Here it is folks, the launch of my new blog. A new year, a new blog, perfect timing right? Thank you for taking a minute to stop by. I do hope you’ll stay, get acquainted, and feel welcomed to return again. And Happy New Year!
As we all know, the new year is the perfect time to make life changes, write a list of resolutions, and start chasing dreams, right? But so often those things end up being a fleeting fad, don’t they? This blog will not be that to me. This blog is a dream deferred and now that it’s happening, I hope it will be around for some time.
Let me ask, have you ever put yourself on hold? A dream on hold?
I have. And for too long. So here I am. Not just taking tiny steps towards pursuing my dreams and passions, but obeying God’s nudging on my heart, more like His elbowing my side over and over again, gently of course – even leaving little clues for me like this gorgeous blue notebook in the picture above that stared at me from a shelf at TJ Maxx just as this little dream was stirring around in my heart a couple of months ago. Do I dare dream God? Well let me leave this little gem in a store aisle for you as a clue to your answer.
I’ve blogged before as some of you reading this probably already know. It started as personal therapy for myself and when the time of healing came and new life came with it, my blogging and writing came to a slow stop.
Over the years, as I dealt with life (you may want to catch up with me on my about page if you’re unfamiliar with my story), I stopped dreaming. Dreaming was terrifying. I put up walls, let my insecurities grow, and I stopped being vulnerable (thank you Brene Brown for opening my eyes to that one – and more on that another time). In doing so, I talked myself out of being used by God. I’m too broken. I’m too hurt. I’m too pessimistic. I’m too young. Other people are much more talented. And so on. Have you ever had those excuses and self-doubts build up in your mind too? Lord we need to stop that!
Thankfully, as God so often does, He meticulously wove together encounters, situations, and people that had me reading and hearing and experiencing certain things, all building upon one another, to make me aware of what He was doing. A simple message, but one that was complicated for me to accept. I had to see myself through His eyes, in a way I had not seen myself before, or maybe in a way that I had forgotten.
The Lord creates us, He gifts us, He uses us – no matter how broken or messed up or insignificant we feel. And not only that, but He creates each one of us to be unique with a unique story. I am the only me there will ever be, and you are the only you there will ever be. We each have a role and part to play in the world. That’s how He created His church to function. Basic truths I’ve known since becoming a believer, but truths that somewhere along the way I minimized and ignored the significance of.
Some of us may have similar gifts or talents, but each person who possesses a gift possesses it in a different way, unique from the others. For some reason I had become blind to that. I had to be reminded that no two writers write the same, no two singers sound the same, no two leaders lead the same, and so on. It’s our duty to God and ourselves to discover our gifts and, more importantly, to use them.
I’ve always been pretty familiar with how the Lord has gifted me, and I used to think I was using my talents for His glory. And then, as of late, a self-examination, upon the unveiling of His message to my heart, showed me that not only was I not using all of the gifts He had given me, but I was withholding some of them from Him. (Sound like a familiar parable to anyone?) Enter the excuses I already mentioned.
So here’s the thing. I like to write. I have a small gift for writing. (Oh Lord just typing that makes me cringe right now – thinking or speaking positively about myself is not a gift of mine). I’m no Hemingway or Beth Moore even by any means. I know so many other peers and friends and colleagues who write better than I can write. But I can write. And I like to write. Do you know what it takes to write something that is going to be used by God, that’s going to matter to people, that’s going to be read by people? To write a blog about the types of things I want to write about? It takes vulnerability. And like I already mentioned, Brene Brown pointed out to me that I hate being vulnerable. In fact, I am not a vulnerable person at all, even though I have lived my entire life thinking I am one.
Honestly, since my life course changed the trajectory I had expected (again, see my about if you haven’t yet), I stopped being vulnerable. I hate putting myself out there so I’ve stopped. I hate being rejected or experiencing disappointment so as long as I can control it, I don’t put myself in those situations or start those relationships. And you know what? Acting out of a place where you refuse to be vulnerable leads to a pretty miserable life – especially when it comes to living out your gifts and God’s callings on your life – I can attest to that.
You may think it silly for me to say that God asked me to start a blog again, I know I did. And with that nudging came my arguments back about how I’m not good enough, the world doesn’t need another blogger, and so on. But God pierced me with some wisdom. He is not asking me to use my writing to be the next New York Times best selling author, He is not asking me to be Beth Moore or Ann Voskamp (two Christian women writers whom I greatly admire), He isn’t even asking for me to get 1,000 followers on my blog. He’s simply asking me to obey. He will do the rest.
While I would love to have success and a large number of followers, that is not what this blog is about. He had to do a lot of work in me to see that one. This blog, this dream deferred, is me opening myself up to being used by God. To being His vessel. This is me offering what I have, meager writing skills and a passion for it, to share life with you, whoever is reading this, whether it’s five people in my family reading this or fifty of people I’ve never met, the number isn’t what matters, the life reading it matters. You matter.
Can you imagine God using the two of us, me the writer and you the reader, to do kingdom work? He can and does. His business is people, His business is hearts. If one of my blog posts, affects one person’s heart for the good of His kingdom and brings glory to Him, than I have succeeded. I will have done my Father’s work, I will have listen and obeyed and served, through writing.
God’s whispers (or nudges or elbows to the side) reminded me, as cheesy as I first thought them to be, that I’m the only me God made, no one else has my story, no one else has my experiences, no one else has my voice. He created me with a story to tell. He created all of us with a story to tell, a purpose to fulfill. So I’m going to let God use my voice. I’m going to see my gifts as He sees them. I’m not going to compare myself to others (isn’t that a constant struggle for all of us?). I’m not going to minimize them or say I’m not good enough or not talented enough. How dare I do that to my Creator, right? To the Creator of the universe, insult myself, His creation.
So here we go 2016. A new year. No better way than to start it than with a
seemingly small (whoops, remember, I’m not going to minimize myself or what God’s doing) act of obedience and pursuing dreams and using talents.
And here’s the thing, I’m going to expect Him to do something wonderful here! I can’t wait to see what He does. Will you join me and find out too?
Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear from you.
What talents has the Lord given you that you have buried? How can you start using them? Think small, think big, don’t limit yourself! Look around you and be open to opportunities that are knocking on your door. If you haven’t ever taken one, consider taking a spiritual gifts test.
seemingly small act of obedience that the Lord is nudging you toward this year? Who can encourage you to take a step towards that? Can I?
Please comment and share with me! Let’s encourage each other this year. And if you have a blog share the link in the comments.