Do I bear good fruit?

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Since I have given my life to Jesus, almost ten years ago, I’ve overcome many insecurities. Not because I’m so good, but because He is. I know–and feel–He loves me no matter what. I am where I am supposed to be, that is, in Umbria, Italy. I trust Him for providing for our small family next year, when we’ll have no income. Everything I have ever done and experienced–even the bad stuff–He can transform it and use it all for His purposes. I’m even willing to surrender my will to His without the taste of rebellion and pride in my mouth. I long to bear fruit that pleases Him and nourishes people.

Stop. Here’s where insecurity kicks in. Is the fruit that I bear good enough?

You might want to interrupt me right now and say, “You don’t get saved by your works,” or, “You can’t earn God’s love.”

I know.

But His Word says that I still need to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:9-10 ESV–italics are mine). If I don’t bear fruit, He’ll still love me, but it’s because of my love for Him that I long to bear fruit. Good fruit.

We–my husband, our daughter and I–are in Italy to share God’s love with the Italians and let His light shine where it’s dark. We witness when, where, and to whom we can. We host worship and prayer meetings, we do Bible studies and counselling sessions. As a family, we bear fruit.

But I know that in addition to the common fruit, God calls me to grow individual fruit. Something that only I can produce because He made me unique.

I am to write.

I’ve always loved to write, so I was delighted that about eight years ago, someone prophesied that God would touch hearts through my writings. Seven long years, I prayed for guidance, for inspiration. Only last year, I started to write seriously, that is, more than the occasional personal newsletter to friends and family “back home.”

With hindsight, it was the perfect timing. Before last year, I simply wouldn’t have had the time between restructuring a house, starting a ministry, adopting a daughter, and fighting my own spiritual battles.

So God made me write a book about my spiritual journey from atheism to Christianity and share it with “the world”. “The world’s” first language is English. So I wrote the book in English–my second language. In addition, I started a blog in English, and set up two English Facebook pages.

However, it takes me an awful lot of time to write in English. Every other sentence I check the Internet if what I wrote is really English, because I always fear that my  Dutch-English-Italian language center (did I already mention that my mother tongue is Dutch?) has brewed non-existent sayings, fussy phrasing, or multilingual idiom (which would certainly add an unintended touch of uniqueness to my writing…). Not to mention downright grammatical errors.

I must add that over the last half year–since I joined FaithWriters–I’ve grown in skill as well as confidence, but I still feel insecure about my English (did you notice the disclaimer in the right margin of this blog?). Is the quality of my unique fruit good enough for God to touch hearts, as He promised eight years ago? Or do readers get distracted–disgusted–by rotten spots and weird growths?

Then some weeks ago, God told me that it was time to start writing in Italian. You can’t be serious, was my first reaction. Although we live in Italy since 2004, have a local ministry, and interact daily with Italians, Italian is my third language. Third as in “third-best.”

I felt like Moses. Can you please choose someone else for the job? Like a native Italian?

But He was clear. You do the job. I’ll give you the message, you write.

So I started writing in Italian. It’s a long and painstaking process. But God said I should do it. I obey.

He trusts me.

Who am I to feel insecure?

——-

What is your unique calling? How do you feel about it?

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14 thoughts on “Do I bear good fruit?

  1. I love what you wrote here, my sweet sister. It made me tear up. Just to think you would imagine your fruit wasn’t good enough. What pours from the yielded heart is always sweet. You have yielded your everything to Him and He in return abides in you. In the abiding He’s making the fruit.
    Be still and let Him work. He is your reward. I can tell you without a doubt your fruit is good, very good.
    He walks up touches the branches and whispers a whisper of joy because he finds the fruit there. Then ever so gently He picks it and wipes it off on his shirt before examining it. Then he finds it just right…just right for the picking. His lips touch the fruit and he pulls the sweet nectar out in pure joy. He laughs because He knows just where it came from and why. You are that fruit. He finds joy in you…pure joy. Now imagine that!

    • Dear Chris, thank you so much for your wonderful, encouraging words. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed I am by you and all my other sisters all over the world. I’m overwhelmed.

    • Thank you, Leah. Isn’t it amazing how Jesus is always there if we turn to Him for help? Cheering on us while we run the race, whether directly or through our (online) friends? It’s wonderful to be on The Loft with all of you.

  2. Milly, I am just in shock!! WOW! This is incredible and God’s hand on you and working through you is incredible. You are an inspiration to me! By the way I have NEVER thought your English was anything less than native. I bet your Italian will be that way soon, if not already. Thank you so much for sharing this, I have been so blessed!

    • Arabah, your words encourage me greatly! I just may print them and stick them to my computer to look at while I’ll be pouring blood, sweat, and tears into my next 2nd or 3rd language article 🙂

      It’s a blessing to hang out on The Loft with you all. Jesus is there right with us!

  3. Milly,
    This resonates with my soul so much. God called me to write a book over 10 years ago, but in his timing it is just now being written. Actually two of them.

    And two years ago during a fast, as I was praying about this ministry I have through my writing, He confirmed the answer to my question of “who am I writing to?”… “You write the words I give you and I’ll take it to whom I want to, to those who need it.”

    Then a little over a year ago, through a stranger who visited our church, He confirmed “I have your back. Go and tell everyone what I did for you. I will adorn you.”

    And He certainly has.

    So I encourage you to keep walking in that confirmation and that ministry He has given you. Don’t worry about the words or the how or even the why, just go and walk in what He has for you.

    Glad we connected through #theloft. Blessings to you,
    Heather

  4. I love your heart and your desire to obey God no matter what! I’d also love to see lots of photos of Italy!!! {How I long to visit Europe!} It’s so exciting that you have heard the call and will step into it by faith! Glad to have connected with you Milly!

    • Thank you, Kathy! If I’ve time I’ll publish some more photos. You can also find some on my Facebook page. And let me know when you come to Italy! 🙂

  5. Hi, Milly! 🙂 I’m stopping by from #TheLoft today. If you had not confessed, I would never have known you are not a native English speaker, truly! How brave of you to press forward in obedience even in an area that you feel inadequate. I think He does that on purpose, you know, so that we might rely on Him fully. 😉 I appreciate your last two lines the most “He trusts me.Who am I to feel insecure?” How profound! I’ll be thinking on that for a while. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Jen 🙂

    • Dear Jen, thank you for your encouraging words! And yes, I totally agree that God makes us do the things in which we just have to depend on Him. And His promise is that He’ll never forsake us. He makes a way and He makes us brave.
      God bless you!

  6. Pingback: The Healing of the Ten | Destination Italy

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