This week on Real Talk with Rachael I’m talking with my friend Nika Maples about her incredible story. She says, “When I was 20 years old, my plans for my life, career, family, and future fell apart. I was an active sophomore in college, then suddenly I was quadriplegic in the Intensive Care Unit, having suffered a massive brainstem stroke. I could not speak, swallow, or blink. Because I could hear, I listened as doctors warned my family that I had as little as 48 hours to live. There was nothing for us to do but pray. My faith sustained me in ways I can hardly explain, and a year later I walked back onto my college campus on my own two feet. I taught English in public schools for ten years, and in 2007, the Texas Education Agency awarded me the distinguished honor of Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. In that role, I started writing and speaking full time, sharing messages of hope and endurance with education, business, and church groups across the country. I love seeing people experience a renewed sense of purpose because of one of my presentations. One of the most rewarding things I do is help Christian writers conquer what’s holding them back. To date, I have written five books and I have a thriving career as a writer and public speaker. But that wasn’t always the case. I remember struggling to finish my first book and wondering how to take the next step in publishing and marketing. Now I enjoy teaching writers how to advance their Kingdom-focused writing projects through my signature program, The Keep Writing Course.”
Key Points from Our Conversation:
- After suffering a brain stem stroke and being given a bad report, Nika says that the prognosis was “information, but not a proclamation” about her life. God not only restored Nika’s speech but also gave her a platform to use it. “There’s no such thing as a dead-end in God’s kingdom.”
- We often believe information as a fact, but we should bring everything to the Lord. Give the facts to Him as you know them and trust that He knows and holds the future.
- Some common limiting beliefs that often stop us from starting are that don’t have enough time, money or skill, and ability. Stop focusing on the temporary. “There is no such thing as being behind with an eternal God.”
- Money is just a tool. You should never think of money as an obstacle. God is the only source. Everything else is a resource. Ask God for what you need to accomplish the task He’s assigned you.
- When we say, “I don’t know,” it disconnects us from the divine wisdom God is giving us. The Holy Spirit speaks truth and increases our wisdom. He has given us everything we need for life and Godliness. His thoughts that are higher than my thoughts are available to me. Say something different like, “God is helping me figure this out” or “It’s becoming clearer.”
- “Doubt means I’m entering new territory. Discomfort is the price of admission to taking new territory.” The discomfort casts us into His comforting arms. He’s the only one who can truly comfort us. God doesn’t require us to suffer, but a lot of times suffering produces what’s next because we meet Jesus in a new way.
- When doubt comes up, we think we’re not supposed to do something. The doubt comes before the breakthrough. Every dream we have is on the other side of discomfort. Failure is not a problem. God will use our failure for fruitfulness.
- Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Faith is God’s pleasure. He doesn’t want our works. It’s when we’re face down in loss, failure, and defeat that we can experience the greatest faith in our lives. When we know He’s the only one who can save us and He’s the only one that will, that faith brings Him great pleasure. Be content to let him lead.
- Self-confidence comes from our self-history. God-confidence is knowing that if He asked me to do it, then He’s planning to empower me to do it. There are enough blessings for all. There is no lack in the kingdom.
Let’s Get Real Practical:
The Bible says we should take our thoughts captive. This week I encourage you to take a deep look at your thoughts and investigate how they’re affecting your life.
What’s a thought that God is calling you to take captive? (Choose just one at a time.) What feeling does that thought activate? What behavior is following?
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