If I’m going to be real then I’m going to write about the intimidation (a lifetime of it hidden from public view). If I’m going to write about what I don’t want to write about then I’m going to write about the experience of story coaching (life changingly good) and being amongst a very, very experienced, well-versed community of writers and feeling like I don’t quite fit in. If I’m going to be honest, then I’m going to write about how I feel so far out of my league. If I’m going to be honest I’m going to tell you that I’m ready to quit – and we just only started. I’m going to have to relive some pain, acknowledge some hurt and unbelief, and let people know it’s safe to come near me. I’m going to have to uncover old things that I don’t want to deal with but that I have to deal with in order to move forward. I’m going to dig my heels into the ground and build this dream. But… If I’m going to be honest, I’m letting you know I might quit. If I’m going to be honest, this is too much for me. If I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I can take it. I’m just being honest.
Since I’m being honest, I’ll tell you I’m wrestling with some giants and many are of my own making. They’ve been seated in the shadows ready to pounce every semblance of a new dream. I created my own monsters. They’ve risen to thwart every act of progress. They’ve silenced my voice – literally. They have become my undoing, but now they are my unbecoming. It was never meant for me to be small, hidden, and stuck in a corner. Honestly these thoughts have been swirling around my mind far longer than I care to recognize. Even before I joined a community of writers, “it” was there. I just didn’t know on a conscious level. I kept shoving down and deeper into the nether regions of the mind. But “it” refused to be ignored. In reality, there was a darkness that need light bearing. It was and is the bridge to an awakening. There is no shame in that – only the sudden realization that I’ve been walking in self-imposed darkness, but thank God for His mercy, grace, and long suffering patience. Maybe you’ve been there too. You’re not alone.
And since I’m in a writing course about writing and honesty and owning what’s mine, then I have to own up to the fact that I can’t make my voice match someone else’s. I’ve been doing that long enough – it’s so exhausting and debilitating. I can’t make myself sound like someone else. There’s a reason He made my voice unique – in word and song. I can’t be someone else. I can only really be me. So if I’m going to be honest, then I need to face that fact that I’m going to have to let that go. Let it die. I don’t have to be like somebody else. I don’t need to keep holding on to that foolish notion that in order for me to be okay with myself I have to be what I’m not. I’m not okay with not being me. I not okay with being “other than.” But what I am okay with is being God’s daughter – His chosen, treasured possession, and owning all of what he made me to be. I’m okay with that.
And if I’m going to be totally honest, God’s okay with that too – the me being me. What God’s not okay with? Me imitating and mimicking what he never created or intended me to be. So if I’m going to be honest, I’m going to own this right-now-life – chaotic and topsy-turvy and unexpected as it is: I’m going to own it. I’m going to make it mine. I’m going to write about it. I’m going to live it, love it, and sing about it. I’m just going to be. How that evolves? I don’t know. I don’t need you to judge me because I’m not going to judge me. God’s not judging me. He just says, “who cut in on you while you were running. You were running a good race. Why did you stop? I’m right in front of you daughter. Keep running. Keep moving forward. I’m right here in front of you, daughter. Rest. Don’t fret. It only causes harm. Rest. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Rest. Keep your eyes on me.” There is something to the resting. It is not just sleep. It is not just stillness. It’s not just sitting quietly – although each of those are restorative. It is, for me, settling into the “be”ing-ness of me. It is walking, living, moving, and having my being in Christ in God in all I think, say, and do. This kind of rest is my shalom where nothing is missing and nothing is broken. Why? Because God is restoring to me what He always meant to be. And if I’m really going to be honest, that’s how I’ll get free, be free, and stay free. Perhaps that’s why the giants seemed so big. I was beginning to walk in fruitful fullness – unknown to me, but God always knew – but it freaked me out. It is a powerful thing to see one’s self with a new pair of no-more-tainted eyes.
Maybe you’ve struggled too. We are uncommonly common. We are a silent majority who should remain silent no more. Speak. Write. Lyricize. Even if your words are hard words, write them and say them. Own them. Get comfortable with them.
Get real and honest with yourself. Ask God who you are. He’ll remind you. It’s okay. I need me to be me. You need you to be you. We need you to be you. We just need to simply…”be.” And that’s okay!