For years, my life seemed to follow the opposite path God desired me to take—for all of us to take. He created us to live bold, brave, and intentional lives. He’s given us everything we need, in Christ, do this. I know this now and am learning, each day, how to live more consistently in that truth, but for over a decade, fears and wounds from my past kept me in bondage.
You never would’ve known it to look at me. I went to church. Smiled. Served. Had friends for dinner and maintained a relatively busy social calendar, all the while engaging in polite, acceptable … filtered conversation.
I felt like a fraud, convinced if others discovered who I truly was, who I’d been, they’d want nothing to do with me.
Then came the call. God stirred my heart, clearly and strongly, to speak and write for Him.
That sounds exciting, right? Except for when you’re spending your days hiding out, trying to play the part you believe is expected—by people. I’d kicked my people-pleasing up to such intensity, God’s still small voice faded into the background.
I felt certain the two were in opposition of one another. If I were to do this thing, to follow God with everything within me and surrender to Him, I might irritate a few folks. Maybe even turn others away.
It was the latter that scared me most, because God wasn’t just calling me to serve. I’d been doing that. He was calling me to serve Him transparently. To be completely real, with my sins, my struggles, my ugly side.
An ugly side that can be easy to hide when I all is going well, but when I feel squeezed or overtired? Those are the times when my ick, the part of me that God is working to chip away at, is most likely to rise up.
And yet, God was calling me to live authentically. To be real.
Not just real, but to put this transparency into writing, for all the world to see. Knowing some reading would judge me. Would see the worst in me. Would misunderstand. Maybe even choose to use my words against me.
So I hid. I continued to reveal only slivers of myself, and thus, only slivers of what God was doing within me—those things that made me look good, like I’d grown and conquered. And day-by-day, God’s still, gentle voice grew softer and more distant.
Until the chill between us became more than I cared to bear. I realized I craved intimacy with Christ more than anything else, even my pride. So I said yes, and have had to make that choice many times since, for pride never seems to stay dead for long.
What I found—the more I let God in, the more I say yes to Him, the more I begin to live.
Consider this quote by Gordon T. Smith, author of Courage and Calling: “Living our lives to the full is precisely what it means to be good stewards of our lives. … We live fully by living in a way that is deeply congruent with who we are.” (p. 18).
Congruent with who we are. Living authentically. No more hiding. No more pretending to be someone we’re not. No more trying to please others or avoid their rejection or judgment. Simply leaning deeper into Christ and allowing Him to use as—our past and our present, our strengths and our weakness, our quirks and qualities—for His glory.
I believe that’s when we truly begin to experience the full freedom available to us in Christ and the peace that “surpasses all understand.” A peace no amount of ridicule, “failure,” or rejection can take away.
What about you? Are you living authentically, or are you in some state of hiding? Can you sense God saying to you, “Come out, my beloved, chosen by God. Let my Spirit flow, unhindered, through you as I use you to bring about my good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Say yes, friend. I promise, you won’t regret it.
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