I wrote this post back in October, but never published it. I wasn't ready. But now, Lord willing, I am ready. Humbly I open myself up with hopes that only He will be magnified.
Is this thing on?
(answer: it is now, but it disappeared for a while—partly by my choice, partly due to my hosting company.)
Does Janet still have a blog?
(answer: it appears so, but the lack of signs of life make it questionable.)
Is Janet even alive?
(answer: yes, but hibernation has been necessary in order to preserve energy.)
Often, when God is doing complex things in my heart and mind, I move towards silence. Those who know me “in real life” may scoff at that statement, attesting to the fact I am rarely without words. However, the deepest ponderings and stirrings of my heart seldom make it past my lips (or fingertips). Well, at least they don’t come out in the during. The sharing I do is usually in the after.
There is definitely a lot of during still occurring in my heart right now. But, I think, there is also some after. There are ideas and thoughts and dreams and convictions which are ready to be formed into words and sentences. It is so very tempting for me to stay silent, to hide in the safe places of my mind and family. I am tempted to let all that rages in my thoughts stay right where it is, hiding in its juxtaposition of forceful conviction and fumbling cowardice.
The truth I am embracing, though, is that stewarding what God has given me necessitates letting it permeate the artificial boundary I have drawn between my heart and the eyes and ears of others. God has bestowed me with certain gifts He fully intends not to be hoarded, but rather, to be freely spent on behalf of His Body.
I still don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I am at least asking the questions. I — the one with all the fears and insecurities and intense hatred of all conflict and confrontation — have opened not God's gifts (a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline) but instead, the gift of the world and its ruler (a spirit of fear.)
It's time to throw out the sparkly yet worthless trinkets and rip into the real presents.
I was not created to hold God’s gifts at arm's length, timidly placed within my fretful boundary lines, refusing to open these precious gifts because I don’t know what so-and-so will think or who so-and-so will make backhanded comments to. But I need to, instead, take my cues from Jesus: He knew when to remain silent and He knew when to speak boldly. Oh how I Iong for His wisdom!
But even with the wisdom I lack, I choose—with more feelings of insecurity and intimidation than is probably healthy—to take steps to share myself with others, to let the little sprouts I have kept buried finally see the light of day. I may look more like untamed weeds than a precise row of marigolds, but if I have learned anything over the past few years, and especially over the last few months, it is this: untamed beauty is often far more captivating than artificial perfection.
And so, I choose to share myself, untamed wildness and all.
Remember, though, it isn’t me I long to share. It is God in me. And those are two very different things.
And so, I welcome myself back to the world of writing. And speaking. And proclaiming God’s goodness to anyone who will listen (or take the time to read.) I am flawed, sinful, and arrogant. But what I must never forget is that my faith has been credited to me as righteousness. I am not righteous, but mercy says I have been found without fault and grace says I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. And because of these indescribable and indisputable truths, I must declare God’s goodness to others, with boldness and expectant hope.