Fear of man has really never been my thing… at least I never thought so. I’ve never been afraid to be in front of people or worried too much about what people think. Of course I’ve had my own share of insecurities, and as someone recently put it, “imbalanced loyalties” to people that have led to all kinds of fun self discovery… but that’s for another day.
This past week I was in worship and was thinking on what’s next for me and my family. As I was worshipping I felt the Lord say, “It’s time to deal with your fear of man”. Now I’m not in denial, I know that jumping up in front of a crowd to tell jokes is not currently my idea of a good time. But I didn’t think that was what He was saying. I waited for a moment and just let the words hang there in the air. Then I heard Him again, “You need to deal with your fear of the opportunities you believe man can afford or withhold from you”.
Let me explain…
When you walk through something that alters you physically, you get a really good picture of just how much you really believe that every good and perfect thing comes from God… and how much you were really leaning on your natural abilities to carry you through… double ouch.
I’ve been in a process of un-peeling. I have had the opportunity to relearn my self layer by sticky layer. Honestly it’s been so challenging. It’s been challenging to not have the level of deep community I’ve always been used to. But what I’ve learned in the process has been so sweet. I’ve learned that no matter who is in my “circle”, that Jesus is in my corner. Not saying I don’t have a massive support system… I definitely do. But it’s been a season of really personal growth.
This place has forced me to face just how many eggs I put in the basket of my relationships with others. God wants to give us amazing people in our lives… I have some of the best. But He also wants our leaning to be deep. It’s when we lean in deeply that we discover that personal destiny lies between us and Him. Promotion, position, relationship, they are all beautiful and to be celebrated. But nothing replaces the intimate place of just being with the Father. And I don’t know how else you learn the lesson other than walking it out. I’m grateful that I’ve always been rich in relationships. I love so much the people in my life… they’ve created for me the environment to be who I was created to be and I hope I’ve done the same for them.
I know it sounds weird to say I have amazing relationships and that I’ve walked through a season of loneliness at the same time… but I think most of them know what I mean. For a long time I found myself pledging myself to a person, thinking that I was pledging myself to my relationship with God. This season of my life has shown me a lot about me. I think we all need these moments of clarity in our lives. It’s these moments from which we start to build something more genuinely on accident than we could have previously on purpose. I know a lot of (religious) people would argue that God doesn’t want you to come to Him simply as you are… those people are so wrong. And if you’re listening to them I beg you to tune them out. His favorite version of you is who you are without anyone else around. Your thoughts, your character, your personality and talents. All the things that make you, you. You can’t display them when you’re caught up trying to be something you think people want to see… and that’s what I’m grateful this season has taught me.
I write this today because I know there are others in the same place. God has called you out of one thing and into another. And while your heart is full, there is a place in you where God continues to keep you to himself and show you, you. It is in a wonderful place to be. So I just encourage you today to enjoy the journey and savor every moment. It often happens that we don’t recognize how beautiful a season is until it’s over, so grab ahold tight and take joy knowing that the judge of your case and the defender of your life are on the same side.