Peeling Pine Cones - A Guest Post by Sherry Carter
Peeling Pine Cones

The negative voices are at it again. I battled them before my first Bible study, Storms of Life, was published, but God’s love defeated them. Now, as I work on my second study, Revealing Letters: Victory Living for Today’s Women, I hear them again:

“That first Bible study was a fluke.”

“You’re a horrible writer.”

“Stop wasting your time. This idea is stupid.”

“You can’t do it.”

On and on…


Over the chaos, I hear God whisper:

“I called you, I will enable you.”

“I will guide your words in every paragraph, every page, and every chapter.”

“Don’t rely on your own strength, rely on Mine.”

“Walk in Me, and I will complete the work I began in you.”

“Remember, you overcame these voices before, and you will again.”


My mind flashes back to 2005. I was laid off—the last in a string of devastating events. God began to whisper to me about sharing the lessons He’d taught me over those difficult days. In a Bible study.

The enemy’s voice tried to drown out God’s.

“You need to find another job. How will you pay the bills?”

“Do you really believe God will take care of your money needs?”

“God can’t use you. You’re not good enough.”

“You can’t share your faith. You’re too full of fear and doubt.”

Even so, God’s voice grew louder and louder.


Finally, I had no choice but to start writing. Weeks became months; my mind filled with doubts. After a year of writing—and deleting—I was ready to give up. One morning, as I sat by a lake watching the sunrise, I began to cry. I picked up a dried-out pine cone lying on the ground and mindlessly broke off scales and dropped them on the ground.

I heard God whisper, “Do you trust Me?”

“I’m trying, Lord. It’s just too hard. Help me.”

Tears ran down my face, and it all seemed hopeless.

“I’m not good enough,” I whispered.

“You are good enough because you are My daughter … (Ephesians 1:3-6). Break off that lie, and throw it away.” I twisted off one of the scales and dropped it on the ground.

“My faith’s so weak. What do I have to offer?”

"Place your faith in My hands and allow Me to strengthen it (Galatians 2:7). Break off your fear of failure, and throw it away." Another scale hit the ground.

 “I just can’t do this, Lord. I sit, day after day, and write sentences that make no sense. I string them together into paragraphs that are even worse.”

“As long as you write your own words, My child, you write in vain. Throw away your dependence on your own understanding, and trust My wisdom and guidance (Proverbs 3:5).” Another scale dropped.

Slowly, one by one, God cleansed me of my doubts and fears. The ground at my feet was littered with scales peeled off that pine cone.


Even now the poor, dilapidated thing sits on my desk to remind me that God is more powerful, more patient, and more loving than all my shortcomings. When I hold a copy of Storms of Life in my hands, I see His faithfulness and His promises to use me all fulfilled.

Now it’s 2015. There’s a new book in progress, and the negative voices have come to haunt me.

Here I am, Lord. I need to sit here in Your presence and to allow You to erase the lies that cripple me and to replace them with Your truth. Then I’ll stand back—watch You work wonders!

What has God called you to do? To be a parent, a teacher, a doctor, an engineer, a secretary?

Are you listening to the negative voices?

Listen to God, and allow Him to fill your mind with His promises. Trust Him, and He will accomplish mighty things through you!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us.  Ephesians 3:20, NIV



Sherry Carter is a wife, mother, transformed engineer, and Bible study author. Above all, she is a child of God and a student of His Word. Her award-winning study, Storms of Life, encourages women to trust God during difficult times.

Storms of Life guides you through Scripture to show you how your Father God longs to bring you through the suffering to victory in Jesus - victory by coming through each storm with a stronger faith in Him and a deeper relationship with Him.




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doubt, fear, encouragement, encouragement for the writer, trusting God, serving God, Sherry Carter, Peeling Pine Cones - A Guest Post by Sherry Carter, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (3)

  • anon

    Thank you, Katy, for asking me to post on your blog!

    Jul 07, 2015
  • anon

    You're welcome, Sherry. But I have to thank you for such a great post. It really encouraged me this week. Thank you for sharing about your own struggle and writing journey!

    Jul 07, 2015
  • anon

    What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for the reminder to listen to God's voice instead of the negative voices. 

    Jul 07, 2015

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As co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy is a Bible study author and editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Follow Katy's blog to receive posts sharing practical strategies for winning life's spiritual battles. 


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