About the Author

Tiffany is marveled by the endless grace and relentless love of her Savior in this life that can be so messy, busy, and imperfect. Her heart is to share God’s precious promises of grace and love with others and invite them into honest conversations about faith and life.

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  1. Miss Tiffany,

    Thank you. Like many, I struggle with having been continuously left or “burned” by those who have claimed to love me… it has happened again recently and I recognize the pattern of projecting that on the few people around me that I know love me with a Christ based love and that He put into my life for a reason. I know it is not fair to judge and assume off of past experiences but, we all know how easy it is. I am struggling and learning that God’s love is all I need. Everything else will either come together or fall apart and that’s okay… Thank you for this encouragement; I found tears coming to my eyes and a smile coming to my lips as I read the words God wrote through you. What a blessing this was tonight. I pray you know He sees you (even behind your phone screen) and that you, your family, and your new friend, all have a blessed day.

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

    • Your piece was the perfect answer to some struggles I’ve been addressing with fear. Fear of God being the perfect antidote to this problem. I love it. Thanks for that precious jewel that I’ll take out each time fear comes to haunt me.

    • Sweet Summer, no, being burned is never easy and that sting can creep up and trigger every emotion, can’t it? I’ve found that the only way to move beyond that is to combat it with the truth that we are not only loved by God, but we are worthy of the love and friendship of others. Past wounds don’t dictate future blessings. Lets together walk in the fullness of this beautiful life God has given. Much love, dear one.

  2. Tiffany,
    So good to be reading you here at (in)courage. We think that when we here loud “Thou shalt’s” in our head, that is God. But, like you beautifully pointed out, He whispers…..I know you’re afraid. It’s okay because I’m right here with you. One of the most comforting thoughts for me is, God before me, God with me, and God behind me. No matter where I go He has already prepared a place for me (even if it’s beside the coffee pots). He hems me in and I am never alone. Knowing He lovingly has hold of my hand with His righteous right hand, helps me to be brave when I’d rather run in fear. Thank you for your wonderful testimony of how God is the Healer of our wounds and the only One who can enable us to be brave.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Oh Bev, I love those promises you carry with you! Yes and amen, He is all around us. Such a beautiful visual and promise that His love surrounds us. Thank you for your faithful encouragement. Hugs!!

  3. Tiffany thanks for your encouraging words this morning. I love this: “Fear rises when we rely on our own strength. Courage arrives when we trust in God.” This was such a good reminder as I am in a season of being plopped into a new town once again (Army wife) and am being slooooow to make connections that I know I need. Blessings,
    Kristin

    • Kristin, thank you for your service and for that of your husband and family. As someone who has lived in the same city for all of my 42 years I can only imagine what that life looks like. I’m praying for you this morning – that God not only gives you courage as you step out, but that He brings those special people toward you that will make you feel welcome and invited in. You are already brave, and I’m trusting God to stand in the gap with you. Big hugs to you!

  4. Thank you for having the courage to share! Gives me a little boost of encouragement to go out there and not be afraid but rather be loving as there may be someone feeling just the same. God bless you!! ❤️

  5. Thank you for those encouraging words! I relate all to well, but didn’t see it as fear but caution. Thank you for that perspective. I have been wounded and hurt by so many people over the course of my life. Some family, some friends, some churches. We are now attending a new church and I am cautious about getting to know the people on a deeper level. I do have a lot of friends that I stay connected with; some surface, some deeper level friends- but I don’t extend to gain anymore friends because of that heartache. God bless your ministry and life’s journey! Keep on Keeping on!

    • Oh, Lydia – those past hurts can make moving forward so scary, can’t they? As you walk into your new church community, I pray God gives you wisdom, but also the eyes to see others who need the unique encouragement and love you can offer because of what you’ve been through. Might you be a safe haven for another heart in need. Those shared experiences are such a beautiful foundation for that deeper friendship. Love and hugs!

  6. He knows our weaknesses intimately but claims us as His own! Praise the Lord! And not only does He claim us, but also He has us always on His mind, graciously and mercifully loving us.
    I also like what you said about our wounds and bruises healing more easily than our regrets.
    Continue, dear courageous sister, in the fear of the Lord which brings life.

  7. We all need God’s courage in different areas of our lives. I love how you pointed out that regret is more damaging than the hurts we experience when we take risks. I’m thankful that God is pursuing me to give me his strength. May we always choose courage over fear.

    Thanks for sharing these words of truth.

  8. Thank you, Tiffany, for sharing your innermost thoughts on this subject. 18 months ago I had to deal with an obsessive friendship – something that had never happened to me before – and to make a long story short – my husband and I had to leave this small church and are on our own and there is no other church we can attend unless we compromise our beliefs. I do have thoughts of “fear” for the when the Lord leads us to move and be a part of another church family – because I’m “fearful” in a way – to make a new bosom friend as I don’t want something like this to happen again. It’s probably a rare thing for someone to obsess over you – I hope! 🙂 My family and few bosom friends live very far from us. It’s unfortunate for this situation to happen as I still do love this woman, but the Lord meant it to happen and move us from this congregation because there were other issues there. Thank you again for sharing and gaining the courage from the Lord to find another friend! 🙂 I know it will happen to me at some point. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Linda. I never cease to be amazed by the lengths God will go to move us to a healthier place. Your story is such a testimony to the fact that He sees us and protects us. I experienced that in my own journey – pain is a powerful motivator to change. I pray that your past experience brings wisdom and perspective, but that your faith in God moves you forward trusting that He goes before you and comes behind you. You are loved!

    • Hello – I commented earlier in this post & have just read your post. I too experienced an obsessive friendship & it was by far the most terrible thing that ever happened to me. I did not handle it well or deal well with the situation. Lots of repercussions including losing friends, church connections etc. It scared the life out of me & very wary of close friendships as a result. However, I trust it was all for a purpose. I think it is thankfully ,relatively unusual but don’t feel alone. It’s hard when your heart wants to forgive but the scars leave you feeling nervous and fearful. I too, had never experienced anything like this before. I think I’ve always felt warmth towards people in my heart and that changed. I thought that light might never come back but praise God – it took time but I can feel that love slowly returning! Who knows why we have to face such strange guys but trust it’s for holding the end. Don’t worry about not having a church at the moment ( v painful & sore as that might be) Hold fast & look up. He has you covered and kept. I once heard a service that focused on the word “kept”. It aid, sometimes end up hemmed in somewhere, place didn’t expect. God hems you in there not only to keep you safe from going somewhere you shouldn’t be but also to keep anything bad from outside, away from you. Xx

      • Hi M –

        Thanks for your comment. I’m “glad” to hear that someone else had to deal with this same issue. I believed I had dealt with the situation in the right way – spiritually/biblically – but our church’s leadership felt otherwise and told me I was wrong and it was harsh. At first I was so shocked by their reaction. They never ever mentioned that my friend’s behavior was wrong. These believers don’t believe in admonishing – according to scripture. You aren’t supposed to hurt someone’s feelings. They look the other way at bad behavior. They won’t address issues. It’s a cultural thing here. These believers only go so far in their faith. It doesn’t matter what the scripture says – they bypass it. They didn’t say these things in so many words, but it was plain to see that this is what they believe. Even when it comes to children’s behavior in church – their excuse is “they’re just kids.” As I mentioned in my comment, the LORD allowed this situation to occur to get us out of this church. We were no longer able to help this congregation. We are not angry about it. We are surviving on the messages we are hearing online and I am in SC now for a number of days. Today I was able to be in the same church (visiting my family) and listen to these messages from this pastor in person!! It was such a blessing! No, I am not disheartened, but when I do get to be in another church and start to make friends, I know I will have my guard up and will look at signs of obsessive behavior in people. I’m sure it’s a rare thing as I am 62 and this is the first time this has happened to me. 🙂 Keep yourself stuck in the scriptures. That’s what Pastor M said tonight. The Lord will grant strength and wisdom. 🙂

  9. Fighting our fears with faith in the one true God is the ONLY way to go. Thank you for sharing your heart Tiffany. Fear is something Christians face at all levels. Courage is moving forward in spite of those fears. Because of God’s love, we never have to move alone. Thanks again for sharing these words of encouragement today. Be well friend and God bless you and your family.

  10. What a reminder that we don’t know the burdens someone carries with them. What joy to see God healing and reaffirming His good gifts for you!

  11. Tiffany,

    Thank you for your testimony & how God helped you overcome. We all have fears of one kind or another. My fear is getting in front of people alone. I did it several times for a college speech course. Doing it in my own strength made me nervous & anxious. I would do OK, but not great. A few years ago our church music director asked me to get in front of the church to do sign language to music. I was nervous at first. Now I trust God to help me each time & I feel a bit more courage. It gets easier-only because I’m trusting God to eliminate my fears.

    Blessings 🙂

    • I love this, Beth. What a powerful testimony to the fact that in God’s strength you can use your gifts and talents to bless others. Thank you for sharing that!

  12. Tiffany, your message is that much more powerful because of what you’ve had to endure to live it. (Not that I’m in any way glad you had to suffer!) Thank you for the reminder to look up sometimes and let Him be amazing through us. I appreciate your encouragement!

    • It’s true, Pearl. I’ve found the most amazing fruit has come from the deepest pain. God can redeem the hurt for His glory which just reminds us how amazing He is. Hugs!

  13. Thank you so much for these words. I can entirely relate to this fear of “wide spaces and new faces”. I am greatly heartened by your encouragement to be brave despite the fear.

  14. In a few months, I’ll be making my home in a big city that I’ve never lived in before. I’ll have a new job and have to get to know people that I’ve never met before. While these things really make me nervous (because I’m an introvert), I’m going to rely on the only one that can give me the courage I’ll need to move on with my life.

    • Love the reliance on God in your words, Kim. I’m an intovert too so I know all the change can be a lot. I’m praying God gives you courage as you stretch that comfort zone, but that you give yourself grace in those momemts you just need to retreat to safe, quiet corners. Trusting Him to show you the perfect balance. Hugs!

  15. Thank you for sharing this, Tiffany!

    You’re right, the fear of God is the only fear that can erase them all. I love how you described it. 🙂

  16. Beautifully said, sweet Tiffany. I am so glad I was your neighbor this week at a link up, and found you here. This reminds me all too well of my own tale. Your words (His words) are like balm. Amen to it all and keep up the faith as you step out into relationships.

    • While it’s sad that so many if us can link arms in the hurt, I know there is strength in numbers and the unique encouragement we can offer others. Standing beside you as we step out, Meghan.

  17. l love this post! Thank you! I have been battling fear and doubt, from the time I committed to blogging. I know God called me to do this, yet at times the fear is so powerful. Even though I know it comes from the enemy I still find myself struggling. I try to keep in my mind that my job in this is to please the Lord, no one else. In other words to fear Him above everything else. The name of my blog is My Weakness His Strength, so in that theme I love when you say, “Fear rises when we rely on our own strength. Courage arrives when we trust in God.” It is all about Jesus! Thank you for a meaningful picture of courage. God Bless!

    • Hi Debra…yes, the blogging world and all it carries can really ramp up the fear and anxiety. There are a lot of expectations and just when you get them down, things change. Ha! I love your heart…you have an audience of One and pursuing Him first is the very best goal. I’ve found that only makes my writing all the more honest and relatable. Big hugs and all God’s best!

  18. Thanks for sharing. Right now, I am pushing myself weekly to go to our ladies bible study , sadly to say I do not even want to be there. I got so use to shutting myself off from people that it feels strange sitting in the study. I am there, but told myself I dare not reach out

    • Karen, I’d venture to say there are others who feel the same as you. Sadly, there can be a lot of hidden wounds among us gals and I’m so very sorry you carry the ones you do. The fact that you’re going to bible study, even though you’d rather not, shows bravery; it shows something inside you knows that you need to stay connected to God and to others. Sometimes it just takes one honest, authentic, I’m-willing-to-be-the-messy-one voice to go first and give others the permission to let their guard down too. Remember, no matter what you bring to that table, you are loved by God. Maybe someone else needs that reminder too?! “Watch. Stand fast in faith. Be brave. Be strong.” 1 Cor. 16:13