I don't know if you have heard me say this before but I am terrible at ending things. I am pretty bad at ending sentences when I speak. I'm super bad at ending rants once I get started. I am super-majorly bad at ending blog posts which is why I have a metaphorical stack of drafts stuck in unfinished thought-land. Here is a finishing thought though, because I have spent the better part of the last two years thinking and writing about what it means to be brave and the thought has felt unfinished till now. Here it is. Are you ready for it?
God is calling you out to be brave but not only for yourself.
He didn't call me out onto the water, into the deep places with Himself, just for me. It was for me a little bit for sure, but that wasn't the point. He didn't call me to walk out onto the water just to have a religious experience or to get a spiritual high. He called me out and began to teach me what it meant to be brave because that is who he needs me to be within His body.
I have had this growing thought, and this growing sense of urgency, that He wants us to fully understand that He made us each unique and it is amazing really that we each carry this splinter of the image of God. But we need to show up as that piece of the image of God within His body.
If God made you to write - write! This world needs your words and your friends need you to open your mouth and pour out encouragement and wisdom. If you write music - God gave you that gift and we need your art now more than ever. If your gift is hospitality - we need places to speak and sing and worship and gather. You are so valuable in the community of faith. If your gift is organization or administration - girl I love you so much. I need you in my life.
Your gifts are important in the body and so are your passions and your uniqueness. Now more than ever diversity is an asset and not a liability and Satan is hell-bent to convince us it is the other way around. The truth is if you are the most intellectual person in your group of friends then they need you to be fully yourself and not hide behind trying to fit in and if you are the most artsy or the most charismatic or the most liberal or the most conservative then we need you to be you fully and beautifully and uniquely you. We don't need all the intellectual Christians to gather together in a bubble talking and agreeing amongst each other we need them scattered and bumping into everyone else and shining their splinter of God's image into our lives. We don't need all of the liberals or conservatives all huddled together agreeing with each other we need them working shoulder to shoulder in love shining brilliantly into this dark world. We need to learn about the true unity and that take an awful lot of bravery. True unity doesn't happen in the context of uniformity. Gospel-fueled unity happens in the context of diversity and that is a tough transition to make.
Now, more than ever, it is time for us to rise up out of our distracted discouraged daze. I know you might not be seeking the spotlight but is there a chance that you are so busy not seeking a spotlight that you're not being a light at all? Could you be denying the God-splinter inside of you that the rest of us need?
It takes bravery to put yourself out there. Bravery to be criticized and misunderstood. Bravery to be ignored and unrecognized. But it is the most needed bravery there is. God is calling this generation of women to embrace the bravery He offers to us. He is calling us out onto the waters. He is calling us out away from the safe places, away from our comfortable spaces, out into the deep places with Him. He is calling us out into the scary and the hurting, but He is calling us out into something beautiful, He is calling us with buckets and buckets of love. He is calling us, to come fully alive to who He is calling us to be.
So who am I to stay hidden in the corner? Who am I to be always quiet? Who am I to keep myself safe? Why do I think that it is okay to get stuck in my busyness and distraction and ignore the image of God within me?
I know it is easy to get beaten down by life - by the need to pay the bills and get the kids to bed on time and get to our places and keep up with out people. Life is exhausting. But it is time to rise up. It's time to rise above our plethora of excuses, no matter how good they might be. It's time to embrace the bravery God extends to us. It's time to start practice walking in bravery and see where it leads.
Not onto us but onto God be the glory.