When I started this blog back in March it was with a fair amount of fear. I have loved writing as far back as I can remember. Even as a child I would write poems in cards (some of which my mom likes to bring out so we can have a good laugh!) and as a teenager I worked through my heartbreaks in a notebook. I still have all of those poems and songs…I can still tell you why I wrote each one. In my twenties great lengths of time would pass and I would not have written a thing. And then my brother was getting married or my best friend from childhood was having a baby…my grandfather died…events that so touched my heart that the gift of expression God placed in me would have to come out.
Wow. If you read this and know me well then you know God has brought me a long way to write that. See, even though I knew all my life that writing was my true passion, I kept it buried. Now I can see that I kept it buried because I thought it was “mine.” My husband, who is not a man of many words, even would ask late at night lying in bed…Why don’t you just try? What are you going to say when God asks you one day why you did nothing with your writing? I could not answer. I was afraid. Terribly afraid. I had gone to nursing school. I was a good nurse and it was honorable. Writing may have been my God-given ability but I had not followed that course. I had not known how. I really couldn’t even understand why I so randomly had this love and ability to express myself in writing…it seemed like a waste on me in a way. I couldn’t see how it could make any difference except at a wedding, birth or funeral. I knew that it was a way to express love. Oh, my…guess I’ll get to that in a minute. If you have ever read the parable Jesus tells about the men and their talents, I was the one who buried his in the ground. In this story the master gives three different men a set amount of money. The first one buries his because he is afraid. The others invest it and so when the master returns he is pleased with them, but quite angry with the guy who buried his. I would read that and totally get the guy who buried his “talent.” I understood why he would think it safer to just hold on to what he had than risk investing it. I could not, however, understand why the master in the story is so happy with the risk-taker that he takes the one talent from the fearful man and gives it to the guy who already had the most! I felt sorry for the guy who had buried his talent. I kinda was that guy. Here’s the thing: God gave me a talent for the sole purpose of investing it in His kingdom…in people…God is all about people. He has placed a passion in you, as well. And it’s all about His love for people.
This is probably the most “real” post I have ever written, so please hear my heart. I have received so much encouragement lately about this blog and it touches my heart. It amazes me, really. I mean amazes me. Last year if you told me that I would open up my heart and life this way and people would actually read it and be blessed by it I would have thought yeah, right. But here is what I have to say today…I mean I am compelled to write…
1Peter 2:9 (the message) You are…God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you.
I have been concerned lately with how to keep my focus on that “essential” thing…that time just being with Jesus. How, God, do I continue to flow with you and it be all about you…how do I keep it from being about me to a degree…because it absolutely is you. Then I received this card from a dear, dear friend yesterday and in it was the verse above. I have been asking God to help me convey truth and there it is. I cannot, will not, allow any person who reads this blog to come away with the impression that I am one of those unique and special people God uses or speaks to. You know why I can’t let you think that? Because if I get to be the “special” person then what do you get? Jesus Christ has changed my life. He has worked on me for a long, long time. He will be working on me as long as I breathe but as I let go of what I can’t understand about how grace works and just believe it, Jesus gets more room in my life to speak and show Himself. I recognize God put something in me to write, but I know it’s God. And I know that anything fruitful that gets written on this blog or comes out of my life is Jesus. I am not special in the sense that I have something happening in my life that you can’t have. If I become satisfied to let you think that then you are robbed of the entire point of my blog. Jesus wants to speak to your heart, to reveal Himself to you, just as strongly as me or anyone else. I have a 2-year degree. I stay at home with my girls. I have lived through a very difficult marriage. My kitchen floor desperately needs to be mopped and my ceiling fan must stay on or you’ll see the caked on dust! My jeep is a mess and I have stacks of pictures in a drawer that may never see a photo-album. I will be 34 next week and I see the little lines around my eyes…and I have found a gray hair or two lately. I get annoyed with things and people. I get tired and just want to sleep! Sometimes I make my family eat hamburger helper for dinner and yell at my kids. It would be a terrible shame to accept this idea I am Super-Christian. I have a past. I know about sin and regret and the daily grind. I know about hopeless marriages and worthlessness. Isn’t that the miracle of grace? Isn’t that crazy love?
Jesus is infusing my life with Himself. Every drop of love that flows from my life is coming from the Source. I am an instrument and I am just telling about the night-and-day difference He is making in my life. That is always why He moves in us and uses us in specific ways…to make Himself known. When we come across someone who has a genuine and intimate relationship with God and they let it shine, it’s so others can see what is also available to them. He doesn’t play favorites. We can’t comprehend His love for us. I still can’t. I’m just learning to receive it. Don’t be fooled…I’m not special. I don’t have a “gift” that you don’t have. I have a past, a present and a future. So do you. He cleanses our past, He heals us in the present and He orders our steps for the future. Jesus is everything. He is just as much about shining and speaking through your life, in the God-planned way for you, as He is in mine. We just have to realize it’s not our doing…it comes as we kind of get out of the way and let Him lead us. We just open our hearts to Him…
So, don’t be fooled. Don’t buy into that…I am an ordinary person getting to know an extraordinary God. When that happens…people notice. But don’t notice me. Look past that and see Jesus. The Grace of God is free. Just open your heart and take it in. I don’t write or yield to God as part of my “proof” that I’m a Christian. And every day I fight off “mixed motives” that I would ever write to enhance my own self-esteem. He is changing my way of thinking. Discovering real grace is so unexpected that God becomes the great love of your life…and life is lived as a response to His love. It’s not about me…it’s all His thing. You can have it, too.