Earlier this month, when I read about the Messy, Beautiful Warriors Project over at Momastery, my heart quickened. I knew I wanted to contribute. The only problem: I had absolutely no idea what to write. I even called a few people and asked them to pray for inspiration because MY MIND WAS BLANK.
That very night, the entire essay came to me while I was in the shower. (Not super convenient, but I’LL TAKE IT.) I hurried out and dried off so I could write everything down in my journal. It was a wreck of a first draft, but it was all there.
I looked at what I’d written and began to tremble.
Lord, REALLY? THIS? I figured someday, but ALREADY? Please speak to me, Lord. If this is from You, then yes, I will publish this. But if not, then NO. FREAKING. WAY.
I pressed forward over the next few days, refining my words, preparing them to be published online. I became more confident and felt my courage grow. My sense of purpose in being vulnerable – that vulnerable – swelled.
Wednesday morning, it was ready. I was ready. My hands were steady and my heart felt peace as I hit “publish.” It was a strangely sure moment. (You can click here if you haven’t read it.)
You guys, I had just put this HUGE THING (to me!) out in the world and the next minute was exactly the same as the last had been. C’mon, people. I just did THE THING I THOUGHT I COULD NEVER DO. Where is my parade? Hello?
Then, the trembling began. I grew nauseous. I had to get out of the house, away from my computer, away from the internet – all of it. The kids and I walked to a friend’s house to play, but I couldn’t stop trembling. The anxiety shook me to the core.
What am I so worried about, Lord? I know You prompted this. I’m sure of it. WHAT AM I SO AFRAID OF?
Trembling and nauseous and afraid of WHO KNOWS WHAT – being misunderstood? a mean comment? a snarky reply? – I continued crying out to God and finally recognized I wasn’t worried I’d get a negative response. I was afraid I’d get NO response. Afraid no one would care. Afraid IT DIDN’T MATTER.
God was so tender to me over those first 24 hours, and has continued to be so over the past five days. He reminded me IT DOES MATTER. My stuff matters to HIM – because I matter to Him.
Just to be clear – I have received several incredible responses to my post, which have blessed me beyond measure. But God has taken this act of vulnerability and reminded me that yes, being vulnerable can be for the benefit others, but it’s also for ME. And its benefit is not measured by the kind or volume of response received. As I encourage you to tell your story and bring yourself into the light, I want to say this as well: don’t go it alone. Let your heavenly Father in close so He can tend to your vulnerable heart.
Is there something you’re afraid to offer the world? It doesn’t have to be a vulnerable confession from your life. Maybe it’s something you’ve created? Or something you’ve been thinking about an awful lot.
Why not offer it? Why not find a safe friend or group of friends and share it? Are you afraid of rejection? Or are you afraid it just won’t matter?
What you create, write, make, do, think… it doesn’t matter because it got a certain number of likes or hits or shares or whatever ranking system you use to validate your contribution to the world. What you do matters because YOU DID IT.
And you matter.
Your story matters.
Your heart matters.
And therefore, that which flows from you MATTERS.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13