Someone asked me the other day if it felt weird to see myself in my daughters…you know, a mini-me following me everywhere I go. I see it especially with my oldest right now. She looks just like me. Her mannerisms are just like mine. There are parts of her that are clearly me.
But lately…I’ve seen something else in her. I’ve noticed the beginnings of…insecurity. And I cringe. Did she get that from me?
I’ve lived a lifetime of insecurity. Never thinking I was pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough…just never enough. Of all the things I want to teach my girls – that is not one of them. So, I am constantly telling them how special they are. I make sure they hear me say how beautiful they are and how proud I am to be their mother. I want them to be secure in who they are and in the One who made them – fearfully and wonderfully.
Those little girls – they are watching me.
I want to believe and live for myself the things that I am trying to instill in them.
I am beautiful to Him.
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord. – Psalm 45:11
I am loved.
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
Last week’s video has stuck with me. Beth talked about how Esther was called to take certain actions without knowing how it would all play out. I was reminded that…We are called to be obedient in the “what” – God will bring the “how.” I loved that and have been thinking about it often this week. As Beth states…It’s tough being a woman who feels responsible for the “how.” Isn’t that how we are wired though…always thinking through all the scenarios and possible outcomes. We look at circumstances around us and then begin to worry about how God will work it for good…or how He is ever going to fulfill the promises we know He has made to us.
I thought of this lesson as I was reading in Ezekiel this morning…
You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. – Ezekiel 2:7
God gave Ezekiel the what…He was to go to the rebellious, impudent and stubborn children of Israel and he was to tell them the words of the Lord. Chances were very high that they were not going to listen to him. I imagine there was the possibility of imprisonment or death because the Lord tells Ezekiel to not be afraid of them or their words. I imagine there was the possibility…even likelihood…of being mocked and humiliated. But, God was not letting Ezekiel cower in fear or even consider the possibility of disobedience.
But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. – Ezekiel 2:8
But you…don’t pay any attention to what they say or how they appear…you just listen to what I’m saying…you just do what I’m telling you to do.
Ezekiel did not know how it was going to turn out. He did not know how he, or his words, would be received by the children of Israel. He did not know the how…but he was certainly called to be obedient in the what.
I pray that I will be obedient in the what that God calls me to…that I would not concern myself with the opinions of others…or obstacles that loom over me…or fear of failure.
My desire is that I would not base my obedience in the what on whether or not I can figure out the how.
I have always been an introvert of the most extreme kind. I have hidden in restrooms at parties because the thought of mingling terrified me. As an elementary school student, my teachers had mercy on me and allowed me to give speeches and book reports with my head down on my desk. When my middle school english teacher did not have the same amount of mercy…I failed the class. Insecurity ruled my life.
In recent months, I have been extremely convicted about this insecurity. Recently, while taking the Beth Moore study, Psalms of Ascent, Beth made a statement that stuck with me. Speaking of her own insecurities, she said that she realized that her insecurity was nothing but pride. Even if she was filled with self-loathing…she was still filled with self. I had never thought of it that way before…extreme insecurity as pride.
I began thinking of the times that I have been so concerned with the thoughts of others that I have missed out on opportunities to minister to others and glorify God. I must admit…I felt ashamed of myself. I have, for too long, been a fearful follower of Christ. I want people to look my way and see Christ. I want others to know that I am not at all ashamed of my Savior.
This verse has spoken so much power into my life recently:
When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and knew that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13 HCSB
People were not amazed because of the appearance or eloquent speech of Peter and John. They did not recognize them as followers of Christ because they had a Jesus fish on their mini-van or an I Love Jesus bumper sticker. How did people recognize that Peter and John had been with Jesus? It was their boldness.
I’m tired of being a fearful follower. I have prayed that God would open doors…that He would allow me to be used…but, most of all, I pray that He would give me a boldness for Him that would cause others to know that I have been with Jesus.
A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I were sitting in a conference room at work having lunch. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but we ended up discussing this story about Beth Moore and her encounter with an elderly man in an airport.
As we talked about the incident, I made a comment something along the lines of …I could never do that. God would not do something like that to me. I know…everybody reading is shaking their heads at the ignorance and audacity of such a statement.
Fast forward a couple of weeks…
Emily was bored with my her dream of being a ballerina and decided to try gymnastics. This meant that, instead of 30 minutes on Monday nights, I am now committed to sitting in a tiny waiting room for 60 minutes on Thursday nights. Now, being the introvert that I am, I show up prepared with adequate reading material to hide in a corner for an hour without having to engage in too much small talk.
However, the very first week of Emily’s Thursday night class…I notice an elderly man sitting on the other side of the room. He appears to be in his mid to late seventies. He is wearing gray dress shoes, a plaid sport coat and has a full head of silver hair. He appeared quite out of place amidst all of the 30-something moms. I could not help but notice how, when he would attempt to talk to one of the ladies in the room, they would respond with a tight smile that acknowledged him but did not encourage further conversation. I felt safe on the other side of the room with my head buried in a book…a Beth Moore book, no less.
Yet, I can’t seem to shake the feeling…I think I’m supposed to do something, but I don’t know what…
I am now in the book of Ezekiel and read this passage this morning:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. If I say to the wicked person: You will surely die, but you do not warn him—you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life—that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. But if you warn a wicked person and he does not turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life. – Ezekiel 3:17-19 HCSB
Yet I will hold you responsible…something about that just convicted me. I’ll be honest, witnessing to people has always been an area where I have failed the most. I will do almost any act of service. When I say I will pray for someone…I really do. But, to tell someone about Christ and their need of Him…I become a babbling idiot. Unfortunately, I have long used my shyness and insecurity as excuses to not share my faith. I keep thinking…If anyone ever asks me, then I’ll be prepared. Oddly enough, God doesn’t say…when they come to you and ask… God tells Ezekiel…When you hear a word from My mouth, you give them a warning from Me.
A warning…suddenly, the seriousness of it all hit me. God tells Ezekiel…You need to tell him in order to save his life. That is what is at stake here…people’s lives. I’m ashamed at how long I have lived in the safety of my salvation bubble…knowing that I was going to heaven when I died, but having little concern for those around me. I love what my beloved pastor used to say…My mission is to go to heaven when I die and take as many people as I can with me. Bro. Glenn is now in heaven and I have no doubt that many are on their way there because of him.
I love this video clip…
Penn is an outspoken atheist…yet, even he is appalled at people who claim to be Christians but do not make any attempt to convert others to Christianity…this sentence, in particular, really got to me…
How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that.
So, I am praying now that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit…that I will know what it is He would have me to do…
I wish I had some deep, wonderful thought for you, but I just don’t. I have to say that I can not think of a time when I have felt more in the will of God than these last 6 weeks. I am reading through the Bible and, key point here, loving it! It hasn’t become an obligation – it’s a joy. I carry my Bible every day to work and read it every chance I get. The second the girls are in bed, I get my Bible and journal and start to read. And these last 5 weeks of Bible study at church walking through the Psalms of Ascent with Beth have been beyond amazing. I have not done a Wednesday night Bible study since before I had children. It always seemed selfish to keep the kids up beyond their bed time. But, you know what? They do just fine!
So, all that to say, I am just plain giddy for God these days. I get so excited when I learn something new that I can hardly sit in my chair and I can’t wait to blog about it. I realize that my husband, best friend and my new sweet bloggin’ buddy Jenni are probably the only ones reading…but I’m fine with that! I’m just loving being in the Word.
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The Shield of your help and the Sword of your majesty!… –Deuteronomy 33:29