Meet Sheela. A mental health advocate, blogger, and vlogger. In this week’s feature, Sheela talks about sharing our testimony without fear, persevering through doubt, and finding identity by remaining faithful to God.
Q: What does “Confidence Without Compromise” mean to you?
A: Confidence without compromise to me is simply having certainty about who I am, which I find by identifying with Christ’s qualities and sufferings, as well as His death and resurrection. If I identify myself with anything else that is unbiblical, then in effect I am saying the purpose God had for His Son was a mistake. If that were the case, then the purpose He has for me will fail me and not make me the genuine person I want to be, a woman who is beautiful inside and out. With Christ, there’s no need to compromise because my faith and trust will help me grow confidently with purpose at just the right pace.
Q: How has your faith given you confidence?
A: My faith has given me confidence not to fear negative thoughts and feelings. I was never the most confident person. I had a lot of doubts I kept hidden. I easily believed everyone and many things, but I had a hard time believing in myself. Growing up, I didn’t have very supportive and encouraging parents. In fact, my verbally and physically abusive father was the most challenging person in my life.
I learned early on that my best friend was Jesus, and throughout many years of tears and pain, I ultimately found strength and encouragement in our Heavenly Father.
He showed me that strength to persevere was not my own but that I only had a hold of it if I continued identifying myself with His Son. I was a stubborn warrior, so God disciplined me in many different ways just so I could learn to make this a habit. Looking back, I’ve learned that endurance alone showed Him how faithful I was. My faith has given me the confidence not only to forgive my dad but also to love others more intentionally, which is only done by nurturing my relationship with Christ.
Q: What is a go-to Bible verse that you turn to when you need confidence or hope?
A: Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
This verse powerfully reminds me how confident the LORD is that He will never fail me no matter how many countless times I have disappointed Him or how many countless times others have disappointed me.
Q: What encouragement would you give to other young women regarding living for the Lord?
A: The simplest yet most memorable encouragement I’ve ever received from another Christian was, “Don’t ever give up, no matter what.” So if you’re new on this awesome journey, whatever happens, don’t give up.
How you came to faith–your story–serves as a reminder of how the LORD was and is still guiding you.
The more you tell it, the more it will build your faith and confidence, and the more it will encourage others, too. If you’ve been on this journey for a while now and know you could give the LORD more but your passion is lacking, whatever happens, don’t give up.
Connect with others who are not ashamed to tell their story.
Even though you might come across some of the more passionate believers who are young in faith, don’t underestimate their encouragement to help you get back on track.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Learn More About God First God Always
I am a mental health advocate, writer, and content creator behind a blog and YouTube channel called “God first God always.”
“God first God always” is a ministry that promotes focusing on using the Christian faith to approach mental health and emotional well-being. The blog is a space where troubled hearts and minds can anonymously ask for advice or prayer requests. I personally answer all questions to the best of my ability, making sure the platform provides inspiration and encouragement that’s only drawn from biblical wisdom and genuine convictions. The blog and channel’s mission is to help others find a healthy balance in their relationship with God and others, including themselves.
Q: How have you seen God work in your life and the lives of others during your involvement?
A: The LORD is so mysterious with His ways. I started online journaling five years ago, not expecting that it would become something He would reveal to me and others as a blessing. Nevertheless, the more I expressed my faith in this journal, the more positive feedback I received. I’ve found so much joy in the exchange of mere words whether I’m the one answering a submitted question or readers are the ones strengthening my faith in Christ.
Being told that I have been such an encouragement was the beginning of consistently realizing how God was using me in this area.
God continues to guide my influence on others, and though the ministry may be small now, it’s faith I have that in His time it will expand. The LORD has definitely improved the quality of my relationships, and although I can’t physically see how He has been working in the lives of others following “God first God always,” I can only take their word for it when they express their desire for more of Him or when they tell me how much I have helped them.
Connect with Sheela:
YouTube: God first God always
Learn more about Confidence Without Compromise here.
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