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God’s calling on your life.



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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This is an excerpt from my good friend, Alli Worthington’s new book, Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity and Living with Confidence. She is sharing chapter one with us as a special sneak peek of the book. 

We’ve all been touched and deeply changed by adversity. Your season of adversity could have included a broken relationship. It could have been a time of battling anxiety, illness, loss of someone you loved, financial hardships, or even a pattern of thoughts that tore you down. Every woman’s battle is unique.

What I know to be true is that our hearts have been fashioned to face and fight even the hardest of situations. We aren’t alone. We have God on our side

God has great plans for every woman, but women of our generation are held down and held back not only by adversity but also by crippling self-doubt. Beaten down by an inner monologue that says they’ll never be enough, they become drawn to the message of self-empowerment. This popular, yet unbiblical, mantra preaches that your success and significance depend exclusively on your own hustle. But this message is missing one crucial part of the equation—Jesus

Without Jesus, success is empty; it’s based on our own striving, and it leaves women feeling like they are lacking, have failed, or just aren’t enough to achieve their hopes and dreams. We are left feeling like failures because the whole notion that we are solely responsible for our own success or failure places the burden of success and impact and purpose on us alone, apart from Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We live in a culture that constantly tells us who we should be as women. We get messages about what we should do, what we are supposed to say, how we should behave, what’s good and what’s not, how we should look, how we should live, and what we should enjoy.

Society and social media keep selling us an image of a world that doesn’t even exist. We’re told to eat according to the latest diet trend, work out like it’s our job, and hustle our way to happiness. And we’re supposed to do these all while looking perfectly made up and put together and with a closet so organized that we personally keep the label-maker business profitable.

It’s exhausting.

Here’s the thing: we want to do the right things, we want our lives to matter, we want to take care of ourselves, we want to move past the pain and the pandemics, we want to win the fight against adversity, and we want to find some happiness this side of heaven. But there are so many mixed messages and so much confusion combined with our own self-doubt that we get stuck, throw up our hands, and wonder exactly where our place is. 

A Woman’s Place 

Have you heard someone say, even jokingly, that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” or board room or fill-in-the-blank? (I have often thought a woman’s place is at Target. Can I get an amen?) For Christians, however, a woman belongs in only one place: squarely in the center of wherever God has sent her.

A woman’s place is changing the world around her.

A woman’s place isn’t doing things just for selfish ambition but because God has given her gifts the world needs.

A woman’s place is walking in the strength that comes from God. A woman’s place is with her Savior, led by the Holy Spirit wherever God calls her—taking action, rejecting lies, stepping up, dreaming big, being brave, learning how to fight and then to fly.

To live a life of meaning, we must know the source of all good things, God Almighty. For us to be fully alive as women, we need to be tapped into our creator, receiving power and wisdom and direction from God.

This is why the message today’s generation of women are receiving makes me so angry. God is calling his daughters to more. He does not call us to be the heroes of our own stories. He is the hero of our story. God is calling women to partner with him, to be a force in a barren, broken world, woven with weariness.

These two messages—“You go. You’ve got this and you’re going to be amazing,” and “You go. Jesus has got this, and with him you’re going to be amazing!”—may look similar because they both empower women to rise up and step out and accomplish great things in the world. But the message of God and the popular message of this world couldn’t be more different.

One is based solely on an individual’s capacity. The other is exponentially more powerful and lasting because it brings together a woman and the power of God in her life, a power that will lead and guide and multiply her efforts, resulting in something eternally significant.

Now is the time to reject the former and embrace the latter, to take action, reject lies, step up, dream big, be brave, learn how to fight, and stand strong because the power of the Holy Spirit is in us.

The Holy Spirit tells us it’s time to stop playing small and to embrace the great gifts God has given us. When women—created by God on purpose—play small, the entire world misses out, our gifts atrophy, and we feel the lack in our lives.

The Groundswell Moment 

The good news is that the ground beneath us is shifting, thank God, as women are rising up and refusing to crumble under the weight of the adversities and arbitrary limitations placed on them. Many are waking up to the knowledge that they were created with powerful callings.

We are women of God, standing strong together, no longer willing to accept what others say about us, no longer content to live under limits that have been set for us. We are reject- ing the stories we have believed about our lives and are replacing them with God’s scripts for us. We are waking up and deciding that self-doubt has held us back from what God has for us long enough.

This groundswell moment is not only important but also inspired. God is doing something in the hearts of women, and I recognize this yearning because I’ve felt it myself. When God called me to take what seemed like an impossible risk for him, I balked, self-doubt snuck in, and I told him life was good enough already. I didn’t want to obey; I didn’t want to step out of the boat; I was happy enough, comfortable enough, satisfied enough.

This state of enoughness didn’t scare me. Rather, it seemed like an improvement over the situation that held back many of my female forerunners and friends. 

For generations, we as women were convinced we weren’t enough. Continually living and feeling like we somehow weren’t enough was crushing and prevented us from becoming who we were created to be. So we cried out, “I am enough!” We bought T-shirts, got tattoos, put “I am enough” on our letter boards, and lived the “enough” life to the fullest.

The “enough” movement has encouraged women to speak up when we’ve historically been silenced. We have fought for positions and pay, for the right to be valued for more than what we wear, how we look, how we educate our children, or whether or not we work outside the home. We value ourselves and our feelings in ways that wouldn’t have happened fifty or even thirty years ago.

All this time we thought shouting “I am enough!” would rally women to celebrate their gifts, but is it simply a way to settle for less? “Enough” was meant to be the first step in women embracing their gifts, but far too many stop there.

Many women feel that enough isn’t good enough anymore. In recent years I awakened to God wanting more than just enough for my life. Many women I respect who are also sensitive to God’s voice tell me that they too have had enough of enough. The wrestling we feel within us—that there is more, that we are more—is intended to move us toward what God has for us.

In today’s modern world, the phrase “playing small” is some- thing you hear related to how women interact with the world around them. Playing small is a defense mechanism that says, “If I stay over here and make myself invisible, if I stay in the shadows, no one will notice me. They won’t notice my flaws, my insecurities, or my differences. And if they don’t notice me, they can’t confirm my inner monologue of self-doubt.” When I was growing up, before I knew how to play small, I heard the messages of others that told me I was weird, different, unworthy of friendship or love. I took those messages in, owning them as truth, and learned to play small. Now that I’m an adult, those beliefs have set me up: self-doubt tries to take me out and aims to steal the future God planned for me.

Because you’re reading this message, I’m guessing you’re ready to shake off “enough,” defeat self-doubt, and move into God’s purpose for your life. You feel that God has more for you.

Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?

Do your friends, pastors, siblings, or parents often remind you that you’re capable of more than you can imagine?

Have you begun to have new dreams—starting a business, adopting a child, starting a community garden, writing a book, launching a new initiative—that seem impossible unless God per- forms a mighty miracle?

Do you feel dissatisfied by the status quo and sense a rest- lessness that you can’t quite put your finger on? Are you often overcome by a feeling that God may be calling you into something life altering?

If so, maybe you’ve had enough of enough too. Maybe you’re done with self-doubt keeping you locked up in a prison. Perhaps it’s time for you to find the extraordinary calling God has planted in you.

God isn’t calling us to live an enough life. He’s calling each of us to live an abundant life, which is to say, a more-than-enough life. He’s calling us to walk in our gifts, to overcome our self-doubt, to start living out our purposes, and to stand strong. 

The Enemy’s Plan for Your Life 

Since the fall of humankind, the enemy has been focused on keep- ing women silent, making women believe they are insignificant, and convincing them they are second class and powerless. He whis- pers in our ears and our hearts that we don’t have what it takes: we’ve made too many mistakes; we’re too uneducated; our pants are a few sizes too big; we’re too old, too young, or too plain. But God . . .

The enemy wants you to believe you are insignificant. But God says he knows the very number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).

The enemy wants you to believe the lie that what has been your past, and what is your present, will always be your future. But God calls you chosen, called out of darkness into marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

The enemy wants you to focus on all the reasons you can’t instead of focusing on the God who can.

This is a common tactic of the enemy because it works. When we agree with the lies of the enemy instead of agreeing with what God says about us, we stay stuck, insecure, and focused on ourselves. Self-doubt is one of the most powerful tools in the enemy’s toolbox. When we feel we’ve had enough of enough, and we’re ready for more, ready to step out in faith, the enemy fires a few effective blows that can take us out.

The enemy of your soul whispers that you are prideful to want more, that you don’t have what it takes. He lies and says you would already have realized your dream if God wanted it for you. He whispers that your place is to be quiet and stop dreaming of stepping out in faith; he lies and says that your future will look like your past; he sneers that your mistakes are a millstone you will never leave behind.

Sometimes it’s easier to believe the enemy’s lies over the leading God plants in our hearts. It’s easier to believe our self-doubt than it is to stand strong in the knowledge that God will give us everything we need in order to do what he calls us to do.

The prison of self-doubt has locked up women for too long. It’s time to believe God and shake off the chains. We must decide to live like we believe that what God says is true. 

When we take God seriously, we learn to take ourselves seriously. When we take ourselves seriously, like God wants us to, we can step into our gifts and callings. When we step into our gifts and callings, we can change the world.

Calling You to More than Enough

We all share one purpose—to know Jesus and tell others about him. That’s it. That’s our purpose. But our callings? Our callings are wild and wonderful and ever-changing, depending on the season of life we’re in.

I’ve coached thousands of women in business and ministry over the last twelve years. Many of these women, when I meet one-on- one with them, share with me that they have experienced a moment of stirring to more. They will usually glance around the room and then whisper something like, “Alli, I just can’t help but feel like God is calling me to do something great in this world.” 

And every time a woman makes this confession, it’s like she is sharing some giant secret worthy of shame. There should be no shame when we sense a call to do great things. Every one of those feelings is a gift from God. 

I could just about bet that whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a woman in college excited about starting a career, an entrepreneur hustling to get everything done, a nurse caring for someone with cancer or the coronavirus, or a CEO of a large company, you have that same whispering deep down. In its own unique way, it whispers, “You are made to do great things in this world. You are made for more.”

Have you felt it?

Are you familiar with this little tug at your soul?

Do you keep waiting for someone to give you permission to go for it, even though God already has by placing the desire in your heart?

Or have you been ignoring it for so long that you almost forgot it was there?

That feeling inside you is God calling you to a new adventure, to growth, to a higher level of understanding, to a better future.

So what does a call to accomplish great things in the world look like? It may look like caring for your family with strength and patience in the middle of a pandemic, being the first one in your family to graduate from college, penning the next great American novel, volunteering at church to remind hurting hearts that God loves them, or launching a business that will shake up an industry. In whatever way it manifests for you, the feeling that you are meant for more exists for a reason.

You may not feel like you can do what he has placed in your heart, but guess what? The greatness God is calling you to has nothing to do with how you feel. It has nothing to do with your weakness, your failures, your hang-ups, or your bad habits. It has everything to do with God working in and through you so that you can stand strong. 

But what does standing strong mean? It is not about striving, personal achievement, or building ourselves up. It’s all about yielding to God and getting out of our own way. Standing strong is about growing strong. It’s about getting unstuck, tapping into the power God gives us, utilizing and developing our gifts, and living the more-than-enough life he offers.

Standing strong is about acknowledging God’s strength in us as well as our own strength in choosing to stand strong in his power. 

He has called us to a beautiful partnership, not because he needs us but because he wants to share the meaningful work and the good- ness of his kingdom. We are joint heirs in the here and now, called to more in the here and now, and I don’t know about you, but that truth inspires me to stand up and stand strong in God’s power, no matter what life throws my way.

When I first sat down to write this book, I prayed over what God wanted me to share with you. Each time I prayed about the heart of this work, I heard my mom’s prayer for me as a young girl: that I would become a great woman of God, strong in my faith and fearless as I faced the future.

As a girl I never appreciated that prayer, but the small phrase “great woman of God” has stuck with me. God has used it many times to remind me of my mother’s prayer and his calling on my life.

I believe that God wants to help you live out that prayer too.

Defining a Great Woman of God 

A great woman of God rejects the world’s feel-good, fake- empowerment, cheerleading messages.

A great woman of God is full of faith in the One who makes her great.

A great woman of God knows that her power is not derived from her own strength but from God’s. 

A great woman of God knows that her value is not derived from what she does but from what God does in and through her.

A great woman of God discovers that what her courage sets in motion can benefit others for generations to come.

Every woman, and her calling in each season of life, is special and unique. Some seasons have us fighting in the middle of the battle—planning, leading, and seeing lives changed because of our work. Those seasons feel so purposeful because measuring our impact is easy. 

But sometimes God calls us to seasons of rest, when it may feel like we are sitting on the sidelines watching life go by. Those seasons are purposeful too because they are seasons of preparation. God is just as much at work in us when he calls us to rest as he is when he calls us to engage.

Uncovering the life God has for you is an exciting adventure that looks different in different seasons.

We have many great women of God to whom we can look.

Sarah realized her greatness when God followed through on his ridiculous promise (Genesis 21).

Jochebed found her greatness when she used her wisdom to save her son (Exodus 2).

Deborah used her greatness to step up when no one else would (Judges 4).

Abigail learned what it meant to be great when she rolled up her sleeves and saved her household (1 Samuel 25).

Rahab taught us that greatness can look like protecting those who can’t protect themselves (Joshua 2).

Esther showed us that greatness means being willing to take the ultimate risk, even if you’re not sure of the outcome (Esther 5–7).

The Proverbs 31 woman demonstrated greatness in how she managed her home and her business (Proverbs 31). 

Mary said yes and amen to God in the middle of a possible risk (Luke 2).

God has a habit of raising up great women in every era, and he wants you to join this lineage.

If any of these great women of God in the Bible were sitting in front of us, I bet they would say they didn’t feel they were great at the time. They would laugh and shake their heads. They would tell us stories of their ordinary lives and how they trusted and obeyed God in seemingly mundane ways. 

In other words, they were just like us.

You were born for this—to shake off the limitations that others have imposed on your life. You were born to overcome the adversity that you fear will overtake you. You were born to tear down the false beliefs you have about yourself and to embrace the calling God is wooing you toward.

Are you ready to let go of the self-doubt that’s holding you back? Are you ready to let God strengthen you in the face of adversity? Are you ready to stand strong, great woman of God?

Then you must begin by learning to declare three simple words: yes and amen. 

Find out more about Standing Strong and get access to her bonus gifts of a free 6-week video study and her masterclass on Finding Your Calling and Living with Confidence.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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