The Women’s Ministry at our church has developed a new logo. I am so excited to see the new design and get going on using it as we promote our events etc. We also have a mission statement that reads: Equipping the women of Hillside in God’s abundant love so that it overflows through them to their community and world.
I began to consider that at the end of the day the logo is empty if there is not action behind our mission. Further, it made me wonder how exactly we go about creating this idea in our community.
As I considered this, it occurred to me that what God would really like from us and would really serve us well in this endeavour is a little bit of plain old fashioned honesty. A long hard look at who we are and a sincere attempt to be honest, authentic and real about what is inside our hearts.
I think there is already a desire and spirit to strive for this in our church walls and community and so I sincerely want us to nurture that.
The thing about this journey is that it doesn’t start with our friends or social media. This is not about putting as #mommyfail beside your post each morning. This journey begins with being honest with God about things He already knows.
He knows when you are saying the right the and doing the right things and not being honest with Him about how we feel.
If you are pretending to be happy for people in your life and have a heart full of envy – He knows.
If you say you are satisfied with your means and are holding onto resentment about it – He knows.
And if you say you are so pleased with your career but really want more – He knows!
So why not tell Him? We often share our celebrations with God and send our praise to Him we shouldn’t share our struggles. Whether we choose to admit to what we are feeling or not, does not determine if that feeling exists.
No one is benefitting and we are the only ones who suffer when we choose to live airbrushed lives. Lives where we we don’t want to lie, so instead we just soften the edges, shrink the perceived downfalls and remove any blemishes.
This might work on some of the people around us, But no matter we do..God Knows. He knows and He loves you anyway.
Struggling to be completely honest with God is is also not always about challenges and undesirable thoughts. Sometimes we are unwilling to really claim our strengths and the good desires of our hearts because we are afraid or are trying not to be prideful or arrogant. We hold back for good Godly reasons.
A little while ago, we had a sermon and Scott spoke about asking for miracles. It made me think…not just miracles but why are we not asking God for big things? We don’t ask because we don’t want to seem greedy, or we don’t know if it is an ‘appropriate prayer’. So why don’t we just talk to God about it?
Recently I was praying about something in my life. I would pray “God, whatever your desire for my life”… and… “Your will be done”…without any specific request. What I was praying was truth. I wanted Gods will to be done and desire for my life. But it wasn’t totally honest because there was something that I wanted. There was a request I was holding back because I didn’t want to be telling God or asking for something I shouldn’t be and I was worried it wasn’t the right thing to want.
And there He was saying to me “I already know what you want…why don’t you just ask for it?”
As always He was right and I just opened up my heart and told Him what I felt, told him that there was something I really wanted for my life, that I thought I was ready for it and but I didn’t know if I should want it or even it was right or wrong for my life. It was totally different kind of moment for me with God. In the end I still acknowledged that I wanted His will to be done, and would accept that, but I had been transparent in what was behind that acceptance.
You know, almost immediately God started moving and things started happening in response to my request. I remember a couple of weeks later driving along and laughing and saying to Him..”So you were just waiting for me to ask huh?”
I had to be honest about what I wanted and was feeling. I had to be humble and admit I was just busying myself doing what I though seemed like the right thing to do and be. To open up and say for better or worse, right or wrong, this is how I feel and leave it with Him and He will work it out. Now maybe His response would have been to refine me and help eliminate it from my life. But at least it would have been dealt with and not just buried under over Christian clichés.
I think it important to note that having a good sensible long look at who you are and assessing yourself in a very real way is often misaligned with being hard ourselves. It does not mean we have to air out every piece of dirty laundry and mistake we make for the world to hear. It shouldn’t mean we somehow start to celebrate our failures. It does not mean we are falsely humble and open up about a mistake because we have some pride in how humble we are sounding.
Being real is not always reminding people how real you are so you can use it as an excuse to not try to be the best version of what God intended you to be.
Being honest and authentic is much more simple. It just takes time, an open mind and heart, and whole lot of humility. It is just a conversation with God.
Are we jealous? Greedy? Envious? Over Humble? Tell Him…You believe in yourself? Think you’ve done well? Are in a good place and are really happy? – Tell Him.
Once you are Honest with God you will find your capacity to connect and be vulnerable with the people around you so much easier. I dream of a place where ladies can come and connect, no pretence, no assumption, no judgement. We are not celebrating that we are always terrible nor that we are always awesome but we are celebrating the endless expanse in between. Where we recognize that sometimes life is not easy or hard, but rather, it is both.
I think it is only when we allow each other into each others lives in an honest and transparent way that we will ‘Overflow” to community around us for the glory of God.