The past few weeks, I've been keeping my head to the ground... summertime is just plain busy (can I get an "amen"?). And as I've been working hard and catching up with so many old and new friends, I've also been fighting some serious fears. Let me dig in a little.
I'm afraid of what you think.
As a result of several deep conversations recently, my fears of appearing arrogant have come to the surface, full-force. I told Chris the other day that Hermione Granger is my favorite book/movie/television heroine because I feel like she's so relatable. She's not a bad-A, kick-butt superhero-type of girl... she's very smart, speaks up, and is always looking out for the best interest of her friends. She's a strong teammate. But I also fear relating to her, because you could easily label her as "bossy". (Insert whole topic on how women being described as "bossy" should be a positive trait, etc etc. I agree and disagree!)
So... I hang back. I don't speak up. I don't write blog posts. I have a huge long list of posts I'd love to write to you about, letters formed deep in my heart where it's intensely personal, but also completely relatable... things I know you deal with and question and love the same way I do. But I've let them sit stagnant. I fear writing these love letters to you, because I fear your rejection.
You know what's crazy about that? That's me digging down into the micro-level of what this blog is. That one of you will read it, say "nope, she's a know-it-all" and will walk away. Do you want to know how many "wrong" people God uses to speak to us, daily? Moses was afraid to speak for God, because he felt he wasn't the right man for the job. Jonah plain ran away from a job where he knew people wouldn't listen to him... and ran right into danger. And yet, God still spoke through these men. He gave them words of truth, and hearts after His own. It was definitely a struggle getting there, but once they laid down their fears... much glory was given to God.
If you're in this place with me, where there's so much fear of how someone might respond or might internally think about you... give it to God. Lay your fears at his feet and say, "take this, because I'm too weak to handle it on my own." Then lay the good things you have, a listening ear, your love for cooking, or even that nagging thought in the back of your head that you should call a certain person... and lay those down at His feet too. Say, "this is what I have. It's not mine, it's Yours. Please use it for Your glory. Please show me how to take these tools and make them speak of You." Ask your co-worker how she's doing and really listen. Invite a family member over for a home-cooked meal. Call your friend you haven't spoken with in too long. Our time here on this Earth is literally just a flicker of a candle, but that flicker can shine so bright. Give up your fear, and give Him the glory. I'm going to be resting in this verse today:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
– Hebrews 12:1-3 –
PS – No Ruby post today... but this leaves room for an awesome opportunity! I'd love to hear YOUR stories. If you're interested in being featured as a Ruby, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All you have to do is answer the questions featured in the posts, and let me take your picture for about 20 minutes :) All I ask is that you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area! I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, but I'm praying that God would put it on your heart to share your story with others. So many hearts have been touched by this movement, and it's molding people's lives. Come and be part of it :) Love y'all!
Image via That's Pretty Ace