I remember a little girl with long blonde hair, both feet deeply planted on the ground while swinging them as high into the sky of possibility. She knew her Maker and never doubted the goodness in his voice. Her tenacity spilled over into the lives of others as they remarked, "what a free soul with such strength."
She came from the seed of another woman much like herself, known as head-strong and a fighter of injustice. Her mama was not one to back down easily, and so it was always deep within her through these whisperings where she too would find the power of resiliency. To back down from what they knew to be true wasn't an option, until it became one.
The girl grew and she loved singing, acting and dancing. Her voice was melodious and contagious. Her mama would esteem her and cheer her on. Meanwhile, she would marvel at the way her mama could create something out of nothing with paint and brush, needle and scrap. She had an auditory knack, and longed to perform all the days.
She was made this way, as was her mama. Both fierce warrior women, and then chasm by chasm, they faltered.
You see, she loved Jesus. Like, unabashed, head over heels LOVED Jesus. She even loved the church. Still to this day, she has so many fond memories of growing up as the bride. But, as her eyes matured and her mind widened to see the things children don't see, she saw the brokenness.
Particularly, the brokenness spewed upon her mama.
This strong woman who was a fighter, a creative, a lover when pressed in deep to see the real her was shriveled up to an insurmountable weakling. When you're told that your strong voice, your opinions, your gifts and insight into the unseen world are an expense versus an asset, you begin to believe those lies.
And so, that little girl grown into a teenager grown into a young woman grown into a mama herself, believed that being a strong, opinionated, creative, insightful woman wasn't a gift. Rather, it had to be a weakness.
Not only that; but, it altered the original love she had for her Jesus.
She wouldn't see him as a giver of good gifts; but, as one who only gave "gifts" and "talents" as a means to struggle through it. Because, it meant he saw her gifts as something to box up and just look at occasionally; but, never to actually use.
These past couple weeks I've been wrestling with these thoughts. I've confronted my preconceived notions of who God is and why he made me the way he did. I have immersed myself into the world of the internet trying to get in with the right groups, in order to wait for "them" to give me permission to create.
I've even done that within the church...with the world.
So, here's the thing friends. I'm hoping you will stick with me and share your story. I'm not sure what Redeeming the Table will look like in one month to 12 months from now. Three weeks ago, I felt in my gut in a conversation with God, "If you want me to close shop, I will. I don't want to build my own tower of Babel. I choose you."
I am sensing this need to unearth the deep self, to give permission to create without borders is in a great many people (not just me). We are living in a world, which is itching, clawing to get loose of self made rags, in order find new life--the life we were always meant to live.
But we keep waiting for permission.
I know God has made me to be a teacher. He has given me the gift of the spoken word. I have become jealous and envious of friends obtaining these places in their life, while I have felt like I have gotten passed by.
It goes back to this, which I heard Erwin McManus speak of
Evil men do not wait for permission from God to create the future they have in mind. Unfortunately, good men sit idly by waiting for God to create a better world. Why do we keep waiting for someone else to create the better future?--
Okay, so he was talking more on us creating, like in the artisan sense. However, I would challenge us to rethink our orientation on "being given permission to create a better world" as us taking charge and going for the things we know God has breathed us.
I emailed a friend to offer up my name as a potential speaker at a conference. Ben thought I needed to be more aggressive. Call 3-4 other speakers and interview them on how they got their start. Then, write up a proposal with what I would talk about and send it to my friend. Well, I never did that.
You know why?
Because, I was waiting for God to do all the work. I have believed in the lie that the work is separate from the spiritual. Meaning, in order for me to "trust" God, meant I simply prayed and allowed him to lead.
Well, I heard back and the answer was no.
I sat in that for a while. The rejection. There was peace, and then there was jealousy. And then, there was prayers of blessing flowing from me. But, what I have found on the other end is what McManus spoke of...not to wait for someone else to write a better future.
Being at Faith & Culture Writers Conference last weekend confirmed this. Why was I waiting for permission to create, to pursue, to take action on what I know I've been created to become.
What about you? What have you put aside as a pointless dream? How have you been waiting for permission to create?