This may really date me but I remember in elementary school going up to kids and saying “Your epidermis is showing” Of course, I wanted a reaction from them of looking embarrassed and trying to figure out what they were revealing that they shouldn’t be:“Is my underwear showing, my bra strap, etc.” (This was back in the day when having those things showing was not actually a goal). Eventually, they figured out that the epidermis was just their skin and it should be showing. The reason that this joke usually worked was that most of us hate being embarrassed. There are things we want to remain hidden because we are afraid if people see them they have the ammo they need to tease, make us feel stupid, or even worse, reject us.
This memory came up as I was dwelling on what has been happening on the inside of me as I have started this writing journey. I have felt called to write for quite a while, had some book ideas, and have dabbled in it a few times over the years but for several reasons I never kept it up. The powerful urge came again and this time I felt determined and convicted to really give this a try. Really steward the gifts and callings in my life. However, today after posting only a couple times the same old feelings that have stopped me in the past came back with a vengeance and I remembered why I quit. Insecurity!
Writing this blog feels a little like I am wearing my bra or underwear purposely on the outside of my clothes. I am freely giving the ammo to anyone who may need to make me feel embarrassed. It also feels like I am putting my heart on the sidewalk and hoping someone comes along that will pick it up and take good care of it but knowing they can also choose to just walk by and even stomp on it. I asked myself, “am I ready for that” “is my heart really strong enough for that”, “am I okay if no one responds or if they actually don’t like me”. I must say “no, I am not”
But then something else happened. I heard someone else answering those questions for me? It was God, my Father. How did He do that, you may ask? As I chose to turn my ear to Him, He spoke through His Word, the Bible. He also used some of His current, willing servants who are writers too. Here’s what I heard.
1. I am ready because God made me this way. I must not doubt that it is God who made me and who can speak through my writing. Author and speaker Lysa Terkeurst wrote in her Proverbs 31 post that “When we doubt we have what it takes for us to do what God calls us to do, we are doubting His creation abilities. He knew from the beginning of time what He would call you to do and therefore how you would need to be formed…The exact way He made you is in keeping with how He will use you. Trust this.”
“Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”…
2. God sees my heart. God will be keeping my heart strong as I trust it to Him. God knows my heart and will look after it. I need to remember that I am choosing to do this writing thing simply from a place of obedience to Him, stewarding His gift and He will see that in me, so it doesn’t matter how much anyone else sees and responds to it. He will look after my heart even as I let it show.
“So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
3. My eyes are pointed in the wrong direction if I am looking to my readers for approval. Jesus needs to be who I look to and try to be like. Jesus, himself, chose to put His heart out there in order to help lost and hurting people and He did suffer for it with both hostility and shame but He overcame it all.(John 16:33). He knew he would be saving some and rejected by others but that did not stop Him because He was here to carry out His purpose.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
How can I respond to those answers with anything but to keep on writing and to pray the words I saw from Timothy Keller’s post on Facebook today: “Help me to know the joy of obedience and the fearlessness that goes with it.” How about you? Are you being called to something new or even something you have thought you should do for awhile? Are you, like me, harassed by insecurity and the fear of embarrassment or worse, rejection? Turn those fears and questions toward God today and see how He answers. Maybe, by letting my heart show, He has used me to lean your heart towards Him. Maybe, like me, you will see that the thing you feel insecure about, just like your epidermis, should be showing.