Good Morning Friends! I am SO excited to introduce you to Lauren. She is just about the sweetest girl I have ever met and she loves the Lord with her whole heart! Please read on and send her some love as she shares encouragement with you today & go leave some love on her blog because she is awesome!
Hey! I'm Lauren and I blog over at Simply Free. I'm a southern newlywed trying to live out this life as simply & creatively as I can while serving Christ, loving others, and finding an abundance of joy & laughter along the way! I write about life & love, as well as recipes & other crafts I've really enjoyed creating. I am so excited to guest post over here with the lovely miss Jess. She is quite wonderful (as I know y'all already know!) so I was delighted when she asked if I wanted to do a guest post :) Today I wanted to share a bit from my heart regarding confidence, my faith, and how to serve the Lord in the midst of all of that! Feel free to stop by if you have any questions!
In speaking of confidence, I find myself somewhat conflicted to the reality of the thoughts we possess. How does an individual profess confidence in Christ and yet have little or no confidence in self? How does one acknowledge being created in the image of the One most high, yet choose to examine the slightest of inequities within our being with such scrutiny? How can one reconcile our complete worthiness though our Savior alone and yet daily fall to the lies that we will never be yet worthy enough to walk this journey of life in the real world?
We cry as Moses did, "Who am I?" but are we not also crying "Who are you?" ? In our self-doubt, I can't help but wonder if we are but also saying, if even for a brief moment, that He is not worthy as well. It seems as though we fall victim to staring into a mirror or disproportional truths; a sea of irrational, and faulty images that plague our minds until we genuinely believe our discord of the spiritual and the physical. Of our disjointed view of the world not alining with the reality. I'm tempted to wonder if our of thoughts of inadequacies are all to do with our desire to please everyone around us, but the One we were created to please. We were desinged to glorify Him with our entirety. Our whole being. Not only our words, but our actions, our thoughts. It's not who we underneath, but what we do that defines us. We are called to behave in such a way that our very being can bring glory to His name. If it's one thing that's stuck with me this year it's been that behavior is more than simply just outward actions; yet these frivolous gestures that we display for the world to see, only to appear in the best of light to please people who don't matter is the one constant in our lives. We say that our confidence falls to Christ alone, but do we believe that? Do we hold our self-doubts captive and deny the adversary the pleasure of our contradiction and weakness? Our covert behavior, our thoughts...our seemingly private images, are all but behavior under the influence of the events and thoughts that surround them. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
I'm reminded of lyrics from a Shane & Shane song... "you are my favorite part of me". Is this really our heart? Are we so bold as to claim the glory that is within? Is our cup truly filled to overflow with his righteousness? Do we take claim to the mercy and grace He has promised? To the truth that in our weaknesses, His power is made perfect? In OUR weakness...our weakness of situation. Our weakness of stability. Our weakness of health. Our weakness of finances. Our weakness of talents. Our weakness of abilities. Do we dare take comfort and hold steadfast to confidence that we were knitted together by His hands, that we were known while yet in the womb? That we are precious creations of the One True Creator?
Or do we still insist on looking in the mirror, clouded by guilt and shame? Do we see amplified the shortcomings and find fault in the blessings? You're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You don't have enough experience. You're not small enough. Skinny enough. Pretty enough. Funny enough. Strong enough. Eloquent enough. Knowledgeable enough. Old enough. Talented enough. You. Will. Never. Be. ENOUGH. Do we hear the Father calling to his children to be completed in His perfect image, yet insist that not only are we not good enough, but that He is not capable of using our broken and fragile beings for greatness?
Whether originally from the lips of Marianne Williamson, or as debatably misattributed to Nelson Mandela, the following quote brings an interesting perspective to mind. Are we so caught up by our faults simply because we are fearful of succeeding? Fearful of outdoing our peers? Could this really be...could the fear of pride not turn us to blessed meakness and humility but to self deprecation?
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
In the reality of my journey, my confidence has never come from ability. Quite honestly my confidence has never really blossomed to it's full potential. It's as though a flower that attempts to emerge, ever so slightly, in the chill of winter upon glimpse of the glorious sunshine, only to feel the sting of the cold and defeating world's surroundings, and is forced to retreat within for fear of no survival. There have been moments when my heart and my head align. When the words I speak are in line with the thoughts within. That my confidence in Christ is revealed in my confidence of my own flesh, that though cracked, is still molded by the Potter's hands. But I guess the question remains, how do we continue that confidence without becoming prideful, but without denying our divine purpose in the Kingdom? How do we move from "Who am I?" to "Here am I! Send me!" ?