Vulnerability is a word that strikes fear in my heart. Paralyzing terror, actually. Who wants to open themself up to rejection and ridicule? I mean, seriously. Come. Onnnnn. Yeah. Just no. No thanks. Uh uh. Nope. I’m good. Peace. Pass.
I’ve had this word rattling around in my brain for a week, with no clue what to do with it. As always, though, it finally clicked. Thank you, God.
For weeks, I have been told from various sources that to grow your faith, you have to step out and do things you would never ordinarily do. Stretch. Reach. Get out of your comfort zone. You get the picture. So tonight I did step out in faith.
When I write, the words are not my own. They flow out of me and onto the paper. Sound cliché? Yeah, I know, but I am serious. I can only write when I am being still. When I try to control the story, the words dry up. He clearly has something to say.
Over the last several months, “be still” has been bombarding me. At first, I was thinking, “How can I be still? I have so much to do! I’ll be still later. Not now.” The Lord showed me that being still doesn’t mean resting on my ample derriere and doing nothing. It means having faith and trusting God to handle the tough stuff. Resting in Him. Handing it over. Letting Him turn it to good. I have control issues, but am learning to trust Him.
I’ve written poems, that may one day become lyrics. Or not. We shall see. Tonight I was blessed to be able to read one of them (“Just. Be. Still.”) to a (captive?) audience at our worship night.
I was being still, lost in worship, until right before it was my turn to go up and read. Then the lies began. “It’s not good enough. You’re an idiot. What are you doing?! Do you really think you should do this here? You’re not pretty enough.” What the last one has to do with reading a poem is unclear to me, but the enemy doesn’t fight fairly.
As I took the microphone, tears came to my eyes and I couldn’t speak. Finally, voice wavering, the words came. I read the poem. I conquered that fear. In that moment, the enemy lost his stronghold over my writing.
As I hurried away from the front of the room, I felt peace. I felt love. I felt loved. God had it under control. He had my back. Those words came from quiet time with Him and I gave them back to Him – and hopefully to others. That was my worship. My vulnerable offering back to God.
The support was positive and incredible. No ridicule, no rejection. Just love. Had I not been willing to be vulnerable, I would have lived in fear, doubt, and indecision, perhaps never sharing anything in public. I mean, I had survived this long hiding my writing ability, right?
This was a vulnerability unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It was a “Jesus, take the wheel” kind of thing. It was a “show me how to do this” moment. As a friend said to me, it was obedience.
When we step outside of our comfort zone into the unknown to bring glory to the Father, we open ourselves up to blessings – for both ourselves and others. We can share His goodness and power with those who need to hear it.
Anyone who knows me knows I am happy to be in the background. Most of the time that approach is fine, but there are times when we have to show others what miracles He can perform if we surrender our hearts and be vulnerable for just a hot second. What an honor it is to be used for His glory!
Step out. Open your heart. Believe in His strength. Allow Him to lead you in that moment.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)