Isn’t it crazy how we hold up very beautiful things about ourselves and call them negative?
We feel God whispering for us to step into that ministry, or that dream, or into a relationship, and we fear that somehow we aren’t the right person for the moment. In fact, we believe we have nothing at all to offer. I want to bust that open wide today, friend, as explore together 4 things about YOU that you may be holding up as “not enough” that really has the power to make a difference in the world.
We can all hold up experiences from the past. The way we were raised. A mistake we made. Our background or childhood. We hold up these experiences and say, “Because of this, I can’t . . . “ And yet that may be the very thing God uses to love others powerfully. I wasn’t raised in church. I didn’t understand totally who Jesus was, but when I encountered him, it changed my whole life. When I sit with someone who may not understand the Bible, I remember how that felt. When I talk with someone who wonders why people call themselves Christian, I can share the reason why I did, and the joy that has brought.
Our experience are not a lack; they can be what helps us connect with others on the same path. Those experiences are never wasted, even the hard ones. The word redeem means to exchange. What the enemy might want to use for harm, God exchanges that for beauty in one form or another.
I believe this is one of the biggest self-made hurdles that get in our way. Maybe you are goofy. Snarky. Wise. Insightful. Deep. Maybe you think you have to leave your personality behind to partner with God in any endeavor. The fact that you are you is what makes you stand out from the person next to you (who is also beautiful and special to God).
Maybe your exact personality is what makes someone feel welcome, or gives them permission to be themselves. Maybe your personality is a compliment to another, or within a group. Maybe God uses that aspect of who you are to disarm and engage and break down walls. We can’t be all alike, and it’s not the plan. Together, we are stronger. Together, we make up diversity and beauty and fun and deep waters and so much more.
Your path to faith
Some people grabbed hold of faith and never let go from the beginning. Some have climbed a jagged path to faith, but when they arrived it was all their own and they were all in. Some are redefining faith even as they hold on to Jesus. Your path to faith is not a negative. It’s one of generations of women embracing, questioning, sorting through, leaning in, and discovering who Jesus is. That’s powerful!
I was once told that I care too much. The funny thing is I didn’t really care about what they thought at that moment. I cared about them, for sure. But I sensed God asking me not to harden my heart and that was all that mattered. All God asked was for me to allow kindness to lead, the best I know how.
Your compassion lands in the heart of that person in front of you. I love what my friend, Heather Hetchler, said recently on Instagram.
There is a harshness of this world swirling and I refuse to lose my compassion.
He grounds me and His love overflows.
This belief will make a difference in those around Heather. It will show up in her home. It will be reflected in her everyday interactions with others. Though none of us can do this perfectly — and that’s not the goal anyway — we can ask God to help us reflect a small portion of the compassion he has shown us.
So, friend, know this. You bring something of great value to the table. Those experiences, that big or quiet or funny personality you have, that path to faith, and your compassion — it all makes a difference.
Resources just for you
A podcast episode on More Than Small Talk
Holley, Jennifer, and I talked about this topic on the most recent episode of More Than Small Talk. Listen to Episode 232, Just As You Are.
A book to help you!
In one chapter of my book, JoyKeeper: 6 Truths that You Never Knew About Joy, helps you find the joy of stepping fully into your assignment. It also busts some joy stealers that might try to get in the way.