When I Was Afraid by Holly Miller

Holly Miller


I was afraid of the idea of God. I had a misinterpretation of His character. I didn't even know it really. I knew His character in my head. It made its way to my heart sometimes. I would consider myself as a person who is very in tune with my emotions, but I also love people so much, that if I felt like I had disappointed someone I loved, I would want to run away. It broke my heart. So, if possible, I would vent about it, but try to suppress what I could to keep the peace for as long as possible. 


Because of all of this, I hate conflict. So, even though I know He might be trying to speak, I thought it was some sort of harsh correction. I always thought I could be better, or that I did something terribly wrong and unforgivable. As someone who has had a tendency to be incredibly hard on herself, grace didn't seem like something that was in reach for today. It seemed so far off. Maybe for someone else, but not for me. 


I knew that Jesus was more than capable of grace and peace. My goodness, He IS grace. He IS peace. I know what the Word says, but I honestly didn't understand how to take ahold of that for myself. I felt ashamed for even having this thought or feeling of “Are you mad at me?” towards someone who DIED FOR ME. Obviously He loved me! I knew He wasn't mad, I just didn't believe it for some reason. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn't right on my end. My vision had been skewed somewhere along the way. 


So, I remember praying in the beginning of 2017 for the Lord to renew my mind. I had come to a point of desperation. I couldn't settle for repressing and hurting myself for others anymore.


It sounded something like this:


“Jesus, I feel like there is something deeper, under the surface of my heart, that needs to release. Show me what that is. My mind cannot break through, and my heart is lagging behind. Will you rewire my brain? Remove any and all religion. I want to know the person of Jesus. I want to live in the fullness of who I know You’ve made me to be. I want to be in a relationship with the lover of my soul. I want to love you more.” 


Funny thing about the Holy Spirit for me, is that almost always I get a picture or a prayer that I know applies to me somehow, but sometimes I never really know the reality of what I am actually praying for. Anybody else? Ha! Boy, did I pray for some major heart work. Over the last year and a half, all of my guards I had up, religion I didn't even know had seeped in, and preconceived notions of His character, got stripped away. It took deep questions, a strengthening of my foundation, and raw conversations to get to a point where I began to experience breakthrough. I honestly was at my weakest during the thick of that time. It was so difficult to stay afloat. It seemed as though every wave that hit me would take me out. I couldn't catch my breath. He had to become my breath. I didn't have another option. For me, I felt mentally exhausted. (Exhausted in every area actually.)


But at the same time, my heart was being revived. Somehow after the depths of all of it, I actually consider my weakness as one of my best qualities. Let me tell you why. When I say I’m weak, I am admitting that He is my strength... genuinely. I know it can sound generic, but I really believe that now. I am not demeaning the Holy Spirit inside of me or belittling the calling I am privileged to steward, but the moment I believe I have it all together, is the instant I believe the lie that I am strong enough on my own. I believe I have authority and power in the name of Jesus, but I never want to strive for approval again. I already have it. I probably will slip up, but I am aware of the feeling of slipping back into that way of life now. My antenna is up and my senses are heightened.


He has shown me the beauty of His smiling, laughing face, that showers joy over my past, present and future. To me, knowing His character is the most important thing in my walk with Him. If I see Him for who He is, I can begin to understand how much He loves me and how much value I have to Him. 


If you feel like you're in a season of fogginess, rewiring and constant learning, do not give up. You are in a perfect place to see Him answer your prayer. I love when I hear other people say, “Well I did pray for it...” I do that so much. I pray for something I desperately need, without realizing how much it will reveal my need for help and my human condition. I’m really grateful that I have a Father who takes the time and patience to sit with me in my process. He is in love with me and our journey as a team.


I can't believe how much pride is in His eyes when He sees how far we have come together, and where He knows we are going. He feels the same about YOU. At the end of the day, that is what I want to live for—so that Christ would be glorified in every part of me—into the people in my life, all around me and entirely through me. If I don't have an open door to all areas of my life, why let Him in at all? Man, I want everything He has for me. I can't afford to be held back by fear. 


I love this verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13:


“We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.”


The joy of the LORD is truly my strength. (Neh. 8:10) I cannot muster up joy without Him. I can choose to let HIS joy flood my mind and my heart. He never requires something from us that we are incapable of. He is with us in every moment, helping and leading us into joy. If you feel like joy is far away from you, choose to invite Joy into this moment right now. He is already inside of you. It is a lifelong choice to pursue Him, and every step is worth it. Let Him carry you in your season, every season, and decision. 


I encourage you to share with the people you trust what He is taking you through. Do not wait until you see the fulfillment of your promise before you invite people into your process. We need each other. The reason we are on this earth is to champion each other and work as a body, to comfort others as He has comforted us. Draw creativity out of these places. Talk about what He is doing in you. Talk about it. Write about it. Paint about it. Create from it. Do what brings your soul fulfillment! 


I wouldn't go back and change my life for anything. There were brutal moments sometimes when I wanted to give up, but He is in the fire and He is refining you to your truest state. He does not inflict pain, but He works with it. He is fighting for you, holding your head up and clearing a way for you in your wilderness. Praise Him for what He has promised to do. Praise Him like it has already been done, because it has. 


I am understanding how to live in abundance instead of lack. That is my prayer for you as well.


Remember that we do not work for His approval, but from it.

Remember that we do not work for His approval, but from it.

Remember that we do not work for His approval, but from it.


Grace and Peace,


His Daughter Holly