I’ll never do that
Have you ever said those words?
If I could stack all my nevers they might reach to the sky. I think I’ve finally come to understand this word never and it only took a few decades. ♥
Today let’s look at a few nevers and why they might keep us back from all that God has for us.
I’d never do that; I’m too afraid.
The thing is that most of us start afraid. What if we acknowledged our fears, and took a big step of faith anyway?
Can I be honest with you? Most of what I did in the first 20 years after becoming a believer, I did afraid. Sometimes I fell hard. Sometimes I embarrassed myself. Sometimes there was a win. But I learned. I grew. I started to discover that there was more inside of me waiting to emerge.
When we claim this never as truth, we miss out on all kinds of possibilities. Things that God knows we are capable of doing. Things that become a lot less scary as we try them.
We all have something to offer.
We all have fears.
We all fall short sometimes.
Let’s do it afraid and call that brave.
I’d never be considered for that position; I’m not qualified.
We might not be qualified, but we have some skills and are capable of learning. It’s okay to say, “I’m really good at X and Y, and I need a little work on Z and I’m willing to learn.”
Years ago I was a shy girl, but for some reason I was confident in this area. I’d go to a job interview and walk in believing I had something to offer. Maybe it was because I started babysitting at the age of 11, or worked two jobs in high school, or work kept food in the refrigerator and insurance on my car. Whatever the reason, I knew I could succeed if given an opportunity.
When I went in for an interview, I watched people walk in and hang their head, telling the whole world what they couldn’t do. I wondered if they knew how much better it would all turn out if they came at it a different way.
Years later I have this immense privilege of mentoring people in ministry. I see the same thing. A beautiful, amazing child of God walks in a room. She’s anointed. God has called her. The first thing she tells me (and anyone who will listen) is what she’s not. She lists all her nevers and it breaks my heart. Some might believe this is humility, but it’s not even close. It’s beating yourself up because you want everyone to find out all your flaws up front, because you’re certain they’re going to show up soon enough anyway.
We all have something to offer.
We all have flaws.
We all fall short.
The world is quick to beat us up. Let’s not do it for them.
I’d never talk to that person; they don’t even know I exist.
Just the other day Richard and I were looking at an old photo of us. He had dark curly hair and a killer smile. I was skinny.
Not cute skinny or fashionable skinny, but string bean skinny. I didn’t have a clue how to wear makeup or what to wear.
“I still don’t know understand what made you ask me out,” I said.
He shook his head. “You were beautiful. I saw your smile and I was a goner.”
Eye of the beholder and all of that.
I almost let my nevers get in the way that day, so very long ago. When he came my way, I assumed he wanted to talk to my friend. I almost ditched the scene, not realizing that he saw my smile instead of my skinny self.
Okay, I can almost hear you.
Didn’t you just tell us not to beat ourselves up?
Yep, I did and I mean it. This was my work-in-progress area for way too long.
When I used to believe that I wasn’t worth noticing, I wasn’t just cheating me. I was cheating others. I was assuming that I knew what they thought, long before either of us said a word. I was telling that person subtly that they were shallow, and couldn’t possibly care about a person based on what was below the surface.
I grew out of that a long time ago. But there’s a gift from growing up super skinny or being the girl that no one noticed.
I never place a huge emphasis on the outside of a person. When I walk into a room, I’m not going to notice what you’re wearing or what you look like, but I will notice your warmth or your heart. I’ll notice how you treat others. I’ll be drawn to you by your faith and the way you live it so beautifully.
I just wish I’d given myself that same gift about 20 years before I finally did.
Sure, I tease Richard about falling in love with the skinny girl, but how he could help it when that smile came his way?
We all have something to offer.
We all have physical flaws.
We all fall short somewhere in this area.
The world is quick to tell us where fall short in this area; let’s show them what real beauty looks like.
There’s a whole other set of nevers that can trip us up. They are on the other side of doubt, tangled in ego and inflated self-confidence.
I’d never cheat.
I’d never walk away from my faith.
I’d never act like that.
I’d never get tangled up in that sin.
Honestly, I look at these and #1 and #2 and #4 are words that easily could fall from my lips. Because I love my guy so much. Because I love my God so much. Because I see the devastating effects of sin upon a heart and more so, upon a family.
But I’m not infallible. I’m not above temptation. So I change my nevers and that allows me to address them in a more powerful way.
I don’t want to ever cheat, so I’ll protect my marriage as if it’s a treasure.
I don’t want to ever walk away from my faith, so I’ll nurture my relationship with God often.
I don’t want to ever act in a hurtful way, but if I do I will make it right.
I don’t want to ever get tangled up in that sin, so I’ll guard my heart in that area.
We all face temptation.
We all have flaws.
We all fall short sometimes.
We are all offered help and strength from a Savior bigger than ourselves.
Today is #livefreeThursday and women from all over the nation will be joining today’s discussion. I love Thursdays as we join and pray with and encourage each other.
Let’s start today’s conversation.
Share your nevers and what you learned from them.
Check out the blog posts from some amazing communicators that link to today’s conversation and see what they have to say.
Let’s do this!
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Great reflections here. I love how God can break through our fear and lack of confidence and work in us and through us in ways we would never have imagined or thought possible.
As a young Christian, having grown up in a lot of legalism; I remember thinking one brief second, “Lord, I am certain you must love me now!! I would never fail you and sin like they have.” Fatal error!! Then as I plummeted downward–where I found out the depths of my own self-exalting heart; I began to realize that I had nothing to bring to God. All those years of hearing, “I was created to bring God Glory” became the impossible. As God piece by piece picked up all the shattered pieces, one by one removed the counterfeit joys from my hands, and step by step transformed my heart; I came to realize the true purpose for which I had been created. Because of that, I write, I speak and I testify to the truth that God is the greatest treasure I could ever hope for. My prayer is that all who come to sit a while with me discover these truths without having to walk through all the hurricane force winds I did to find them. Or if they are in the midst of a storm, I hope I can reach out a hand and show them there is hope. No one is too far for the love of God to reach them.
I am full of wonder, when I speak of our loving God to my grandchildren. how I wonder what it would have been like if someone spoke of him like that to me when I was a child. oh yes I grew up in a Christian home but the truth was not discussed openly like I have come to speak of my Lord. when I think about this I am so grateful that I can share his word and love with others, especially with the ones I love. thank you Lord.
Suzie, This quote, “Let’s do it afraid and call that brave.”, pretty much sums up a lot of my life. It definitely captures my mental state every time I share a post on Facebook. But I am doing my best to follow God. With shaking legs and sweaty arm pits I will walk through unchartered territory. Thanks dear friend for this post. I always love your transparency. Be blessed – Kia
Your words often take me to a deeper, often unthought of (is that a word/phrase?) place. Today, they did just that, Suzie. Here’s one sentence that stuck strong: “When I used to believe that I wasn’t worth noticing, I wasn’t just cheating me. I was cheating others.” Amen. I’ve been keeping that one in front of me often during this writing/speaking journey. The quiet becomes quite loud at times, but it doesn’t matter when I keep Jesus and others in consideration. It’s those talents, you know… Enjoy your day, Suzie! Thanks for blessing me today.
So much truth and wisdom in this post, Suzie! I have a feeling I’m going to be coming back to this one on many occasions. <3 The fear part definitely struck a cord with me, as I am just starting to get my first few speaking engagements under my belt. I'm going to hang on to this whenever another talk comes up: "Let’s do it afraid and call that brave." So beautiful. Thanks for the encouragement!
Amen! Let’s show the world what real beauty looks like. Let’s do it afraid and call that brave. I so appreciate your vision, Suzie. Have had a long hectic week, made more hectic by the Istanbul bombing, but this was the first blog post I read in about 48 hours. 🙂
Praying for you, Betsy.
Suzie, wonderful words. How often have I started with an apology when presented with an awesome opportunity. Thanks so much.
i grew up with my mom quoting her mom: “never say never” – So many say, “I could never host like… so then they never host. Period.”
great post and pinned the photo – i still beat myself up which is such a waste of time. So, learning to trust in God’s path and leading – and looking forward to what He wants to teach me at She Speaks (a blast, I’m thinking.) thanks, suzie, for hosting and sharing good stuff.
I loved the picture! It made me laugh, and the message hit my heart. I sent it on to a friend who doesn’t know Jesus, but who will love the message! thank you Suzie!
You are welcome!
Beautiful post. Thank you.
Good Morning Suzie,
Thank-you for your kind words, they spoke to my heart. Sometimes it is hard being the one who always smiles always ready to give encouragement to others when things are tough. Sometimes I wonder how I managed through a very difficult marriage and not realizing my husband was seeing lots of other women though out our time together. One week before our 25 anniversary he filed for divorce, however with God by my side through out all the this I never lost my faith and witnessed to him about God’s saving grace. Almost 10 years later he can not look me in the face but I have forgiven with God’s help. I pray that some how he will get saved before he passes this earth. I am an encourager to others and pray for those who need it. Sometimes I feel very lonely having no companion to go places with but I don’t know the bigger plan of God. I am 65 years old and proud to be a child of God!! Love you Suzie and would love to do the Bible study with my daughter, don’t know if I can afford the books, but I will try.
I so love the #lLiveFreeThursday conversations! This week’s topic really struck a chord with me having grown up in a less than loving home. The “children are to be seen, never heard” way of life followed, even haunted, me for a large portion of my life. To this day I’m still a very shy, occasionally introverted, woman in social settings. You reminded me so much of myself when you spoke of being shy but confident in the work environment. Although I’m painfully shy around folks, I loved my career as a customer service representative – even excelled at it. I truly enjoyed talking to people from all over; even the ones who were local and walked in to do business. They had a need, and it really felt good to be able to help them. Before I was hired for that job, I never thought I would be any good in a position that called for working with the public, especially one that required building relationships to be successful. That had always been a struggle for me.
You know, I’ve heard it said many times that God is not only a ‘yet, God’ – He’s also a ‘but, God’. It’s absolutely TRUE. Once I began to cultivate a relationship with God, those notions of ‘I’ll never’… began to change. “I’ll never be loved – I’m not worthy,” yet God loved(s) me just as I am. “I’ll never be good enough,” yet God thinks I’m the apple of His eye! I’d never know what it was to have a loving family, but God blessed me with an incredible husband, two precious children, and the family I’d only dreamed of!
As a child of God, I’ve learned so much more is possible than I ever thought. He’s taken me out of my comfort zone more times than I can count, but in following where He leads, my life has been more – more fulfilling, more able, more compassionate…more ready to step out, in faith, to places I’d never conceived of. “Let’s do it afraid and call that brave.” You hit the nail on the head right there. As long as we take courage in God, relying on His strength for our own, we can be brave!