12314326_10153897831019789_3768764274608759233_oHi, my name is Louise Hoyle and I’m married to Danny, we have two daughters, Lauren (12) & Abbey (10).  I have the privilege of being part of the leadership team at Fulwood Free Methodist Church. As I sit and write this, I can see all my birthday cards from earlier this week on the window sill… To mum, sister, wife, daughter, friend… we have so many different roles to play.

I have a real heart to empower women.  We live in a society where so much is expected of us and we can often become overwhelmed and feel like we are never enough.  Today I want you to know you are more than enough!!!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.     Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Earlier this year I was asked to speak at our ladies’ event and the theme was ‘time for action,’ but what I found was God used this to put a message on my heart to share with many, many ladies and that is… To be brave & become all God has made us to be.  What is God’s purpose for your life?

We have each been equipped with unique skills and talents (even if we don’t know what they are yet).
Let’s be brave and take the time to begin to use them.
However, there are a number of factors that can prevent us from using our talents and reaching our God-given potential.

Let’s have a quick look a just a few of the hurdles we each face in our every day lives:
Firstly, fear of hurt, failure or humiliation.

The struggles we go through are part of our story and builds our strength, just like exercise which can also be painful at times but is necessary to build muscle, stamina and strength. As a trainer encourages a runner to dig deep and keep going, I want to encourage you today if you feel hurt, weary or afraid, to dig deep and keep going.   It will be so worth it!

Secondly, comparisons

So often we compare ourselves and think others will do it better. Everyone has a moment when they think others are more qualified or able (I’ll let you into a secret, even the ones that look like they have it all together have compared themselves with others at some point and doubted their own ability!)

Be yourself and don’t try to be anyone other than yourself.  God created us with unique gifts and talents so use them! It’s always good to try and overcome your weaknesses but even better to build on your strengths… do what you’re good at.  When you feel foolish, weak or small, remember you are chosen!  God made you perfectly & He doesn’t get it wrong!!

Thirdly, our thoughts have a huge impact on our life

I believe that if you constantly think negatively, then you will struggle to lead a positive life.  You know the saying, “you are what you eat.” I believe the same for, “you are what you think!” Change your thinking, tell yourself, “I can do this, I can, I can, with God by my side, I CAN!!!!”

As we change our thinking we also have to be fair to ourselves. Don’t overload yourself; be realistic with your time. Don’t take on too much on at once. Take one step at a time.  Just as a child needs to learn to walk before they run, we also need to walk first so we don’t trip and fall. Give yourself enough time to succeed and don’t set yourself up to fail.

Finally, learn from your mistakes but don’t let them hold you back.

I remember when I first went to university and I decided I wanted to become a nurse.  The first few months were amazing and I loved it, that was until I went on my first placement.  I remember the first day, I walked into Southend Hospital and I immediately felt sick.  I walked up to the Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) ward where I was based.  I met the ward sister who took me into the treatment room and gave me clear instructions that whatever I was faced with, I must not show any sign of shock.  I can tell you, I wanted to show more than shock at that point! To cut a long story short, I was a terrible nurse, I was the most squeamish nurse, I was not meant to be a nurse at all! I didn’t last long on that placement before I rang home and through huge sobs, I asked my parents to come and pick me up as this was not the career path for me.

I felt wounded when I returned home.  I felt like a failure and had no idea what to do next with my life.  All I knew was I didn’t want to go back to university EVER but I DID!! I had the love and support of my parents, but more importantly God had a plan for me and whilst it wasn’t nursing, I began a management degree. It was the furthest subject away from blood but led me into teaching. Don’t let past experiences hold you back.

You’ll get there in the end but can I offer you once piece of hugely important advice… YOU NEED A GUIDE. There is no better guide than the God who made you, loves you, goes before you and covers your back.  I always imagine God holding my hand whenever I face a new challenge or feel overwhelmed. Remember God can make what seems impossible, POSSIBLE!

I encourage you today to…
BE BRAVE & use your talents, don’t let fear, busyness of life, waiting for perfect conditions, or trying to be someone you were never designed to be, hold you back from becoming ALL YOU WERE MEANT TO BE!!!

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