January is for Stretching

William Wordsworth says, “fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” Over the last several years, I’ve worked hard to learn how to be vulnerable and honest, but not in a way that makes me seem whiny or like I’m complaining. Just living a transparent life. I’ve taken cues from authors I find to be revealing and honest and faithful; Brene Brown, Lysa TerKeurst, Deidra Riggs, Ann Voskamp, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, Kim Hyland, Holley Gerth, Michelle DeRusha, and so many other bloggers, social media heroines, and truth-telling mommas!

Women who walk in their truth with shaky legs, write with a pen that isn’t very steady, and embrace vulnerability with a racing heart are my kind of women. Brave. Bold. Honest. Storytellers and community makers. How many times have we been able to read a blog post, part of a book, or a Facebook post and find a piece of commonality, a sense of togetherness, and a reminder that we don’t have to do any of this alone?! We find strength and encouragement from one another – it’s exactly what we need to be able to survive our own day sometimes.
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Recently I was asked to not share from that place of vulnerability that God has been helping to craft within me over the years as a way to minister to the women in my world. I was asked, essentially to choose; kingdom or not – ministry or not – vulnerability or not – honesty or not – community or not – brave or not – bold or not. I had to decide – shaky legs, unsteady pen, racing heart, or not. Suddenly I was confronted with a choice to either embrace who I’ve been created to be or to push my girl back into the closet where most of her life she had to hide her true self for fear of not being loved, or accepted, or cherished, or worthy enough, or good enough, or any other thing we can throw in there.

My word for the year is Purpose, but my word for January is Stretching. I’ve taken a break from writing, from social media, from all the things that I thought I was supposed to be doing and poured that into seeking God and what He’s asking me to do. I’ve stretched into the Word, into His voice, stretched to hear Him with confidence and clarity. We’re told that when we earnestly seek Him, we will find Him. Y’all, I was on a hunt! From a recent book I read written by Michelle DeRusha called True You, I learned to sit in His presence a little better. She started with 5 minutes a day, and so I did too. Just doing not one thing. Just sitting. Not laying down trying to fall asleep, not reading a book, not praying even. Just soaking in Yahweh. The very name Yahweh is breath – it can’t even be spoken. Sitting in the breath of the Creator was necessary. I’m up to about 15 minutes now since I started this about 6 weeks ago. It’s hard and sometimes I’m really easily distracted, but other times I’m rewarded richly with a clarity unlike anything I’ve ever felt.

From that clarity, the confidence to walk in the Purpose for which I’ve been created is so overwhelmingly clear, I couldn’t deny it if I wanted to deny it. So while I may have to modify some things in order to make all of my world coexist together, I will not back down from the mission He’s given me!

Friends, sometimes we have to make hard choices. I’ve learned that making them in the moment, with all the emotions of it, usually leads me down a path from which I may not be able to recover. However, when we take the time to seek Him and His will, counsel from people whom we trust deeply, and time to sit in His presence – the answers will come. His will for us will be clear. We may not understand it all, but understanding isn’t what we need. We walk in faith and obedience, He makes the way. 

Whatever is in front of you right now, I pray that you step into it with shaky legs and unsteady hands. That you fully embrace who God created you to be and that you remain Kingdom focused when the world around you wants to defeat your God given mission. Walk in the godly confidence which can only come from the Creator of the whole entire everything! Be bold and brave!

 

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