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Her faith was built as she battled through an eating disorder, depression,
serious health concerns, company failures, family tragedies,
job losses, and times without income. Throughout it all, Kelly has looked past the pain to pursue God’s always-unfolding plan.
Kelly is a contributing blogger at Crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Girlfriends in God.
Her work has been featured on Relevant, (in)courage.me, and Today’s Christian Woman.
She lives with her husband and two toddlers near the sun-soaked shores of the East Coast. Congratulations to Kelly on the recent release of her book for women everywhere
that is designed to push back the curtain of fear so you can find the “who” God meant you to be:
Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage To Overcome Your Fears. In Kelly’s own words, We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears,
reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story.
We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you.
This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation
to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.
to dive deeper into the story behind Fear Fighting.
Enjoy her answers below in the latest 7 Questions Sunday!
Today’s 7 Questions
LifeLetter Cafe: You mention this book as coming from “a personal desperation call to God” – tell us what life looked like for you at that moment and where did the passion to author “Fear Fighting” came from?
Kelly Balarie: Sometimes, you get to the point where you say, “I can’t do it all and be it all anymore.” This is where I found myself. I realized I had tried to be everything to everybody and I felt like a nobody. It was about time something changed.
I ran myself into an eating disorder (literally!). Eventually, I came to a clearing in the woods and I stopped running. I turned towards God, in tears and asked him to help me, to save me. I got the feeling I could either keep running in fear or I could turn towards him in faith. I didn’t want to know where fear would take me, I knew it wouldn’t be good. It could have even been the grave. My situation was serious and my call was heartfelt.
Someone today may need to make a heartfelt call to God. There is no shame in this, I’ve found, only power. For God’s power rests on you in this moment.
LifeLetter Cafe: Love the phrase “from fearful to faithful” – what do you mean by this?
Kelly Balarie: We have a great and glorious opportunity before us. Will we move from fearful – to faithful? It is ours for the taking, it is ours for the making, we need only drop our baggage of anxiety and worry and face forward to receive the love of Jesus Christ.
Today, which direction do you face? What do you face? There is no mountain too tall, no wall too high, nor any barrier too big for God to break through. If you walk towards your greatest obstacle, with faith, you will find its power over you – tumbles. It either parts like the Red Sea or it shows up like the Promised Land. Sometimes there is a fight, but with God, there is always eventual victory.
LifeLetter Cafe: Can you unpack what it means when you say “half-baked lives”?
Kelly Balarie: Ding! Chicken is ready!
Have you ever bit out of a half-baked breast of chicken? Yuck! That kind of thing will turn one’s stomach.
The same type of thing happens with us, as Christians, when we live half believing and half unbelieving God’s truth. We are kind of in, but also, kind of – out. We are kind of strong, but also kind of weak. We are lukewarm. God is not a fan of lukewarm Christians. Things don’t end well for them. Things don’t usually end well in the heart of a person who is half baked.
Yet, when we become on fire, we find our passion, our purpose and our bravery. We move forward into risk, into new territory and into boldness. Here, we become who we were made to be. We gain new vision. We behold God’s goodness. We come alive!
“Stay on the road God has for you
and not another person’s best version of it.”
– Kelly Balarie –
LifeLetter Cafe: We seem to be like never before in a “look at me /listen to me generation” where millions are seeking platform and a “voice” through social media – is this not often a flimsy replacement for faith-filled life on life relationship and vulnerability that begins first with listening and second with authenticity?
Kelly Balarie: Sometimes I get furious at social media. I want to scold it as if it is a bad friend. Stop, being so self-absorbed! Get over yourself! Stop acting like you are perfect! Stop posting only your best images! Have you lost God?
I act like social media has power over me. As if the general opinion of Facebook steers mine. But, guess what? It doesn’t. I can unsubscribe at any time. I can decide what I look at, who I let speak to me and how I consume information.
And, I do. I really decide. Because I don’t want to become so consumed with the world’s thoughts, I lose God’s precious thoughts towards me. This can easily happen. So, sometimes, I pull away and say…All those voices? Those are for another day.
I can’t judge others, though. We each have our own plight. We each have our own road and journey. The goal is to make sure you stay on the road God has for you and not another person’s best version of it. Social media tries to pull us right and left – onto other people’s paths. This is my gripe with it.
We don’t need to worry about them, for we follow HIM.
With this, I believe, independent of what we do online, God will bless us as we seek him (see: Mt. 6:33) We don’t have to get likes, shares and comments to see his blessings unfold. Nope, we just gotta do the very small thing he calls us to in our very small way. He’ll take care of us.
I wish many of my fellow laborers in Christ, my fellow blogging sisters, might relax into this truth. I want peace for us all. I want rest, rejuvenation and renewal to be our foundation. I want us to lift each other up, rather than sizing each other up. I want us to be full so we can fully convey God’s love far and wide.
LifeLetter Cafe: Share with us a personal favorite moment in the book?
Kelly Balarie: My favorite moment is when I say, “I still fear.” There is freedom in truth. There is release in admittance. There is hope found in trusting God to bring you to full deliverance.
What I want all of us to know is – we don’t have to pretend like we are okay, when we are not. For, when we tell God we feel weak, he makes us strong. When we acknowledge where we are, God meets us there. When we let go, he takes up our cause.
Certainly, God did a mighty work on me as I wrote this book. My husband often looks at me and says, “Kelly, even if no one is changed by this book, you were radically transformed.” I agree. God did do a mighty work on me, to bring me to a place of free-r. I am so grateful. I have new eyes to see, new fire and a new drive to do all things with him.
He gave me practical biblical insights, stories and tips to beat fear. I keep those things so very close to me. It is a joy to extend these learnings to those who may struggle with fear, anxiety or worry.
LifeLetter Cafe: Tell us about your “4 Days To Fearless Challenge”?
Kelly Balarie: 4 Days. Begin to fear less. I send you an email every day to jumpstart your journey. With one word, you can begin to make progress towards renewed faith, hope and peace. Sign up today!
LifeLetter Cafe: Kelly – you encourage women to “find their calling” – what was the pivot moment in your own life in you “unlocking you” and how do you stay “fear free” when the road gets bumpy?
Kelly Balarie: When I finally allowed my heart to understand (not my head), that God’s words spoken about me in scripture – are true, I started to have clearer vision about what on earth I was put here to do.
This is power. If you know God speaks over your life – promise, purpose and hope – you can let it drive you and lead you. I bring women to understanding and owning God’s Word in my book, Fear Fighting. Suddenly, they can step out of the skin of fear to walk into the hope of God’s great glory!