About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. Melissa,
    I really like the part where you say that in order to be a fully devoted follower of Christ, we have to be willing to surrender our preoccupation with our needs, our weakness, our agenda, and our own insecurities…that’s step one if we want to be able to love and serve others. Finding our identity in Christ is the key. I know I get so caught up in feeling unqualified, inept, etc. that I make excuses for not getting out there and serving, loving others and building God’s kingdom. Thanks for the swift, gentle, kick in the rear end that I needed this morning!
    Blessings,
    Bev

      • Ok Ms. Melissa your blog eat at me. Not in a weird or uncomfortable feeling but it confirmed what I need to do as a woman of Christ and sisterhood in Christ. I’m also an introvert, I love being to myself (listening to Afrobeat and old jazz, with my Samsung notebook in hand, and my thoughts) with no problem!! But there is a woman I thought would be a great asset in my life. When we first met, I was thrown off by her because she was not shy or hesitant to pronoun she wanted to ‘get to know me’. Fast forward, we would chat, text each other (more me than her), talk out our children, and have deep conversations, and hangout…I thought she was cool. But then, my feelings changed and I smelled jealous from her and I became confused…then mad. Why??? I deleted her number from my phone and cut back on communication and visits. I reached to other women (I trust) and they suggested I not stay away but know we are in two different places. I took what was said….and prayed about it. I still cut back on our talks/visits but my prayer increased and gotten serious about her. Now, I think about her and it makes me uncomfortable. But your blog blessed me….. because I’m not alone being put under fire to be friends with other women who are nasty!!! I guess…(like Jesus), they need us because its something in us they need. Deliverance! Healing! Proverbs 31 model! Or whatever it is they need us. Thank you for your humility, I know you wasn’t easy being as Paul says…weakness. But know your ability to be weak gave me strength and confidence to do this friendship thing with her again.

        By the way…I write blogs too if you ever like to read one. Let me know.

        BrownGirl Just Wants to Write!!

        Zee

  2. Such a perfect way to wrap up this series. Your words have simply been confirmation of what God and I have been discussing these past few weeks. How awesome is our God?

  3. What a wonderful post! I can relate to so much of it. The bullying and teasing didn’t stop for me. It lasted all the way through school. And I have not yet beaten my fear of putting myself out there. I know it’s an act of faith. I know it in my head, but can’t seem to make my feet go. Thank you for such a lovely word of encouragement this morning!

  4. I so relate to this: “That risk to love others can be like asking for a giant spotlight to be pointed squarely at our insecurity and vulnerabilities, inviting the world to snicker at us or trip us up so we’ll make a fool of ourselves.” I identified a few years ago, that while I’m not a risk-taker, this is the one area where I risk it big: for relationships… and it’s not easy… but it’s what I’m called to do. Thank God for always being my shelter.

  5. Melissa, thank you for the courage to tell others this part of your story. So appreciated and a gentle reminder of God’s unfailing love. God is with us, even when the world is not. He is always kind and gracious. Thank you kind Sister for the reminder.

  6. Melissa…This was so powerful! Thank you!

    To be a fully devoted follower of Christ, we have to be willing to surrender the preoccupation with our needs, our weakness, our agenda, and our own insecurities so we can remember our purpose to show love to the world and rest in our identity found in Christ.
    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
    (2 Corinthians 12:9)
    THIS IS MY PRAYER!

    God bless you and your willingness to be transparent.
    Jenny

  7. Thank you for having the courage to be vulnerable and write this story. This is exactly how I feel, and is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I too am an Introvert. I too was bullied as a child and keep crossing paths with people who feel the need to put others down to make themselves feel better. While I know there’s a reason for this, and a lesson to be learned, it can be so exhausting and hurtful. So thank you for this – I will keep pushing myself and putting myself out there 🙂

  8. Melissa, I’m so sorry you were bullied as a child, but so grateful that God taught you redeeming lessons because of it. I’m glad you shared your story. It makes those of us who were also bullied feel less alone and also find hope in your redeeming story through it all. This was especially encouraging to me – “Our weakness is the very thing God wants to use to show His love in powerful ways to someone else. It’s risky to be vulnerable, but do it anyway!”

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. The Spirit spoke to my heart throughout this post. I kept reading the line, “Feeling that sense of being weak, or different and rejected, yet pressing through it to reach out to a hurting world is part of being a follower of Christ.” Wow. I just really needed this encouragement. I love that the Lord uses the writers of incourage as tools to encourage His followers, and speak through them. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable my fellow introvert!

  10. Wow, that was my childhood experience in 5th and 6th grade, down to the friend moving away and Mom intervention.
    I’m in a transition period, a new job interview tomorrow in a different field. A giant leap of faith. Thank you.
    ditto to April.

  11. Thanks you so much for your message of courage to face our fears. I have been struggling with what God wants me to do with my life, and your message hit home. I have also been afraid to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to others. I realize how important it is to focus on what God thinks of me, and not what others think of me. I appreciate your candidness as well. Thank you!

  12. Hi Melissa! I have just been thinking about what things in my past have too much of a hold on me. Being picked on in grade school made it pretty high on that list.
    I think many people have been through an experience like this, it seems there are less ‘mean girls’ and more ‘picked on girls’. The fact that it made you so strong is so wonderful, and I rejoice in your being able to move forward and encourage others. I hope to do the same. But first, I have to make peace with those experiences, and see them as part of the reason that I feel compelled to make others comfortable. I’m sure it was part of my becoming a nurse.
    These damaging times can be cobbled together to make one strong, effective person for God. I think you are there already! I hope to be soon.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    • I love that God used your experience to make you who you are, even as you still feel like you are making peace with those experiences (as I’m sure we all are, all in process!) He has made you a caring person who is using her life to make others comfortable as a nurse. I love that. Blessings!

  13. This spoke straight to my heart from God through you with perfect timing! Thank you, I don’t feel so alone now.

  14. God called me to love a group of performers. I became a part of the group, a performer, to do so. Me with the fear of rejection, me who had been told by someone I cared for that I can’t act. I am performing before thousands of people by the end of the fair. And I get to work hard to let others now I care about them, to encourage them when they are down. God is so good, and He has such a since of humor.

  15. This is so wonderful. Thank you for the reminder to step out when I would much rather stay in where I feel safe. That’s not what we were made for. I just needed a reminder 🙂 Blessings and prayers for you all.

  16. Hi there. I felt as if I were reading about my own past…bullied for most of the 7th grade and so much an introvert through high school and beyond. I have changed, and it’s because the Lord pushed me, over and over again, to step out of my comfort zone. I love your blog and your decorating ideas. I think as Christian women it is important to make our homes beautiful (God loves beauty), creative (God is THE creator), and hospitable (we are evangelizers and our homes are the safest place to reach out to others). I loved this post!

  17. Melissa

    I grew up with busted tympanic membranes (punctured ear drums). I couldn’t hear good and did not speak much. I was shy and had few friends.

    My biggest fear was getting in front of people and doing solos or public speaking. It still scares me some. My first “solo” speaking part was in a church musical. It was super hard for me. Then I had to take public speaking in college. That meant getting in front of the class for 5 or so speeches. Over the years God has helped me over come that fear a bit. Now I get in front of my church and do sign language to music.

    We must ask God to help us with our fears. Through Him we can become overcomers and do great work for His kingdom!

    Blessings :_)

  18. I can definitely identify with the bullying, name-calling, and being made fun of. It is not fun, but God uses it to toughen us and make us look to Him instead of depending on people. People have hurt me, disappointed me, gossiped about me, and even my own husband has done things to hurt me, but God has helped me learn not to depend on people, but give all my expectations to Him. He has NEVER let me down, disappointed me, or humiliated me ever. He is my best friend!!! Even though it would be nice to have a godly, best friend (lady) with “skin on” here on earth, I know God knows what is best for me and will give me one when or if I ever need one. Thanks for these devotionals!!! They are so encouraging!!!!!! <3