Here's the deal darling. You're full of really good stuff. And not to sound wild. But I can promise you that stuff is what you've had the most attack on in your life, and you probably don't even see it as your 'good stuff' - because the enemy wants to coat your calling in fear and lock you out of it with lies so you cannot possibly step into all its glory.
Imagine standing in front of a door.
On the other side is the pulsing life and powerful calling God has created for you to step into.
But the door in front of you is covered in so many locks, it seems impossible to open it up.
Those locks are lies, those locks are fears. Which are also lies, because fear is a liar.
What lines have been pounded into your brain since you were young?
I say 'lines' because you might not even recognize them for what they really are
Which are, lies.
But they are.
And I hope you know
The Enemy does not show mercy because of age.
He placed a bullseye on your life when it began, because God placed purpose over your life BEFORE it began.
So while you think of your stuck-on-repeat lines, I'll tell you a few of mine.
"You're so emotional."
"You're too sensitive."
"You're not good with words."
"That's not realistic."
Some of the biggest lines/lies that have taken home in my head and heart are that I'm TOO emotional, sensitive, and I feel too much - while simultaneously being inadequate at communicating those feelings. So I've spent most of my life trying to water-down those natural instincts - without realizing those were the very things God hand-crafted me to possess.
I grew up with brothers, and quickly learned that if I wanted to be welcome around them and their friends, I had to leave my gentle pieces behind. So I trained myself to shut off parts of myself depending on who I was around. Laying down 'sensitive' and putting on the 'sarcastic and strong' when I needed to. Up until last year, I wouldn't easily let myself cry, because that came across as "too sensitive" and weak. I grew up as a dancer, and I think the reason I loved it SO much was because that was the only place where I could fully express everything I was feeling inside, and not be judged for it or feel like I was being "too much" because dance is entirely about expressing emotion. I'm not saying all this for pity's sake, I'm saying it to say - I know what it feels like to feel like you have to hide parts of who you are just to please other people - and I don't want you to feel like you have to live like that.
So now I'm looking at where I am. What I'm doing. And how now that I'm leaning into my sensitivity, being unafraid of depths, I feel strongest - and I feel able to be closer to others. Now that I've sorted out that gentle does not mean weak, or boring, or invisible, but it means a controlled strength. I'm able to thrive in that.
If you've been keeping up with my posts, you might remember me talking about 2 particular weeks where God was "teaching me through tears." This process began after the most powerful revelation of God's love that I've experienced in life so far - and it was like that encounter unlocked me to feel more deeply than I've ever felt. He produced situations that set me up to experience the depths of joy and even the depths of sorrow. The depths of beauty, and even the depths of pain. I look back now and they seemed like emotional training courses, pulling me closer to Him. God has been training me how to more usefully express, or translate my emotions - for the benefit of myself and others.
That's why I've been writing so much again. Writing songs (which, no, are not ready for your ears yet) is making ME understand different realities and how to interpret them more clearly - putting them to music, and enabling others to feel things too. And the poems and blog posts I write, they're not just to inspire you, but clarify things for myself too. Every little thing that makes me feel some sort of way - I now take the time to feel it, and write about it. From the little snips I put on my Instagram to these longer posts - I don't write them to seem like I have everything figured out. I write to HELP us all figure things out - and GET things out. I don't even post everything thing I write, but at least I'm getting them out. I'm an internal processor and my hard drive is honestly full. I've been hoarding emotions, and it's time to clean up my heart house.
So the very qualities that have been under attack all my life - my sensitivity, emotional tendencies, and confidence about them - are the very things God placed in me to help me thrive for His glory in my calling.
Let's breakdown another lie:
"That's not realistic."
One of my favorite lines, written by a dear friend Arielle, says, "I serve a God who does not care much about my 'logical'."
And it is SO true. Faith is NOT logical. It says in Hebrews 11, "Now FAITH is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." It would not seem LOGICAL if you were to walk into a coffee shop and see a man staring into thin air, exclaiming he was certain there was a giraffe in front of him. But yet, we are called to have assurance about what is not even in front of us yet. We are called to be the "crazy" ones.
Now, I don't think God wants us to pray for giraffes to appear in front of us, but I DO believe God WANTS us to dream big dreams, and give those dreams to Him to fulfill. As my pastor, Peter Haas, said last week - "God wants us to pray prayers that match HIS size" - which is LARGER THAN LIFE!
So all you dreamers, it is a lie that you dream too big.
It is a gift - so just ask God how to unwrap it for His glory!
One last lie that deeply, deeply, embedded itself in me - probably one of the biggest 'lie locks' on my door - was "You're so selfish." Which is a hard lie lock, because at one point or another - it was in fact truth. But because of grace - even former truths are now lies in God's eyes because of Jesus.
Someone - very close to me - told me this when I was a young teen (which is probably exactly what caused them to say it, let's be real) and it has stuck to me ever since. I spent years and years living in the lie that every move I made was endlessly selfish and the word 'confident' was replaced by 'prideful'. For the longest time, I operated from this fearful, and broken reality, not seeing the new thing God was doing. I couldn't see that that former selfish part of my character had been washed in God's grace, or that my confidence was actually gifted to support my duty of being a leader. Blindness to grace left me paralyzed as I stepped back into leading worship again.
(looking back, leading worship is a part of my life that has been under attack since as long as I can remember - but that is also a sign that it is a true calling. The enemy won't attack something, or someone, unless he sees it as dangerous.)
I remember going up to a friend after church one day - just a few months ago - sobbing about how afraid I was to be leading worship again because I was continually paralyzed with the fear that it was only a matter of time before I fell back into selfishness and pride. It felt like vines were choking me. It made me believe the wildest things - like once when I accidentally sang a part someone else was assigned to sing, I immediately thought I was SO selfish for doing that and that person whose spot I ran over thought that too - WHEN THE ENTIRE THING WAS AN ACCIDENT AND THE OTHER PERSON HADN'T EVEN NOTICED. Satan had me so wrapped up in myself and my fears, that I wasn't able to flourish in a position God had hand-crafted for me. He later taught me that THAT is self-righteousness. Not necessarily being prideful about ourselves, but even dwelling on the BAD things about ourselves - because that means we aren't focused on Christ, His grace, or His power. We are only looking at ourselves and our lack.
Now all of this to say, this doesn't mean I haven't tripped into moments of selfishness or pride since then (hello human) but it means when I do fall, I am not stuck in that guilt hole. Being a leader, not just on stage, but in life, means I have to watch myself. But it also means I don't operate from the chained position of "I'm a selfish person." or any other negative claim. I operate from the liberating position of "I am redeemed." I'm now realizing, this whole time I was wrapped in fear of leading, I wasn't afraid of falling, I was afraid of STAYING DOWN when I fell. I wasn't understanding the grace that pulls us back up - one of the most basic principles of my faith.
With all the help of the Holy Spirit, and none of my own, I came to realize that this role of leading (not just songs on a stage, but in life, with my words and actions) that I'm stepping into IS God's calling for me - but because Jesus steps with us into our calling, it's automatically dripping with God's grace. The old me is not allowed. Anything of our past, any fear, any lie, is simply not welcome once we walk through the door. That doesn't mean we're perfect on either side of the door. It simply means when we step into our calling, we're stepping into it dripping with grace. This grace we are already standing in right now - we get to take it with us wherever we go.
So what are your lie locks?
"You're not emotional." // "You're not smart enough." // "You were a mistake." // "You aren't a leader." // "You're too quiet" // "You're too loud" // "You're unwanted" // "You're not attractive" // "It's hard to understand you" // "You're not creative" // "You're too much" // "You're not enough"
If you don't know your lie locks ... ask God to draw them up inside of you, so that they may be drawn OUT.
So that your door may be unlocked, and you can step through it, dripping with grace and freedom, into your sacred, brilliant Kingdom purpose.
Can you hear it? Can you feel the bass pulsing through your chest, as you wait in front of the door to your heavenly calling? I can feel it too. I feel like I'm feeling it for you. It's the beat of your favorite song pounding from the other side. It's the beat of your potential flourishing, the chorus of God's dreams for you coming true. Babe, I would throw this door wide open for you if I could - bust it right down if I had the power.
But only God has the power to unlock these kind of locks. And He's just waiting for you to ask for the keys so we can get straight to dancing on the other side.