Greetings! I am so happy to write this blog post, particularly because it is my very first blog post I’ve ever written. I am not new to writing. In fact, I’m a Professor full-time and I recently published a book. This post will not focus on my book. I mention it only because writing my first book raised extreme levels of stress and a term often used in academia, called “imposter syndrome”. Imposter syndrome basically describes a person who even after having all of the credentials needed to be considered an expert in the field, in my particular case, a doctorate and over three hundred references to support my book argument, still face a sense of doubt. When the opportunity arose to write a Christian blog post, I began to feel the weight and pressure I felt almost exactly last year, as I wrote my first book.
I began to place several negative thoughts in my head, such as, who am I to write for a Christian, faith-based blog? Even though I attended Christian schools for my formal years, that was almost ages ago. Am I super Christian who can automatically recite a Bible verse at the drop of a dime for any situation that arises in life to help someone? If they realize that I am a Professor and I actually research and write for a living, will they scrutinize and critique my blog harsher than any other blog writer? The list of thoughts I had could literally go on and on, but then God spoke to me and replaced my negative questions with new questions.
God spoke to me and asked, do you really think I have those thoughts of you? Would I tear you down that way, or am I not the God of Love? Who would be the only spirit that would want to stop you from spreading my message of love and being a new person in Christ? Why would you allow the thoughts of anyone to override what my word has said? I thought of Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV), “for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” I knew then I had to get this message out, because others may also be preventing themselves from fulfilling their God given purpose, out of fear of what others may say or think.
I am also an herbalist and I own a small herbal tea business. Originally, I had every intention on writing about the health benefits and specific Bible verses on incorporating herbs into your life for my first blog post; I still plan to write that blog in the near future. I care deeply about health and wellness, and being able to educate and empower others about the benefits of all-natural remedies. However, for this blog, God called me to write about letting go of negative thoughts and doubt and fulfilling our purpose that God has called us to do. In Isaiah 41:10, the scripture states, “fear thou not, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” I strongly believe that God would never cast fear or doubt in our hearts or mind. That is literally the opposite of who He is.
I doubted that people would be interested in drinking herbal tea and learning about other herbal products for their health, especially during a pandemic. I feared that people would only focus on what they considered were essential items. However, God had other plans and I actually began to see an increase in sales, realizing that people in fact did view their health as an essential need. I then received a call from a Christian based health center that wanted me to begin providing herbal consultations. I had doubt for no reason. With God, we never need to doubt or fear anything. Even when the pieces of the puzzle are not put together, we can always trust that God will eventually show us the larger picture.
Our thoughts are often formed by the opinions of others and from holding on to the past. We often limit ourselves based on believing we know what the outcome will be, but we simply do not. Only God knows. We stop ourselves out of fear, when God is literally always with us. We never have to feel weak or that we can’t accomplish our goals, when we live and fulfill the purpose God has for us. In Psalm 138:3, the word says “In the day when I cried, thou answered me, and strengthened me with with strength in my soul.” We never have to fear, our spirits our strong with the Lord. I wish you all love and blessings.
Nishaun T. Battle, Ph.D.