It was just a few weeks ago when I found myself preparing to take the stage to deliver a Wednesday night message. I was confident leading up to the service, but as worship began to intensify I felt my nerves begin to magnify. I was standing there watching the room as the atmosphere shifted. What began as a simple melody transitioned into an ethereal experience. Eyes all over the room were suddenly filled with water. Almost involuntarily arms of all colors, shapes, and sizes were reaching towards the sky. It was like every fiber of their being was forcing them to stretch out and embrace the universe’s Creator.
Heaven was undoubtedly touching Earth.
It would only be a few seconds before the musicians would begin to fade their song and those enthralled in worship would shift their gaze to narrow in on me. I was holding the microphone thinking to myself, “I’m not sure that I’m equipped to handle this.” As if on cue every possible thought of inadequacy came rushing to my head. Fear started a slow steady simmer in my soul. I knew it was only a matter of time before that simmer turned into a rolling boil and I would inevitably bolt out of the door.
I couldn’t help, but think to myself, “how did I get here?” The vivid memories of me living carelessly and free ran through my head. Everything I’d ever done that should have disqualified me from taking the microphone and standing on that stage to deliver a message of hope and faith played through my head. For a second I was almost convinced that I was a fraud. Before that thought could even take root in my head, it was uprooted by an idea even more powerful.
Five simple words brought me back to center: You were born for this.
It seems cliché and maybe even sounds simple, but that truth steadied my soul and brought the scriptures I’d been studying back to the forefront of my mind. My life may not be this picturesque formula on how to do everything the right way, but it is one about the powerful transformation of misguided faith.
I’ve always believed in God, but I honestly have not always had faith in Him. I had faith in my own ability to talk (or lie) my way out of trouble. I had faith that the right combination of witty banter and good looks could force even the wildest, most wanted bachelor to fall for me. I had faith that I could fool anyone into believing I was okay even when I was breaking down on the inside. I had faith in all of the wrong things, but it took me abandoning my faith in the tangible to see the supernatural take place in my life.
Initially it began with baby steps. I started thinking to myself that maybe life was not entirely black or white or good or bad. There are some of us who dabble in various shades of gray. I had to make some decisions if I was going to move my life in the direction of peace, joy, and beautiful impossibilities.
I dared to stop stifling my potential because of my past. I chose to believe that the power of my truth could free me or oppress me. I stood on top of the rocks life had thrown at me and dared to not just share my scars, but to let the world hear the rhythm of my heartbeat declare, “I’m still here, my hope survived, and I choose to live.” Time after time I would utter my truth. Sometimes it was just to myself in the mirror, other times it was in an audience of over 20,000 people. My hands were clammy and shaky at first, but eventually they steadied and I realized I had spent so much time afraid of what people would think that I never gave any thought to whom I was born to become.
As this year kicks off I have to ask you, “Who were you born to be?” You can’t continue to go through life with your head held down apologizing for still wanting to believe. You are not disqualified because of what you have experienced. It does not matter how big or little the skeletons in your closet are. You can’t cheer yourself on and whip yourself at the same time. True love for myself only arrived in my heart when I chose to drop the negative vocabulary I used to assault every hope and dream that would dare float to the top of my soul.
You deserve to be happy. You deserve the real deal. You don’t have to live with a façade or pretend you’re okay. God can’t do anything with that anyway! If you really want to see the power of God working through you I suggest you stop rehearsing voices of disbelief and insecurity.
I know it sounds crazy because of all I’ve gone through, but I believe in the blessing of misguided faith. Those moments that replayed through my head right before I took the stage to speak. Those memories that once made me cringe served as a reminder that I once put all of my being into pursuing opportunities and relationships that I knew would disappoint me.
If I could put that much effort into ultimately being hurt imagine how sweet it would be to place that much effort into my healing? I am reminded with each new step that I take that I’ve come a long way. My world now is completely different from the person I used to be. I didn’t pursue this life; I pursued finding the best version of me. I created boundaries and made tough decisions. I trusted that down on the inside there was a voice much stronger than doubt. That still small voice has been with me since the day I was born. It was just waiting on me to mute the voice of fear long enough for it to be center stage.
That voice led you to this blog and me to that stage. That voice will lead you to uncover the mysteries stored in the world with your name on it. That voice declares peace in the middle of the storm. That voice guarantees you’ll never be broken beyond repair. That voice is heaven touching earth each day on the inside of you. I pray you discover and protect that voice.
God, someone is struggling to believe that you’re still with him or her. There are areas in their life where they are desperate to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Underneath buried secrets and piles of shame is a path waiting to be cleared so that they can move freely throughout this earth with love, peace, and joy. God, please let the person reading this begin to uncover the precious gifts you’ve placed on the inside of them. Awaken their spirit to the knowledge that the life they’ve been given to live is beautiful. Kiss the scars they’ve learned to hide and the pain they want to numb. Release your glory in their life until it seeps past their façade and demands vulnerability, from that place transform them. Help them to see that they’re never too far gone that they can't receive a touch from you. Let this prayer serve as a reminder that you see their heart and still have a plan.