Candid Confession: My name is not Victoria Grace. I’ve written to you with a pen name since my first post in November of 2017. There’s nothing wrong with pen names, but I hid behind Victoria Grace because I was afraid to speak boldly for Christ.
Now it’s time for me to grow into the purpose God created me to fulfill. I could use a little boost of bravery as I step out, and I hope my story will inspire and encourage you to walk alongside me and be bold for Jesus, too.Victoria Grace isn’t who she’s claimed to be. Find out who she really is in this post… Click To Tweet
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Valerie Riese. I am a 44-year-old woman from Wisconsin. I grew up as the oldest of 5 children on a traditional family farm of about 45 dairy cows.
My favorite thing to do on the farm was hide in the hayloft with a book, dreaming of someday becoming an author. Now, most of what I write is because I need to hear it more than any of you.
Where I grew up, Christians were quiet. Only the “weird” people sang in church, spoke of Jesus during the week, or read their Bible. And the ones who spoke of any kind of relationship with our Savior… well, we’d just nod and politely change the subject.
A few years ago, Jesus touched my heart in a way I couldn’t comprehend and I craved His Word constantly. As I grew in my faith, I knew God wanted me to write to help others do the same. I was afraid of what people would think of me, so I created Victoria to speak for me.
Bravery Born of Gratitude
So why let go of Victoria now?
Come and listen, all who fear God,Psalm 66:16-17
and I will tell what He has done for me.
I cried out to Him with my mouth,
and praise was on my tongue.
Two months post-breast cancer, my I have more peace than I have had in almost twenty years. Sure, I had bad days during treatment, and I still struggle now, but anxiety no longer infiltrates my soul.
As I depended on Jesus during cancer, I experienced His faithfulness in a new way, and I am simply too grateful to hide anymore. This newfound gratitude was born of an intentional effort to praise and thank My Defender, even when I felt afraid and alone. I did this in three ways.3 Ways to Experience Jesus’ Peace Through Thankfulness Click To Tweet
3 Ways to Experience Peace Through Thankfulness
1.) Thank Him For The Little Unexpected Gifts.
God can use anyone or anything to help you at the very moment you need it most. Recognize God’s provisions for you when a thoughtful message from a friend, the perfect blog post, or a special song ministers to you in perfect timing.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.James 1:17
2.) Thank Him For Answered Prayers.
You prayed as you waited for the test results, but did you remember to thank Jesus when the doctor said it was nothing? Remember to circle back and give thanks for a trial averted. You’ll find yourself doing it more and more, and you will be amazed by His endless provisions in your life.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;Psalm 118:21
you have become my salvation.
3.) Thank Him Always, Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It.
Even when it feels like Jesus is absent and you can’t think of anything to be thankful for, praise Him with your half-hearted lips until it fills your soul. I promise, as your focus shifts upward rather than inward, you will feel His presence and that inexplicable peace you long for. You can do this with music, journaling, prayer, and many other ways.
I will praise the Lord at all times.Psalm 34:1
I will constantly speak his praises.
Let’s Be Bold Together
I’m coming out from the safety of Victoria Grace because I can’t tell you what Jesus has done for me if I don’t even tell you who I am. My name is Valerie Riese, and I’m asking you to support me in this transition by telling someone about Jesus’ faithfulness in your life.
For a shot of courage, here are 3 Scriptures about speaking boldly for Christ and Matthew West’s song “All In”.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.Ephesians 6:19-20
For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold.2 Corinthians 3:11-12
The wicked flee though no one pursues,Proverbs 28:1
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Will You Speak Boldly?
Do you ever struggle to speak boldly for Jesus? Is there just one area where you could step out and be bold for Christ this month? Let us know about it, share your thoughts or struggles in the comments below.