If you go back and read my last post, you will find it ends with this paragraph…
Maybe there are some things you are holding onto…some things that you just havent let Jesus clean up yet. Maybe it’s an outright sin, but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a fear that you’ve been too scared to confront. Maybe it’s a very old wound that is just too painful to let Him touch so you keep it covered up in the dark. Maybe it’s an insecurity that you don’t trust Him to overcome. Maybe it’s a lie that you bought into years ago that has slowly infected the rest of your heart till you just can’t breath. Maybe it’s a relationship that has been broken for so long it’s just easier to cover it up- like putting a new shower curtain in a bathroom full of mold…We tend to think ‘Oh it’s just this one thing, it’s not affecting me that much.’ And He is repeatedly whispering to us- ‘let me at it, it’s got to go’. If we don’t let Him take it, it will slowly grip onto us and choke us to death.
That was almost exactly four months ago. I haven’t been able to type out a word since. There are many reasons, and I wont try to elaborate on all of them, but let me just say I am a different person than I was even just four months ago.
When I first decided to follow Christ and really lay everything I had on the table for His namesake, I counted the cost. It was a process of several months, wrestling and thinking things through. I told Him I was in but I couldn’t do things halfway. If He could use me, He should use me, but if I was giving Him my life, I wanted it to count. I know how crazy it sounds when people say “God told me” but God told me…He said clearer then anything I’ve ever known that if I would trust Him it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but He would use me in a way that would impact the world.
Looking back over the last five years in particular, He has allowed me to be apart of seeing great things happen. I have travelled the world. I have spoken in front of thousands of people. I have been a part of saving lives and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have seen the craziest things take place and seen Him work in ways that still blow me away.
I had this vision in my head of how things would continue to progress. It made sense, it looked great, I was full steam ahead with it. And then it all fell apart. The plan was ripped out of my hand and I was left with no explanation, no further instruction, no assurance of what was to come.
There is a purpose in every single step, and if you know me at all, you know I believe that. Part of the purpose in this was to show me where my identity lied. It’s very easy to be the girl that goes to Africa, or the girl that’s involved with that church, or the girl that is heading up this project…fill in the blank with a hundred other titles. I can do that. Give me a role and I can fill it. I can fill it very very well. Give me a goal and I will make it happen. I am gifted in that. Take away all my roles and leave me with nothing to cling to…I freak out. I realized I didn’t know how to relate to God without ‘doing’ something for Him. I realized I didn’t know how to relate to people without introducing myself as my ‘role’. I didn’t know how to let God ‘know’ me, deep down. I didn’t want Him to, deep down held a lot of junk that I didn’t want to uncover. Deep down was a lot of confusion, hurt, anger, and every other feeling you could list, and it all seemed so much better if it was kept ‘down there’. That last post I wrote about letting Him ‘gut us out’..that’s been me, and is me, and will probably continue to be me for quite some time.
In this process of gutting out, it’s so much easier to grasp onto outside things. It’s so much easier to cling to a new role and get busy doing really great at being that person all the while avoiding the deeper work that He is wanting to do. We can do really good at many things for years and years and never stop to work on the one thing He is trying to get us to work on. This whole writing thing quickly became that for me.
Within weeks of publishing this site I was getting thousands of reads on my posts. I had writing gig offers from several online sites. I had people asking me to do guest posts and book reviews and all kinds of incredible things. All these are things I want to pursue, and I believe are signs of His grace and favor in my life. People dont just get handed these kind of opportunities. But I felt myself gravitating towards the ‘writer’ role. I had to stop and step away while I could still see clearly.
He was and is wanting to do a deeper work in me, and I could very easily take the writer thing and run with it for days and weeks and years, and keep myself busy and distracted and sharing good things..all the while neglecting what He is really speaking to me.
It’s very easy to follow the ten steps to a succesful blog list and do fairly well. It’s very easy to look at all the popular Christian bloggers and copy the style and tone and topics and fit right in. It’s easy to write what people want to hear. But those things arent me. I struggle with this. I struggle to not cling to a role, or a theological camp, or a social class, or a circle of people. I struggle to not say what everyone else says, and do what everyone else does. I struggle to stand on my own and hear what He is saying and to share just that. I struggle to just be me. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s vulnerable. And honestly? Sometimes I just want to fit. I just want to cover up everything and I want to blend in and belong. But I always find myself somewhere awkardly in the middle, and He has always worked most through me when I get real.
So this is real.
This is me.
I didn’t plan for my life to look anything like it does right now.
I go back and forth from doubting the decisions I’ve made in the past to feeling the best is yet to come.
I am broken, and restless, and confused and struggling to make it through most days lately without tears of frustration.
I am daily feeling the tension of pursuing safety and security and knowing that He has put in me a desire for things that require safety and security to be sacrificed.
I am afraid to dream and hope because I’m still wounded from the crushing of past dreams and hopes.
I don’t know what in the world He is doing in me but it is beautiful and painful and scary all at the same time.
I don’t know what is ahead, and I am struggling to hold out hope that there is purpose here.
I am on a journey that all of us are on, if we’re being honest.
He keeps reminding me of His promise to use me for great things, and His word that He’s not done with me yet. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know how that will play out or if I’m just crazy and making things up in my head….I don’t know what you’re looking for, and I can’t promise you will like what I have to share here. But I can promise from here on out, it will be me and it will be real. I have a feeling that’s something you can relate to.