Last night I had a dream. In the dream I was speaking with a girl whose face I didn’t recognize. She was telling me all about her struggles with mental health, her struggles with anxiety. She was telling me about the discussions she had been having with her doctor and her internal struggle as to whether she would try medication or not. I could see it in her eyes, to her this seemed like a failure. So I looked back at her and I calmly said, “I take Sertraline every day and I’ve been prescribed Xanax for anxiety attacks.”Read More
I want to start off by saying that this post was not scheduled for today. I have a content calendar, and for the most part I stick to it. But God has a funny way of working sometimes, and today, He said, “Shannon, you’re going to write this instead. Save the makeup post for another day.” So…here we are.Read More
Recently I began posting openly here on the blog and on social media about Jesus Christ. This is something I’ve been feeling called to do for quite some time, but fear always held me back.
Last week, I began to feel that fear resurfacing as I worked on future content. I started to question what people were going to think of me. What will they say? Will they call me out? Will they call me a hypocrite? Will they comment on the way I dress? The way I speak? The way I walk in daily life as a young Christian woman, flawed and riddled with sin? Will someone do that? I already know the answer to my question. It isn’t a matter of if, it’s the matter of when. And that’s scary.
I’ve always struggled with what others think of me. I’ve always been an over-explainer, afraid that someone will misunderstand my intentions making them out to be something they’re not.
Last Thursday night I went out with some friends to a John Crist comedy show. In all honestly, I didn’t care too much about going. I’d seen his videos floating around Facebook and sure, they were funny. But I didn’t really think I would get a lot out of this show. Throughout his act I laughed hysterically, big, gross, snorting laughs with tears running down my face. And although I was enjoying his show, I still didn’t feel too much. I was having a good time, but I definitely didn’t think I was going to feel Jesus at his show. I even caught myself questioning at one point, “Is this guy really Christian?”
But then I realized I was no different than him. I realized what a hypocrite I was being. I think horrible things more often than I’d like to admit. I crack “dirty” jokes. I wear “revealing” clothing. I spend time engulfed in society’s media, when I could, and should, be engulfed in the Word. And I judge others. I judge their looks, I judge their actions, I judge who I have determined, in the 10 seconds I have seen them, that person is. I judge if they are a Christian. But I often do this without looking at myself.
I think this is something we all do. We all have a certain image we each hold in our minds as to who a “Christian” is. For some it may be someone very conservative, for others, it may be a more modern interpretation. But I realized, even as I’m calling my very sinful self a Christian, I have still be conjuring up this idea of who other Christians are. Especially figures like John, who influence the masses in regards to Jesus’ word.
So there I was, laughing at this show, thinking Jesus wasn’t in that room up until the very end. But then, very casual, pretty quick, just before he said goodnight, John talked about the “message” of his show. He talked about judgment in the church. He talked about the uptight feeling that surrounds the church. He talked about the importance of remembering we are human beings.
And that’s when it hit me. That’s when I heard God say, “Gotcha!”
My sinful heart, my neaive spirit, my human being mind did it again. Just when I thought God wasn’t with me, He proved me wrong. And I know He will. Again and again and again.
Because God knows the way to my heart, as I was thinking about this the other day, driving home from school a new Christian song called, “How Could I be Silent” began playing on the radio. And it really spoke to my soul. In the song, artist, Caitie Hurst sings,
“I don't care what anybody thinks about me
You're the only one that I need
No, I don't care what anybody thinks about me
How could I be silent when there's all this joy inside my heart
How could I be quiet when you gave me light to pierce the dark
How could I be silent, I will not be silent
Even though my sin had left crimson, you washed away those stains
And the grace you've given is the reason I'll never be the same
How could I be silent, I will not be silent, how could I be silent”
So I will not be silent. I will not care what others say, and chances are at some point or another, someone will say something. I will cast away the fear. Because I am a Christian, a very flawed, sinful, human Christian, and it is still my duty to spread Jesus’ love in everything I do. So I will do just that.
Happy Monday friends, Jesus loves you.
What are you so afraid of? What is the fear that’s holding you back? I’m sure something comes to mind. For me, it’s the fear of judgment. What are others going to think of me? Will they misunderstand my intentions? How can I make them understand?
What is your fear? And how is it holding you back?
The phrase “fear not” is used 80 times in the Bible. In Isaiah 41:10 it says, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” And as the famous song goes, “and if my God is with me, whom then shall I fear?” God tells us time and time again not to be afraid. Matthew 6:34 reads, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Again, Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” I could go on for page and pages.
So why are we still doing it? Why are we still giving in to this horrible thing called fear? He tells us to have courage, to be strong, because He will be with us always. And he keeps reminding us throughout the Bible, over and over again. As if he knows, I mean, he does know, that as a human beings we will ignore his command. In Joshua 1:9 it says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” What else do we need?
It’s time to stop hiding behind our fears. It’s time to stop making excuses. What is your reason for not utilizing your God given gifts to the BEST of your ability? Is it fear? For me it is, and I would bet it is for a lot of you too. And I’m not saying I’m going to stop fearing. Because, Lord knows (He really does!), that it’s human nature to be afraid. But how can we claim to serve Him if we aren’t at least trying to overcome fear? I have to try, and if you feel the same, you have to try too. You have to remember that each time you give in to fear, you are giving up a potential chance to serve Him.
So what are you so afraid of?