Saturday, November 17, 2012


Lately, it seems like I've done a lot of writing about being real. And at the risk of sounding redundant, I feel like I should preface this by saying "why" I am writing about this again.

So often, I find that when the Lord continuously teaches me the same lesson, it is for one of two reasons.

1) I am not learning what He wants me to or
2) It is really important that this lesson sticks.

Being real - being transparent - being vulnerable - being honest.

All of these things are both frightening and liberating. All of these things are both challenging and necessary.

I used to make my decisions regarding transparency based on the fearfulness and the challenge, not realizing the liberty and necessity of my being real and honest.

If something was fearful it must be bad, and if something was challenging, then I was being tested or tempted. I couldn't make a wise decision on my own, or so I thought. I was always running to other people for "counsel". At least, that is what I thought I was doing. But really, I was trying to figure out what decision would please everybody else... I am not saying that everyone does it like this. I can only speak for myself. This is how I was doing it and why….. Not proud of it, but like I said, I’m just keeping it real.

2 Timothy 1:7 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Think about these truths for a moment, and ask yourself how they relate to each when it comes to being real? Then, after being universal (something we all do by the way), ask yourself how they tie in with YOU being real and honest….. Now, bear with me, because we are getting down in the muck for the rest of this

Being real, being transparent - reoccurring themes in my life. Why do they keep coming up? What am I not learning? Is it really about being real to everyone else.......? Or is the real lesson to be learned about being transparent with myself....

Phew..... That's a good question....

So, being the good question that it was, I asked it to myself. And the answer I got, I wasn't necessarily fond of it.

This might surprise some people, it might not surprise others, but, I never felt truly comfortable in my own skin until about 11 months ago. Not comfortable in my own skin? Feeling unsure of who I am? Not knowing where I fit in? Yeah.... I had all of those questions. More questions came up, and I had to answer every single one of them. I had to answer them because; I had spent much of my upbringing pushing them out of my head. I had been pushing them out of my head because I had other questions that were speaking much LOUDER. And unfortunately, those questions had more to do with my reputation and what people were going to think of me, than what Jesus was trying to teach me...

Such vain and selfish thoughts. Now, it was never my intent to be selfish, but I was. My motivation wasn’t driven solely by vanity, but it was still vain, and I definitely had vain moments.

I wasn’t going to be quite this transparent, but in order to elaborate, I will. Selfishness is caring more about you – AT the expense of others. That means, that when I sat back and mocked and judged people who didn’t fit the mold or who didn’t follow all the rules, I was being selfish and vain. How you ask? I was selfish because fitting in with everyone else at that moment was more important to me than sticking up for them. I was vain because (I almost can’t say it), I thought I was better than they were because I followed the rules and they didn’t…. Of this I am most ashamed. Most ashamed, because, I treated people that way. I was the judge and juror when I had no idea what was going on at home. Judge and juror when I didn’t have the slightest clue about the hurt in their heart…

Moments like this shame me – but in a healthy, healing way. I never want to do that again. I have no room to judge, because Someone already occupies that seat. And He is far more just and benevolent than I am…

The Lord broke me of the selfishness and vanity, but the “looking to other people for acceptance” was still there. I was no longer judging (or at least trying not to), but I was terrified of being judged. Terrified, because, I had been judgmental, and I knew how harsh people could be, and how lonely that felt…

Then I had to finally be…. Honest

I was caring more about what other people thought than what HE thought. I was focused more on if other people thought I was godly, then whether He felt loved and adored by me. I was allowing other people to dictate to me what was right, instead of seeking it out for me and listening to the Holy Spirit. And this, my friends, is why I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. This is why I looked in the mirror and I had to look away because of the insincerity and pain that I saw there. This is why I looked in the mirror and saw strain and anxiety, instead of peace and joy.

2 Timothy 1:7 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

To loop back to both of those beautiful Scriptures, I will end with this. God gave us counselors, because in second opinions there is safety. However, God also gave you freedom, liberty, courage and a sound mind to make decisions. If we are following Christ, then we are never truly making decisions completely on our own. The Holy Spirit should be the loudest voice we hear, as it is He who lives in us.

About a week ago I started writing a new song (For those of you who don't know, I'll let you in on a little secret, I LOVE singing from my heart and I LOVE writing music with my hands....). It isn't finished yet, but when it is, I hope to share it with you. The main theme of the song is about what we see when we truly look at ourselves. Do we see pain, hurt, and rejection? Do we see vanity, pride and arrogance? Or, do we see Jesus? Not because we are so holy and righteous, for we are not, but because He flows so freely and strongly through us, that He is all we can see. That is what I want; I want to see Jesus - today, tomorrow and always...