voice again because I love it! Thanks for sharing the process you went through with us – vulnerable and not always easy. So glad you’ve not given up. I gave up a while back after having huge blog fright and have recently re-entered – sharing from the heart and like you say….leaving the results to God alone. So good to meet you.

    1. So glad to meet you too, Melody. It hasnt always been easy, but God has proved the worth. Blog-fright…yes! Glad you’ve re-entered and looking forward to more of your words. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings!

  8. I love everything about this post because I relate to it so much. I’ve had those time where I feel as if I have no voice so I write. I feel that everything makes more sense in writing. I also love what you said about reaching one person. Sometimes when I want to post something I feel as if it is irrelevant, but then God reminds me why He’s set me on my path. He reminds me to be brave (which was my word last summer). If one person can relate to my blog that is enough for me.
    Thanks for showing your heart! :)

    1. Hi Mikala! So glad you stopped by today. I know those moments of doubt when you wonder if you should take the leap and share. God always meets us in those brave steps, doesn’t He? He proves why He gave us the words and just who needed to hear them. Blessings to you!

  9. There was so much peace and calmness as I read your words here. Thanks for providing that on the internet, which is so loud sometimes. I’m holding on to this one —> “Everything, if given to God, can become your gateway to joy.” E.E. You know my word is JOY and I love how that can apply to everything in life when God is invited in. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Elisabeth is great, isn’t she? I think her words brought me peace. If God could write that beautiful story across her life, then He can do it on mine, on ours. Inviting Him in along with you. Thanks so much for faithfully visiting through your link up. It blesses me that you make the time to stop by and comment. Hugs!

  10. Tiffany, your words so resonated with me this morning. As I read about the One Word people focus on, I continue to be amazed at how our God works in & through that one word. I can so relate as I often feel lost in the vast sea of bloggers. But more & more, I have become so grateful for the connections and relationships God has blessed me with through writing. May we continue to be brave, putting our words to paper, so that we keep encouraging one another to keep pressing on with God. So grateful our paths have crossed! Blessings!

    1. It is amazing that God wraps so much promise into one word. He mixes it up with me too, just to keep me on my toes, on my knees! :) It’s easy to get caught up in the little fish, big sea viewpoint but you are right…making the connection with others and sharing our hearts, is a joy. No matter how big or small our platform. So glad you stopped by, Joanne. Always blessed when you do!

    1. Wow!! Reverse words. More is a fun one and it holds a lot of expectancy, doesn’t it? It’s always a good thing to seek more of Him to become more like Him. Looking forward to reading about what He does with your more. I’m certain it will be an adventure worth sharing. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. Beautiful! I appreciate your heart here, it speaks of one who is seeking the ONE in a pursuit of just one. The great thing is that with that heart, people will see what you are longing to display. His glory and grace outward. I am blessed to have partaken of your words tonight,may He prosper you to share them more!

  12. Tiffany, Wow. Your post moved me with your transparency and truth. I love Elisabeth Elliott. Funny, I never even thought to search for her quotes on Pinterest! :)

    I love the words God’s given you over the years, and how you’ve owned them as you learned how to live them. I’m so glad you’re writing. Though I don’t always have a chance to stop by and read your words, I’m always blessed when I do. Your sweet honesty is a balm. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story.

    1. Jeanne…I’m so blessed you stopped by. You have been on my heart and I’ve prayed for you. In fact, I just went to your page a few days ago and read that you took December off…I had missed that and was wondering over you. :) I hope you were able to enjoy some rest and refreshment in the midst of the holiday rush. I’ve missed your words and I’m looking forward to more in 2015!

      Thanks for your sweet encouragement. God has been gracious and patient and I’m so looking forward to what comes next. I’m thinking He intends to give me reason to be “brave.” Writing is a journey, isnt it?! One I can’t imagine traveling without Him. Hugs, friend!!

      1. Thanks for your sweet words, Tiffany! I stepped back from all writing in December this year. It helped me to focus on my family, and come to Christmas morning not feeling stressed (my goal for the season. :) ). I am refreshed and ready to jump back in. I can’t wait to hear about why God has BRAVE for your word this year. :) I’m looking forward to hearing more as the year progresses.

        Have a wonderful day! Sending you hugs back. :)

  13. Oh, I can relate. You are like me! ;-) I have always loved to write. Some days I feel like my voice is irrelevant. God reminded me just this morning that I need to write for that one person who needs to hear just what He has put on my heart to write. You are so right — just one. I’m so glad I’m not alone. I love knowing that we are all writing to help one another and make the world brighter.

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