This morning I was searching my blog archives for a poem I wanted to share. I found this first--a post written in April 2007. I felt God's whisper, "Share this." Interestingly, yesterday I took part of a University of Waterloo leadership course that focused on recognizing our strengths and challenged us to not be content with our weaknesses but work on strengthening them. There is balance in it all. The secret, I think, is to give ourselves (our poor selves) to God and he will form in us Christ, to give to the world. Yes, we must try to strengthen our weaknesses, but not forget that our true gift is simply Jesus, in the unique package of ourselves.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (New Living Translation)
2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
To be fully myself with others has been a lifelong journey. Growing up shy and an introvert by nature is part of it--and like much of the rest of the world, I've struggled with insecurities and lack of self worth (the enemy loves us to believe that we are worthless).
I can trace the process of breaking free of hiding through poems, reflections and revelations in my journals and now I think that my closest friends know me pretty fully.
I've come to realize that the only real gift I have to offer the world is myself and that to be fully me is the best thing I can be--not measuring myself by anyone else's yardstick. What peace and freedom there is in that.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 describes our lives as letters--not written with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of God on human hearts. If that's true, then I want to be an accurate letter--showing the world who I am in Christ, as a mother, wife, friend and leader. If I hide the part of me that is Christ-focused from others (or any other part for that matter), thinking that they may be offended or turned off, or I may be percieved as pushing my faith on them, I am hiding the thing within me that is the most valuable to the rest of the world. "The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves," says Paul, writing to the Corinthians--"you yourselves."
This morning my friend Susan led our worship team at church. We aren't the most polished, we all had colds, but we are worshippers. The worship service was filled with a sense of God's Presence. This is what she wrote afterwards:
"I gave myself to God this morning and asked him to please flow through "me". Instead of trying to focus on "how" I "should" be doing it, I just focused on "Him" and making sure that "who I am" was as available as I can be for Him to flow through. And then I just loved Him and enjoyed His presence... "
Giving ourselves to God and others--our real selves--that's all God asks and it is a gift that in his hand can be put to amazing use.
Romans 12:1 (New Living Translation)
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.