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when did you realize…

December 11, 2008

a little while after i started blogging and sharing my story, i realized i had something to offer. nothing that is of me, rather what has been done in me, that i can now share the process and results with others.

since that realization, i began looking at most things quite differently. hardships, disease, loss, regret. each having something positive you can take from them. i truly believe there is a lesson in every circumstance. there is something of worth we can learn from our trials and hurdles. once i saw that – i realized a greater joy was within my reach. i’m almost to the point where when faced with opposition of some sort i instantly wonder what kinda cool thing is gonna come out of it. i said, almost.

now hear me when i say this…i have NOT always been this way. ohnosireebob. nor does that mean i am just a peach and all smiles when faced with unpleasantries (why isnt that a word?) i struggle initially all. the. time. with negativity and worry.

the purpose in this, i believe, is to encourage people. what this realization means is i now have a role to play in encouraging others. i didn’t know i had it in me. trust me…i have not always been like this. i’ve been blessed beyond measure to have shared many emails with several of you offering you encouragement in any way i can. i love that. i love building you up. thanks for letting me be a part of that!

so, let me ask you…

when was a time you realized, and believed, you really had something to offer?

41 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2008 4:56 am

    i think the first real time was on my first mission trip. at 15, i went to nicaragua for a month. when i led someone to christ for the first time in my life, i was amazed that God could actually use me, could actually do something with me!

  2. December 11, 2008 5:33 am


    The first time I felt I had something to offer…. was when I gave my first prophetic word to the woman who would become my mom in the faith – and heard her tell me that she was stunned for a week at the revelations the Lord was giving me. I was 18 or 19….

  3. December 11, 2008 5:43 am

    When did I realize I had something to offer? When people kept coming to me.

    God never wastes a hurt. I stand on that.

  4. December 11, 2008 6:17 am

    earlier today, when i read comment #11 on your previous post to this one.

    Suppose and supposed are words we use every day but not always in the right way – i suppose ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you are supposeD (past tense) to do something it is like someone (Him 4 eg) has ASKED you to do something – He askED me to do it and i’m supposED to do it. We never say ‘he ask me to do this so i’m suppose to do it’ – right?

    Now if we suppose we willl do something (future tense) we can drop the ‘d’ – ‘i suppose i’ll do what He asks’


    Oh – and while we ‘peer’ at when we see something with our eyes we say keep our eyes PEELED when we are looking out for something particular. Comes from early American frontiersmen (1830’s) saying you should keep your eyes skinned (lids held back as far as they can get) meaning you need to keep a sharp watch out.

    i believe i can help many people improve their grammar! – it’s not much – but i do what i can ๐Ÿ˜‰



  5. December 11, 2008 6:32 am

    when i realized what i have…
    …i have a story to tell
    …i have a God who is faithful
    …i have a God who works in me, through me and inspite of me
    …i have a God who does the impossible
    …i have a God who loves me

  6. December 11, 2008 6:36 am

    After having gone through a big “hurt” a few years ago, I let the Lord heal that wound. And now I feel that I can humbly speak to others in regards to their hurts. I try and see the situation for what it really is, not the person behind it. Every battle has a spiritual element to it. And I learned big time about forgiveness through my experience. Can’t say enough about forgiveness. Wow. Huge.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post today! Blessings to you…

  7. December 11, 2008 7:10 am

    Anytime someone says to me, “I get it!” (or some variation) – that’s when I feel like I can make a difference.

  8. December 11, 2008 7:17 am

    I would say when I first realized God actually uses people and the gifts He utilizes within them. I have no idea if that makes any sense…but for a while after my love affair with Christ started I thought it was almost like a game “lets see if this prayer will actually be answered…or lets see if this thing really works”. But once I became more aware of scripture and His character, I relaxed and started worrying less about me and more about obeying and surrender and it kind of started falling into place. Like my place in this world and what I have to offer it…and the people in it.

  9. December 11, 2008 7:49 am

    When I had my tonsils removed at twelve. I shared a room with an elderly woman, come to think of it, she was probably my age (mid 40’s). I didn’t know I was witnessing to her. My mom told me later how much my words had meant to her. She didn’t realize how much faith a kid could have. I didn’t realize I was even sharing anything she didn’t already know.

    I think that’s what it means to be ready in season and out of season to preach the Word…bearing witness of the hope that is within us.

  10. December 11, 2008 8:21 am

    I know I’ve felt this way before. But, currently, I think I’m struggling with finding that realization again. I’ve had a hard year. Very hard. But I’m encouraged by all these reminders that my hurt, even if caused only by myself, will never be put to waste. God uses ALL things for the good of those who love Him. That’s what keeps me pressing on. To know that one day, I’ll be able to help someone else.

    Thanks for this post.

  11. December 11, 2008 9:11 am

    alece – i love that you realized your call so early on. i feel like im still searching for mine. i feel torn sometimes. dont know if its confusion or doubt.

    bajan – thats incredible!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    cindy – “God never wastes a hurt.” i couldnt agree with you more. living proof-right here!

    iman – wow. ya know, that applies to ALL of us. so all we need to do is recognize and receive that. yet…its so hard for so many.

    brin – “I try and see the situation for what it really is, not the person behind it.” when you’ve been hurt, dont you feel that is hard to do? i know it was for me the couple times i had been “hurt” badly. forgiveness is definitely the key. im so glad you forgave. it is SO freeing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    bad – you DO make a difference, friend. i can attest to that. and let me say here that i very much appreciate how you approach matters and how you communicate with others. you are always so respectful and gentle. i “get” things easier when i feel safe and valued with the one im communicating with. so, thanks.

    kristi – your comment should be made into a sermon. it is so true. as soon as we get out of the way and realize we are only able because of His power in us, and mercy over us, we can go out for Him in the first place, thats when big things begin to take place!

    chelle – i love this! that doesnt surprise me one bit! you are so sensitive and attuned to Him. i wished i wouldve shared a hospital room with you then. but God had different plans for me.

    joy – there have been times ive stayed in the hurt season for what seemed like far too long. looking back now – i see that what i saw as “delay” was actually very purposeful in that i learned a ton about myself (usually things that needed correction) and others. so once i recognized that i was able to use it as ministry and encouragement because i had experienced it, lived it, i could relate. so hang in there, girl! not that you dont already know all this stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. December 11, 2008 9:22 am

    Hmmm… I still struggle with knowing I have something to offer… but I became very aware of my purpose in life after I became a Worship Leader. After that, my life made a lot more sense. It’s amazing to see the majority of the life puzzle come together in a short few years – my passions, my desires, my talents/gifts & my overwhelming feelings of inadequacy all balled up together traveling in one direction via ministry.

  13. December 11, 2008 9:23 am

    love – oh lovey, loverly, love.

    i be so gladd youse hear two fine all my mess-takes. i am awe-nerd. your brilliance is much kneaded as you well no i not bee to good at grahamer thangs.

    so think yuu. theirs all ways room fore improovmint so i well come youre assistants, any thyme.

  14. December 11, 2008 9:25 am

    jenni – you bring up a thought. you realized after you were already in it. so…just jump in, right?! at least you will have tried and known whether or not that was “it”. like i said yesterday…my biggest fear is failing to try. and from what i heard and saw last night, you are definitely called to be a worship leader!

  15. December 11, 2008 10:23 am

    OMG Love ๐Ÿ˜† U crack me up!

  16. December 11, 2008 10:52 am

    bajan – Love is gonna get sent to the naughty corner ๐Ÿ˜•

  17. Kate permalink
    December 11, 2008 10:55 am

    In a b-day card I received last week. Someone (a fellow blogger) told me that I make them want to me a better person. It was the best thing I’ve heard in a long time~

  18. December 11, 2008 11:08 am

    When someone commenting on another blog asked for my email address and wanted to ask ‘papa’ some questions about ‘life issues’ – that person actually helped me set up my blog – and the rest of the story is on my blog roll. Mama and I have been pleasantly overwhelmed and now we share our life quite openly – we call it a very unique ministry. We love you Tam ๐Ÿ˜€ – we feel blessed because we have hugged and wept with you – that makes this so special. You can guess what papa is doing right now.

  19. December 11, 2008 11:35 am

    kate – wow. that is one of the best compliments! then keep doing what youre doing ๐Ÿ™‚

    papa – i still cant believe you stayed in our home. we worshiped together. cried together. laughed together. you DO have a huge ministry, you and mama! and your ministry IS your blogroll. thank you papa! and yes, i DO know what youre doing right now. i love you!

  20. December 11, 2008 11:36 am

    I second what Jenni said… I still don’t think I go into anything thinking I’m capable or going to make a difference. I really fall into things and then am a little stunned every time God makes something happen from it. In relationships, it wasn’t until much later in life that I looked back and realized I was the “go to” person for pretty much everyone in my life. But I had never looked at it like I was helping or offering something special – I was just being a friend.

    When I fall into things I run with them, but I wonder sometimes if I do enough actual discernement in my life or if it’s ok to go about life all will-nilly like I do ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Remember when I asked you to remind me to ask about discernement? Yea. That’s cuz I forget these things… until random moments like this :)]

  21. December 11, 2008 12:04 pm

    ooo-yes! i need to remind you to ask me about discernment ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. heidi permalink
    December 11, 2008 12:13 pm

    For me it was when I sought out a counselor 5 months or so. (Yeah A christian leader needing a counselor) I am proud that I took care of myself ….

    In 42 years of my existence for the FIRST time I am making a mark….

    ON ME…

    The rewards FROM MY ABBA FATHER are meeting and DOING LIFE with the sisters and friends walking beside me in the process and BEING TRULY JOYFUL …

    Thank you sis

  23. December 11, 2008 12:39 pm

    I realized that God would use what I had been through and I had something to offer when I first shared just a tiny bit of my story in public. First was speaking at church in front of nearly 800 people, only sharing one tiny piece, yet all doors opened wide! Then blogging and the incredible connections that began to occur. Being vulnerable–toughest thing to do, yet that’s what opened everything!

  24. December 11, 2008 12:55 pm

    The first time was when as woman I hardly knew stood to give a testimony and stunned me by sharing what my walk and witness had meant to her and her family. What a blessing and encouragement I had been to them. Until that day I would have told you my life was nothing but one train wreck after another and I was not sure why God had kept me around after so much waste. So much of my life appeared a polar opposite of my Christian brothers and sisters. Seems I was very wrong.

  25. December 11, 2008 1:00 pm

    I’d agree with Cindy Beall’s sentiments.

  26. December 11, 2008 1:20 pm

    I remember after I moved out at 16 many of my relatives asking how do I get through this. I knew then that was the start of something.

  27. December 11, 2008 2:19 pm

    a friendly reminder (or slap upside the head) is always welcome!

  28. December 11, 2008 3:00 pm

    heidi – “(Yeah A christian leader needing a counselor) ” thats ok, tho! there is an expectation that all people in leadership are to be perfect. ha! i dont think so! i admire you for seeking counsel. that is wisdom and courage, heidi! you amaze me daily!

    rindy – oooo, you said “vulnerable”. that used to be a bad word in my vocabulary. it has its rare moments of still making me antsy – but its always good. sometimes…now, i think im too vulnerable. have you found that of yourself?

    tammy – great name. ahem ๐Ÿ˜‰ exactly! you just never know who’s watching and gleaning and learning from our experiences. i think we take too lightly the important role each of us have to play in this world. its a big responsibility – but its such a high honor too. dont you love knowing your life helped brighten anothers?

    becca – i know. and that cindy – right on as usual ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sam – hmmm…we need to talk. do you have a ministry to your family? sadly, i dont know much about your family. we need to hook up!

    joy – my specialty ๐Ÿ˜€

  29. December 11, 2008 3:06 pm

    The first time I realized I had something to offer was the first time someone thanked me for helping them.

    The earliest time I can remember was in the grade school yard I took the side of a black kid who was being harrased by some white kids. We didn’t win the fight, but in the long run we won the war.

  30. December 11, 2008 3:10 pm

    ed – oh my good Lord – that gave me serious victorious goose bumps!!! you are one classy guy, ed!

  31. December 11, 2008 7:13 pm

    I’m not sure if I’m arrived there yet I’m sad to say… like I know that I’ve gone through things in my life for a reason but I also know that my story isn’t finished yet and that I’m not fully healed yet so I don’t feel it would be any use to anyone…

  32. December 11, 2008 8:19 pm

    I don’t think I have something to offer, but that God has something to offer through me. I am nothing special…but God gives me what He wants me to have in order to reach others. Sometimes I listen to Him and follow His direction — and then other times I ignore Him and become a disappointment in myself and to myself. Those are the times I truly know I have nothing to offer…and it takes God’s direction and guidance for me to really have ‘something’ to offer. Random enough babbling for you?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. December 11, 2008 8:21 pm

    post note — I know we’re all special b/c God created us. What I meant by ‘I’m nothing special’ is that everyone has their story — their gifts … one by no means better than the other. It’s what God does through our journey that allows us to have something to offer.

  34. December 11, 2008 8:28 pm

    Bajan – i aim to please ๐Ÿ™‚ At least SOMEONE here has a sense of humah!

    Joy-Renee – Tam gets jellus wen sumone else is doing the hed-smaking on hur blog – i’m just sayin. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Tam – Dear – Call me – we need to chat ! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    (‘any Thyme’ – that was classy)


  35. December 11, 2008 9:05 pm

    love – call you what? ive about exhausted all the bad things i can call you already.

  36. December 11, 2008 9:14 pm

    ashley – i think youd be surprised. i know my story isnt done yet, none of ours is, but im being used IN the process of the learning, growing and healing. i think you are already of great significant use…personally ๐Ÿ˜‰

    blessed1 – i totally got ya ๐Ÿ™‚ your comment makes me think of “one body, many parts” (which i seem to reference a lot) but we need to be satisfied (in Him) to do our part. not someone elses, but ours. no matter what how big or small it appears to mans eyes, even if its “2nd chair”, its still is a part of the story, HIStory.

  37. December 11, 2008 11:49 pm

    Today. I was able to draw from a personal experience to help encourage a friend in deep, deep heartache.

  38. December 12, 2008 4:01 am

    December 15 of 2004. It was the first time I shared *my* story, and I shared it from the stage at church. I had only been a Christian for a little over a month, and I honestly thought people wouldnt like me any more if they heard the truth. None the less, the Pastor who had just heard the story himself for the first time that morning invited me to come up and share. I trusted him… the result was the first realization that I wasn’t just saved for “me.” That the path to keeping my completetly undeserving salvation from being useless was to share it. And if I shared it, people found hope oin the story of how God had changed my life… For the first time in my entire life, what I had to offer had nothing to do with what I could do, but moreover what was done through me, and in me… just like you are saying here Tam. Great stuff!

  39. December 12, 2008 4:53 am

    Just wanted to say unpleasantries is a word, that I quite enjoy in fact. I am still getting there. I have some things I feel would be inappropriate to share online, but we’ll see.

  40. December 12, 2008 9:24 am

    Yeah I do have a ministry to my family. My parents are born again christians. They lit up when I took them to church after I was saved. Eventually my aunt and uncle who I lived with during high school and college got saved. My mom’s side of the family is saved, except one, and my parent’s even do a bible study with them! My dad’s side isn’t as good, but we keep praying. I am now far away them all being in Arizona, but I still pray and if I get opportunity I snatch it up.

  41. December 14, 2008 2:26 pm

    When I started blogging … for real.

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