I am not a writer. Have you ever said something so many times that you believe it with your whole heart and reject any opportunities that come your way? That has been me when it comes to writing. The thought of writing makes my heart race. So why am I starting the blog and what's with the name "Life Outside the Shell"? Allow me to explain :)
I attend Gateway Church in Southlake, TX and over the years have been given the opportunity to take some of their amazing classes. One that I am currently in is called WILD(Women in Leadership Development). The name alone made my heart skip a beat and when we got our "Class Syllabus" at the beginning of the six weeks and I realized I had to speak and/or write at EVERY class for the next six weeks I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there. Everything within me said "RUN! Tell me them your kid is sick, say you have a business emergency...but whatever you do, do NOT do this!" This may sound a bit extreme to some but for me the idea of running from anything that makes me feel uncomfortable used to be my way of life and if I'm not careful it rears it's ugly head when I'm asked to do something outside the norm. I decided to stick it out and wow and I am grateful that I did. We had to do the Strengths Finders test, spiritual gifts tests, write a devotional(which I will post mine in a later blog) and do a final project(part of it for me is starting this blog!) In the end I discovered I want to do one thing so badly that my heart jumps for joy when I get to do it...pull women out of their shells.
From the quiet introvert who tries to blend in like a wall flower to the loud extrovert who stays so busy we all have one thing in common and that is to run from our God given calling. Some of us were born in a "shell" while others have been driven into a shell due to life circumstances and trauma. Either way, God wants to pull us out. If you are a believer than you have the Lion of Judah living on the inside of you...it's time to release that lion!
Let me make something very clear. I still get very nervous(like the kind of nervous that makes you have to go to the bathroom several times before speaking in front of a group) when asked to do something outside of my comfort zone. But the old Rachael would retreat into a "shell" and hide until whoever asked me to do "said thing" had passed by and found someone else to do it. The new Rachael that has allowed God to do a mighty work within me that only HE can do still gets nervous but faces that fear head on and does it anyway. One of my favorite quotes that I keep on my mirror is "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."
The Lord has used many people in my life to "pull me out of my shell" and my husband is one of them. Years ago he encouraged me to start teaching group fitness classes. Let's just say before I taught my first one I couldn't eat all week, I recited my routine so many times I could say it in my sleep and I arrived an hour early to set-up class and allow plenty of time for bathroom breaks before class started:) I actually became known as one of the toughest instructors in the gym...what the members didn't know was that I was so tough because I wanted them to be gasping for air so badly that they wouldn't look at me(true story). :) But now? Now I speak in front of hundreds at Chamber meetings, I lead life groups, I speak at lunch & learns at businesses, and I even filmed a video of me teaching a class LIVE in order to pass a new instructor certification! I tell you this to say that if God can pull ME out of my shell than he can pull anyone out of their shell.
Won't you please join me as I share stories of faith, fitness and family and how God has used all those things to get me to get out of my shell and JUST MOVE. All He asks us to do is put one foot in front of the other and He will do the rest. God has amazing plans for each and every one of us as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for YOU declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans for hope and a future."
Trust the one who made you, He knows what He is doing! ;)
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but power, love and self-discipline."
2 Tim. 1:7