Over the last few months of my life, there has been what seems to be a bulldozing of all the screwed up ways I have been thinking about myself and my spirituality. I can’t even tell you ALL the ways, but I beginning to document the more recent clearing of the walls that were put up.
Last week I experienced freedom from Need-based relationship with God. You can see my last ” Jesus: Always Enough” blog to read that experience. This week I stood face to face with the wall that was built up to -Please Men instead of the Father. Also Competing rather than unifying with others.
I began singing in 6th grade. It was a late start in my opinion, and it was a somewhat of a pushy start. My mom was known for her singing, so of course everyone had these expectations of me. My tone has always been soft and sweet. It was something I wasn’t very proud of before. Everyone would always pushed me to be Bigger and Stronger. I remember many instances when I was compared to others or others were pointed out as an example of how I should be. I was told what would make people happy to hear, or why I wasn’t preferred among others.
These comparisons and statements put me in a box. I loathed the people I would be compared to. I tried to sound like the people everyone liked. I pursued the approval of people in everything I did. I spent more time reaching for something that wasn’t meant for me than perfecting what I already had. Matthew 15:8-9 reads
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules
My heart was so filthy, I didn’t know what worship was all about. I grew up with this mindset and all I can think of is how much of my worship was in vain. How many times were the things I presented only human efforts? Wow.
I am 24 years old. And I am just NOW getting to the point that I worship not worrying about the people looking or not looking up at me. I cannot tell you how many times I have been judged by my leaders. Even recently I was “trying-out” for a solo part and wasn’t a good fit because of my lack of presence or tenacity. I refuse to try to fit a standard, to be watched or listened to to determine if I am up to par. I won’t be in an atmosphere that makes me feel like I am forcing myself and my gift to fit in. I have learned that if you feel obvious disruption in your spirit
Yes, I have room to grow. And I am doing what I can to do that, BUT allowing someone to flourish doesn’t take comparisons and ridicule. It doesn’t take force to become better (some discomfort yes),but not force. The best worship experiences I have had was when I was surrounded by people with the same goal as me, To Glorify God and welcome His presence. When I was surrounded by people who came just to worship, not for anything else, is when I feel like I have been in my element. Just the way I am – soft and sweet, and sometimes jittery but I am getting better with that.
Don’t ever let people’s approval fuel your gift. Some places just may not be the place for your gift to flourish, there is no harm in that. Just don’t change what you have to fit in somewhere that isn’t for you.