Inner healing work

The days leaders don’t talk about

days-leaders-dont-talk-aboutWhen I first started this blog, I promised to keep it honest. I vowed that I would be real and transparent about the ins and outs of what goes on in my head on this journey of being a Jesus follower.

Today, I’m going to be super real with you.

You’re getting an intense look inside.

People who follow Jesus (authentically) are often viewed as a pillar of strength. It’s like they become this model of who you want to be like. I get it. There are many people in my life that I’ve seen that way.

Well, I’m about to wreck that image.

Like completely dismantle it.

I want this post to be encouraging. I want this post to be super awe inspiring and awesome (what blogger doesn’t?) And, yet, all that is coming out of me today is a pretty raw look at the days that you don’t read about in blogs.

So, just get ready. I’ve given you fair warning.

There are days I feel less than.

There are days I don’t feel like I’m enough.

There are days I feel scared.

There are days I feel like I’m failing at everything.

Sometimes I want to give up.

Sometimes I want to hide under the covers and not come back out.

Sometimes I fear that people will leave, people will disappoint and all of it will amount to nothing.

There are times my heart gets tired. My head gets full. My arms get weak. And I want to lay down and pass the baton to someone else. Give it to someone stronger. Someone like the leaders that I look up to.

I am not perfect. But I really want to be and that is hard. I am not made of steel. But I want to be and that lands me in a pool of tears more than I care to admit. I am not always able to love the best. But I long to, and that weighs heavy on my heart. I am not always able to shake off words that rattle me. But, I really, really wish I could and that makes for some tough days. I’m not always confident and that totally and completely SUCKS.

These moments don’t happen often, but they do happen.

I’ve learned God’s grace here…

in this ugly, messy place.

I’ve learned to cherish my weak spots.

I’ve learned to embrace them and press into them.

This has become the mantra of my heart:

I can stand up and keep fighting because He is stronger than my weak and feeble heart.

I can choose to continue to love because He is the only stable lover of my heart.

He is and always will be my constant.

He is and always will be the only true lover of my soul.

He is and always will be my loudest cheerleader in the room.

He has and always will have the only key to my heart.


True strength isn’t built on mountaintops.

True warrior strength is built in the trenches. It’s formed in the battleground. It’s in the dark, lonely hours when you just don’t think you can anymore. True strength is made in the crushing, refining hours when the ache is deep, the pain intense and the battle cry sounds more like a desperate scream for help.

We all will face giants. Sometimes the biggest ones are inside.

I take a huge amount of comfort from Paul. He said, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)

He pretty much admitted that in his heart he had places that were totally weak. I love that. BECAUSE IT MAKES ME NOT FEEL SO DARN CRAZY.

I believe Paul learned to identify with the trenches. He learned to master them. Not that he overcame being weak, but he mastered the art of pressing into weakness and responding well.

There will always be let downs. There will always be situations and people that hurt. But, I can’t walk in fear or shame of that. I refuse.

Because the moment I do, darkness wins. The moment I refuse to back down out of shame or fear, I’ve already surrendered.

Every intense battle of the heart and mind that you face, is a direct attack against your purpose. Against the you that you were designed to be.

I am designed to speak.

I am designed to love and love well.

I am designed to confront darkness head on.

I am designed to be painfully vulnerable.

(There’s more but we’ll stop there) 🙂

So, friends, I am sharing from an honest place. I’ve learned how to battle and believe there is tremendous strength when we open up and admit our weakness. Honesty shakes off shame. Transparency wrecks the ability for darkness to win.

You have a fierce calling on your life. You have a tremendous amount of work to do that only you are designed for.

You will face giants. You will get knocked down. You will battle insecurity and fear and confront and expose a ton of weak areas. BUT THEY WILL NOT WIN.

You are not alone.

You are not going to lose.

You are not going to give up.

You are going to keep marching on.

Not because you are super human – but because all the power of the divine lives and rests inside of you.

Marching on.


Author. Blogger. Speaker. Momma to 4.


  • Michael Blaylock

    Thanks for this, it’s helpful. I, too, have been “hit in one of the areas God has strategically called me to walk in,” if I’m interpreting that correctly, still trying to shake it off and see what to do next. Good encouragement.

  • Keith

    Anna, bless you for your honesty and humility. Sunday, Mother Teresa was anointed as a Saint. In her journals, she often wrote that she felt less pious at times and struggled to find the strength to do the wonderful work she did each day. Here is one of the finest people ever to walk the earth and she had doubts as well. She prayed for God to give her the strength. I find her and your doubts refreshingly human as we do struggle. Some days, we just need to recharge our batteries. Bless you for all you do. Take care of you, as well as the many others, Keith

  • Shirley

    Thank you Anna, It is amazing how just when you think you can’t go another step, He sends a helper like you. I have been feeling overwhelmed and at times defeated, but your post today has given me a boost to just keep on living for The Lord. You may not think you can help but I’m here to tell you that Satan is lying to you and I for one have been helped this day. Thank you for bearing your self to us and God bless you!

  • Nichole

    This. Everything about this. Your heart is beautiful and mirrors Jesus so wonderfully. Thank you for walking out in this call on your life.


  • Dr Dave Richardson

    I feel for you. But the reality is you can’t do pastoral ministry without getting knocked and nicked and bruised and sometimes bloodied. Pastoral ministry is after all a blood sport (multiple layers of meaning there if you think about it) at least in the eyes and minds of some congregants. The primary encouragement I can offer beyond what you are already leaning on is the reminder that all the people we serve are at different points on the spiritual maturity chart. I have to remind myself that periodically. Extend grace – love them unconditionally – take the bruises – remember John 18:21-24
    21 “Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” 22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” Continuing to pray for you and the folks at Stilwell Baptist.

  • Janine

    Anna – thanks for your authenticity and transparency – it is sooo appreciated. It enable us and gives us permission (if we needed it) to be real when we are in the middle of a below par day or season. Too much of life is about putting on the right face; and hiding behind all too many faces is a fear that the real us is somehow less acceptable, so we project a persona that we perceive is. It’s kind of plastic surgery on the inside; not quite ‘us’. Loving your posts – please keep doing them, even in your crazy busy life.

  • 2btrue

    People need to be reminded that the veil has to come off, at some time. Moses tried to hide behind it when the glory faded. We see many leaders who choose the veil…they try to hang on to the glory days and times, by re-hashing and redoing those things that placed them on pillars. I suppose, if any of us hasn’t attempted the same thing, we sure desire to be up on those high places. However, we know the truth…we are human, with all the trappings.

    • 2btrue

      Also…I once heard someone say something about the greatest gift we can give to the Lord. Some would say, our time, others would say our efforts…of course, there would be generous giving, souls reached and on and on.

      However, the greatest gift we can personally give would be our failures, weaknesses and faults. When we lay these at His feet, looking to Him to fix and fill the empty places, there is no greater gift. Why? Because we are laying ourselves before Him, humbled and ready and desiring more of Him to fill us up.

      When we do this, we allow Him to relate to us. After all, this is His greatest desire…a relationship with His children

  • Ronald Dibble

    You may have heard the adage: If you are going through hell, keep moving.
    Perhaps that is an over simplification of what you said, but it has been true a couple times, or more, in my life. I have called on the Lord, and He as directed my hands as well as my path.

  • DianeNicole L Hertzler

    Thank you —-this is beyond good—-this is real and encouraging. I may have to print this out and tack this to my wall or walls in several different rooms. Thanks again:-)

    On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 2:45 PM, just a jesus follower wrote:

    > Anna McCarthy posted: “When I first started this blog, I promised to keep > it honest. I vowed that I would be real and transparent about the ins and > outs of what goes on in my head on this journey of being a Jesus follower. > Today, I’m going to be super real with you. You’re g” >

  • Patricia Larkin

    Yes, yes, yes! and may all the glory be His! Keep going Anna, He will never leave us nor forsake us! and He has carved us in the palms of His hands!

    Often we fall into the trap of presenting a ‘perfect front’, that is a mistake, I’ve had the greatest opportunities to witness to others when I’ve been willing to expose my weak areas and my mistakes and my trials.

    your sister in Christ, Patricia

  • Leslie Harshaw

    Thank you for your transparency, honesty and strength. The Holy Spirit is alive and well within you…and that alone makes you unstoppable. Unstoppable for the path He wants you to take…Nd only time will reveal the path and reason. I feel strongly that you are on the right road. Thank you, and Zac, for your tremendous gifts of time, talent and treasure. We are blessed.


  • Rex Kapfhamer

    As a Christian for many years & walking with Jesus the last 4-5 years I found why I was not “Getting It”.
    For me it is the “Judgement Thing”. From day one I was taught to judge non-Christians. And even in the highly spiritual churches, there was the feeling that I am not good enough or when will I be good enough to be accepted by this group. Now days when Judgement strikes, I feel “yucky” & have to pull out of it as quick as I can. I wish Christians could get over that “sense of duty” to judge those who are not good enough to be Jesus in the flesh yet. Their heart would then (like yours Anna) go out to all those who are hurting & need to see a non-judgemental Jesus.
    He loves us so much!

  • Doug Dimmel

    You have hit on areas that you never hear about in Sunday school. Like the old song says, “Be bold, be strong, for the Lord thy God is with you.”

  • grandadfromthehills

    Great stuff that gets into the trenches of life.

    I want to question the phrasing of a sentence: “Because the moment I do, darkness wins. The moment I refuse to back down out of shame or fear, I’ve already surrendered.”
    Shouldn’t that be “Because the moment I do, darkness wins. The moment I back down out of shame or fear, I’ve already surrendered.”? Context sez so…

    Love ya, Sister! Keep sharing the Word! And it is a good one today!

  • Christadelphians

    In this world we shall be tested more than once. More than once we also shall feel as if we can’t cope any more. We are given an example which we should follow. Though you seem wrongly to take that person, the sent one from God, as being God. Perhaps you following the trinitarian idea should come to see who Jesus really is and Who God really is. Sometimes God gives us signs which man ignores repeatedly. At other times when people question certain matter of their faith they also become tested more severely.

    It can well be that you have certain questions about faith, Jesus, God, worship and belief that are bothering you.

    Please do take time and have patience whilst you search the Scriptures for the truth. Also come to see who Jesus is and start believing in him who gave his life for you too.

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