Follow Friday! Julie Holmquist

follow friday

I was new to blogging. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was terrified. Unsure. Insecure.

Would anyone read what I’m writing? Is what I’m writing make sense? Is it worth reading? If you’re a writer, you’re intimate with these questions, insecurities, and fears.

Then I got a message from a sweet woman who liked what I was doing with Deuteronomy (a series I never finished I might add.) Turned out, Deuteronomy is one of her favorite books too.

As messages flowed back-and-forth, a friendship ignited, tended and fed by the Spirit of the Loving God. Over this past year, our friendship blossomed into a sisterhood. A relationship based on Jesus and a desire to love and pray for each other. We’ve confided in each other, encouraged each other, laughed together, and cried together.

When I had this idea for Follow Friday, I naturally bounced it off Julie. She was immediately on board, praying for me and those who would join me on this endeavor.

And today, I have the joy, pleasure, and privilege to introduce you to this amazing woman. Her love and passion for God’s Word are real and sincere. Her wisdom and love flow from her relationship with her Savior and pour into her words (written or spoken) to meet you where you are at and minister to your need.

 

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Julie Holmquist is a writer with a passion to see people encouraged, equipped, and empowered to look beyond their circumstances and live out their God-given callings. Besides writing on her blog at Stuff of Heaven, she’s been featured in Devotable, Wholly Loved Ministries, and Refocus. She and her husband have four sons and have recently relocated to North Carolina.



The Confident Woman

What is confidence? What does a confident woman look like?

According to Merriam-Webster, the first definition of the word “confidence” is: “great faith in oneself or one’s abilities.” That didn’t quite seem to fit what I felt God was teaching me about being confident. That sounded more like pride to me. When defining the Confident Woman, I thought it was more like the second definition, which is: “a state of mind in which one is free from doubt.”

God wants us to walk in confidence WITH Him!CLICK TO TWEETGod, most undoubtedly, wants us to be confident — not in ourselves, but in Him and who He made us to be. I have always wanted to be confident! Haven’t we all? I mean, who would want to be continuously plagued with doubt as they go through life? As I was asking God what it meant for me to be a confident woman, He led me to Galatians 6:4, which says:

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life (The Message).

Have you ever said anything like the following to yourself?

“Sarah got to speak at the Women’s Retreat this year. Why wasn’t I asked to speak?”

“Why didn’t the choir director ask ME to sing a solo? I’ve been in the choir a lot longer than Stacy has.”

“I could do a much better job planning that Mother’s Day Tea than Emily did. Why was I not asked to plan it?”

C’mon, Girls! We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I may not have asked those exact questions, but I’ve asked myself similar ones. Honestly, I’ve been there more than I care to admit. I have felt overlooked, under-appreciated and invisible. Feeling aimless and lost, I questioned God about His purpose for MY life. I know when I’m not walking in what God has called me to do, I start comparing myself with other women, and I’m left feeling insecure, unsteady and unsure–certainly NOT confident.

Confidence only grows as we learn who we are in Christ and what He’s uniquely called us to do. Let’s take a look at this Scripture and how it pertains to being a confident woman.

The Confident Woman Knows Who She Is (Make a careful exploration of who you are.)

The Confident Woman knows who she is, but we cannot know who we are until we truly know Who He is. Our identity is only found in knowing Him! Romans 12:3 says, “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him”(The Message).

When negative thoughts come, be prepared to do spiritual warfare. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. He will wear you down with his thoughts about you. Instead, speak life over yourself. Find the truth of who you are in the Word. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Tell Satan who you are in Christ. Proverbs 18:21 tells us there is life and death in the power of the tongue. I used to read that verse and only think of my words toward others. But I believe there’s power of life or death in the words we speak to ourselves about ourselves as well.

I once saw a video of two women who were given an assignment. Each of them had to write down the negative thoughts they battled about themselves on a piece of paper. When they were done, each woman took what they had written and spoke those things out loud TO each other. Can you imagine? I would never think to tell one of my friends that she couldn’t do anything right, was useless or stupid, yet I have entertained those very thoughts before.

What makes you come alive? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How did God create you? What moves you to tears? What makes you double over in laughter? What makes you want to pull your hair out in frustration?

•••> Do you know who you are in Christ? Are you acquainted with how He created you?

The Confident Woman Discovers Her Calling  (Make a careful exploration of … the work you have been given.)

The gifts God has given us are more about how we are able to serve others than they are about putting the spotlight on us. Are you a stay-at-home mom with Littles? Do you lead others in worship? Do you teach? Do you have a servant’s heart? Do you enjoy having people into your home?

I Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever” (ESV).

We are each in our own lanes in this race. Run YOUR race well! Stay in your own lane. You only win when you get to your finish line.

•••> How are you uniquely gifted to express Who He is? Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are?

The Confident Woman Runs Her Own Race (Sink yourself into that.)

After she has made a careful exploration of who she is and what she’s been given to do, she sinks herself into doing what is in front of her. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” The Confident Woman knows she is working for the Lord and not for anyone else (Colossians 3:23). She only seeks His approval! She doesn’t need to look at anyone else’s race. She runs her own race set before her.

•••> Are you tempted to run someone else’s race? What is right in front of you that God has called you to do? Are you only seeking His approval or are you wanting the eyes of everyone else to be on you?

The Confident Woman Does Not Think TOO Highly of Herself (Don’t be impressed with yourself.)

This almost sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? But truly, a confident woman is not impressed with herself. She has a balanced view of who she is and what she’s capable of. She humbly recognizes that anything she has done or accomplished in life is because of Him and the work He’s done within her. She makes MUCH of Jesus and LESS of herself!

•••> Do you struggle with wanting to take all the credit for everything you’ve accomplished, leaving God completely out of the picture?

The Confident Woman Knows Comparing Herself With Others is Unwise (Don’t compare yourself with others.)

The Confident Woman understands she is a unique expression of Who God is; therefore, she doesn’t have to compete. The Confident Woman doesn’t NEED to compare herself with anyone else. She knows comparing herself only leads to jealousy, envy and pride. Sometimes she will be on top. Other times she will be at the bottom. She lives for an audience of One!

•••> Are you comparing yourself to other women? Has jealousy and envy creeped into your heart because of what someone else has or does well?

Finally, the Confident Woman Creates the Life She Wants (Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.)

The Confident Woman does not wait for someone else to create a life for her. She seeks to create the life she wants based on the talents, gifts, abilities and unique experiences God’s given her. She cultivates those in order to bring God much glory. The combination of everything in her life makes her gifted to express Who God is through her.  God has invited her to participate in His story. The Confident Woman initiates. She creates. She discovers. She dreams.

I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t have any green lights. He delights in seeing His girls walk confidently in their callings–no matter what that is: being a stay-at-home mom, leading a Fortune 500 Company, taking food to the poor or empowering other women to do what God’s called them to do.

•••> Are you waiting for someone else to create the life you want? Do you feel like a “victim” of your circumstances?

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

So, in reading Galatians 6:4, we discovered some of the traits of a Confident Woman. She:

  • Knows who she is.
  • Discovers her calling.
  • Runs her own race.
  • Does not think too highly of herself.
  • Knows comparing herself with others is unwise.
  • Creates the life she wants.

So, Girls, walk confidently with your Creator! Run when He says to run. Walk when He says to walk. Keep in step with the Spirit! He has a wonderful adventure prepared for you! Don’t settle for someone else’s adventure. Discover your own! Confidence is beautiful! Be willing to affirm other confident women. It will not diminish who you are! As women, we are in this together!

Walking Confidently,

One Comment on “Follow Friday! Julie Holmquist

  1. Pingback: DILIGENT. My 2019 WORD – Vibrant Relevance

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