For a very long time God has been dealing with a deep deep deeeeeep issue in my life. I'm thinking maybe a good few years actually. A massive area, deeply rooted, which has layers upon layers I guess. It all started off with me coming to terms with the fact that I had simply lost my voice. Despite being a leader, having a fair bit of influence...having so many loving, encouraging people around me...somehow, somewhere along the line I had, in the name of humility and protocol chosen to stay silent rather than voice my opinion...perhaps because of not wanting to rock the boat in relationships...or so as to not appear rebellious or unspiritual...or for fear of rejection or being misunderstood...I don't know really...all I know is that I had become voiceless.
Now to look at me you would think that's just stupid. Most people would label me very vocal and outspoken but I'm simply not. Most often than not if I don't feel safe or valued I just keep my thoughts to myself. I was in heart turmoil as God began to reveal this stuff. Slowly I realised that I simply couldn't fear relationships breaking down or people rejecting me as a reason for not speaking up and voicing my thoughts. Especially when God had positioned me to speak, to have a voice...to influence. If I stayed silent out of a false sense of humility I was hardly stewarding the voice He has given me right? So here Papa was urging me - urging me hardcore - to face up to some truths. I had to be willing to reveal my thoughts and my opinions with confidence when needed - in the moments where staying silent had been my posture...and I had to understand that my thoughts were just as God centred as the next person's.
I had to be willing to work through conflicting perspectives without fear of messiness. I had to be willing to not always agree with everyone and I had to be willing to fight for what was in my heart. Bottom line - I had to confront some stuff. Whether I liked it or not, I had to engage in courageous communication in order to be more authentic...and in order to be free. It was properly horrid but I realised that not confronting it and remaining mute was far worse. And so I began. I started to communicate courageously despite the discomfort and vulnerability. I started to speak up. Perhaps not in a conventional way but in a way that was powerful and liberating for me. Amazingly as I began to walk through this my relationships actually got stronger and authenticity of a greater degree kicked in. Note to self - speaking up in love is healthy.
But God wasn't done yet. Not by a looooong shot. As I navigated through the choppy seas of brave communication and slowly began to find a place of peace in the battle that had surrounded me, He began to go deeper in my inners about fear of man. Eeeeek how crazy? I didn't even know how deeply rooted this stuff was. He began to show me that just as in the name of humility I had succumbed to being silent...in my fear of man and fear of rejection I had also lost my fire. Great - thanks God, nice one. Haha, painful to discover but unfortunately true. He showed me that the wild, intrepid dancing girl who came into the kingdom wide eyed...guns blazing, had somehow lost her fiery ammunition and conformed to the expectations of others - thinking it was humility, but in actual fact it was a form of religion. Eeeeek eeeek eeeeek. A thousand times eeeeeek!!
He began to show me stuff that needed to change, as He enlightened the eyes of my heart. He also had children of God speak words of truth into what I can only describe as an identity crisis I was having. Somewhere in my journey as a Christian a lid has been put on and I'd lost myself. Sure, when I came to God there was soooo much He needed to purge out of me...what with all the sex, drugs and rock and roll but there was tons of stuff I now realise that He wanted me to keep, to enjoy, to radiate...but somewhere along the line in the pursuit of dying to self and being humble, I had let the sparkle in me die too. I had let the fiery way in which God made me...the sassy, bold, brash, in your face, wild, love the limelight, dancing, glowing gal become a gentle wall flower...and newsflash that's JUST NOT ME!! Haha!
Don't get me wrong - I love love looooove the grace, the love, compassion and I do believe quiet strength I walk in. I desperately needed to be tamed by God's presence and I'm so grateful for all the foul living and messed up thinking that was removed from my life...but I have come to understand that some of the stuff I was led to believe needed to be purged and pruned out of me because it was apparently part of the old me is actually very much part of the divine way in which I was fashioned. It's very much part of the way God will use me and although it may at times be too much for the church, it's by no means too much for God. And so in the midst of all this inner stuff God was working on He began to reveal to me through our time together and through beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ that fear of man HAD TO GO. This was the time to fully embrace who I was in God...to unapologetically radiate His wild side and to not hold back.
To dance, to sing, to scream, to shout...to shine His light without caring what people think...I was told a very powerful statement - "God is not intimidated by you being amazing". Like oh my gosh how liberating!!! You see for the longest time I was crippled by fear of disappointing God. Of making it about myself instead of Him. Of shining brightly my own radiance and trying to steal the glory away from God. I fled from the limelight. I kept silent. I tried my utmost to die to my desires - even my God given ones - in order to flee from selfish ambition and to be yielded. And don't get me wrong I did all those things from a pure heart...a heart that desperately wanted to prove faithful before God...a heart that wanted to have Christ seated in the centre of it. Yet in my desperation to 'humble' myself before God and man...I think I totally lost myself.
For fear of getting it wrong, I simply conformed to what people around me said I should do or say or be. But it's not anyone else's fault. I am surrounded by the most amazing, loving people anyone could ever desire. I am soooo blessed by the relationships I have. But I cannot be defined by them. I have to be me...and I now realise that I have to be true to who that is in Christ. Even if it's not conventional or expected or if it doesn't follow the norm. And the exciting thing is that all the gorgeous people around me totally want that for me - they fully want me to be me in God - but because I didn't know what that was I guess, I conformed a lot along the way...which is my error not anyone else's. And so as God began to awaken this stuff in me I knew it was time for the lid to come off. It was time for me to fully embrace the way God had made me and to not be apologetic about it.
It was time for me to be completely comfortable with letting Gods light shine through me. It was time for the fear to go - fear of stealing Gods glory - fear of failing - fear of man - fear of rejection. It was time to not be shy about being amazing in God. And to let others do the same. And somehow I now find myself on the other side of this undoing. I find myself unbridled. I can now look back and see how God's beautiful Spirit moved in my life over the last few years to help me see as He sees...sometimes it moved incredibly violently...sometimes a little more gently...in order to renew my mind and take me to a higher place as an image bearer of God. And today I stand here a little bolder...a little freer...a little more dazzling.
And it's changed not just how I see myself but how I see others. I want to call out the radiance in them. I find myself hungry to raise people up. I want those in my care to step out and be incredible in God. I want them to be bold...to have faith in God's ability to preserve them from falling, as they simply go wild for Him. I want my ceiling to be their floor. I don't want there to be a lid on any of them. I don't want them to have to ever hold back on being who they have been called to be, just to conform to what may be expected of them. Because as I have recently discovered... "God is not intimidated by any of us being amazing". On the contrary, our beautiful, ever radiant Father of lights, delights in it.