The last week or so has brought some significant developments in my writing. Not that I’ve been published or anything like that, but I have found a renewed passion for it, and the confidence to put more out. It was brought to my attention that I should have a introductory type piece for this blog; something to explain who I am and what the reason for this blog is. So, that’s what I plan to do here.
My renewed passion for this started at the beginning of the year. Cliché, I know, but it’s true. The pastor at my church started the year out with a series called “Better.” Throughout this series, he’s talked about striving for doing better this year instead of striving for perfection. He’s talked about how following Jesus will lead you to a better life and make you better at life. A couple of weeks ago, the message was about letting go of the things that hold you back and he asked the question, “What is holding you back?” This question really made me think because I do feel like there is something that holds me back and that is my fear. I thought about it not as something that I’m holding onto and refusing to let go of, but as something that is holding onto me and won’t let me go. How exactly do you just let go of fear and anxiety? I thought about that question a lot over the next week or so, and I prayed for God to give me the wisdom to understand how to let it go.
I spend my mornings on my way to work in prayer and deep thought. It helps me go in and be the best version of myself. Sometimes I listen to my favorite praise and worship songs, other times I just sit in silence and think and pray. It was during one of those drives that the thought occurred to me that my biggest issue in life is my complete lack of confidence. I genuinely have zero confidence in myself about anything I do. A big part of that is because I am constantly comparing myself to others and finding that I never measure up. Their talents, their thoughts, and their ideas far outweigh my own, so why in the world would I even try? I’ve lived my whole life on that principle, believing it is better to hide myself in the shadows so I don’t look like a fool when I’m not good enough. This belief about myself makes me believe that everyone else must feel that way too. Surely no one cares to hear my ideas. Surely no one cares about me doing the two things I love most in this world: writing and singing. There are a million others out there who are so much better. I’m better off keeping it to myself so I’m not embarrassed.
I was feeling convicted about having these thoughts. I remembered a message a while back where the pastor said something along the lines of, “Who are you to talk about God’s creation that way?” God made me to be exactly who I am. Why can’t I stand up and be confident about that? So, one Saturday night, I sat up after my husband went to sleep and I started looking for scripture on confidence, and articles by Christian authors. I found an article that said that having low self-esteem is actually a form of self-absorption. When you have low self-esteem, you are constantly focused on yourself. All of your thoughts are centered on how you look and what others think of you. I read that and immediately bowed my head in prayer. The last thing I would ever think of myself is that I’m self-absorbed. But reading that made me realize that that’s exactly what I am when I’m always worried about being rejected or judged or looking like a fool. I pleaded with God to help me find confidence in my identify as His child so that I’m not so focused on myself. Because the truth is that none of this is about me. He gave me the gifts and passions that I have so that He could use them to glorify Him, in a way that is unique to me. How cool is that? (Side note: I thought I had saved the article, but I didn’t and I’m kicking myself now. I will try to find it again so that I can give credit where credit is due.)
That next Monday, God did what He does and showed up to give me exactly what I needed. Someone I know came to me and told me that she wanted to share something with me. I could tell by her approach that this was going to be an emotional conversation, and I told her that of course she can share with me. She then told me that she had a crazy situation the Saturday before and she wasn’t sure what to do. But then she remembered reading some of my posts on Facebook and decided to pray. She prayed all day and all night. The very next day, the situation was resolved. She told me this with tears in her eyes and thanked me for my posts because they inspired her. She said that something traumatic happened to her a few years ago and she had spent all this time being angry with, and running away from God. Later we talked some more and she expressed to me that she wants to learn about getting saved and baptized.
I was completely blown away by all of this. My first reaction was to be overcome with joy at the fact that she had found God again. I know the emptiness I felt during my years of running away, followed by complete happiness and peace when I went back to God. It is always a joyful moment when the lost are found. My second reaction was to praise God and thank Him for using my words to speak to her. I am so unworthy of being used for anything, yet He did it anyway. There is no higher honor than that.
After this conversation, I found confidence in my writing because it’s not about me. I post these moments of revelation from God because after all He’s done, and continues to do, how could I be silent? I’m not a good speaker because I always struggle with finding the words to say, and the confidence to say them. So, my writing is my voice. Nothing I have posted has been for my own recognition. I share my stories, but they aren’t about me. My stories are about what God has done for me.
I’ve felt this desire to write for a long time. This longing to share my stories of God’s grace, love, mercy, and redemption. The call is so strong that I just write and share without a second thought. Because there is a story in me that must be shared. Because I have to tell how much better my life is now that I follow Jesus. I never really thought that any of it was actually affecting anyone. Most of the time, I don’t believe anyone reads it, except for a small handful of people. I’ve come to realize that there is a reason I have this burning desire. My writing has purpose. My writing is put out there so that maybe someone will read it and feel inspired, or hopeful, or feel a strong desire to have this joy that I write about so often and seek God.
God created us all with our own unique talents and abilities. In order to be used by Him, you don’t have to be the best (or even a good) public speaker. You don’t have to have the most musical talent. You don’t have to be employed at church or even someone who volunteers. All you need is a desire to serve Him and a willingness to obey, even when it seems like everything you’re doing is pointless.
I’m so incredibly grateful for this newfound passion and confidence in my writing. There are some potential developments in the future that could allow me to devote more time to this. For now, I will devote as much time as I can, knowing that if God intends to continue using me in this way, He will and there is nothing I need to do but obey and trust Him.
So, that is the purpose of this blog. This is my voice. This is my testimony. This my journey as I follow Jesus wherever He may lead me, and the lessons I learn along the way.