I’ve recognized for a long time that a change was coming. It was unknown.
It was terrifying.
It was dangerous.
As I’ve faced my fear, faced loss, sought God and become brave, in the words of Tracee Ellis Ross,
So now, I look back to understand the path forward. What came before? I spent the first 10 years of my writing career opining optimistically about Grace found amidst the deepest pain. I was ever hopeful, unintentionally convincing myself that surviving pain was a waiting game for which I would be rewarded, rather than appreciating the burnishing necessary to become truly Grace-filled.
My optimism was an artifice based upon lowered expectations. I rejected pain and called it Grace. I neither fully believed God would ever make it better, NOR did I appreciate that on this path, my path, first comes strength through obedient faith, and then comes Joy.
Even if joy is fleeting, strength, as a byproduct of obedient faith, DOES NOT FAIL. I am evolved. I am ready. It is time.
Read my words from 2014, where, in retrospect, I feel as thought I was seeing through a glass darkly.
What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?
God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us.
If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else?
If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them?
Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed!
Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us.
Can anything separate us from the love of Christ?
Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death?
I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future,
Romans8:31-35, 38 (CEV)
I am a fraud. There, it’s out, and even some of my dreaming sisters will be hearing this confession from me, now, for the very first time. I have not always had the courage of my convictions. I have deep and abiding faith in God, that is true. HOWEVER, until recently, I simply wasn’t the miracle believing type, for me. (<====Click to tweet)
Admitting my fraud is not entirely new. As recently as December, I wrote these words…
Looking back, I thought I had it right. It was a faith of sorts, just one without much testing. You know, it’s another one of those things we tell one another, “no testimony without a test.” I don’t think I didn’t have faith, but lately good friends who are praying and counseling me through this take me back to The Word, reminding me that “the refiner’s fire is hot, I know, but the end result is beautiful. Hang in there.” I am thankful that my Christian friends are not the drive-by variety.
As to the specifics of my fraud? I spent the last three years writing about joy found amidst the deepest pain, and that is true. I committed to seeing silver linings hidden within the stormiest clouds, sharing encouragement that despite where you are, where I am, we should say “YES” to God anyway. Here’s the falsehood—having struggled so long for so little (it seemed), I came to the realization that my optimism was all about lowered expectations. I’d nearly stopped believing things could ever get better, so when they didn’t, I wasn’t disappointed. You can’t be disappointed by not winning if you always expect to lose. I was being positive, but definitely in the poorest way. I was a fraud.
Fortunately, THANK GOD, HALLELUJAH! He doesn’t need us to be fully committed in order to witness His Miracles. In order to shake me out of the prison of my own despair and lift my head so I could find joy in the Light of the Son again, He began to bless me, to move at a pace I call Godspeed (really, really fast). God moved obstacles, walls, fear, mountains to change my circumstances along with my heart…on the very day I confessed my brokenness in a way I never had before, on the very same day I wept openly because everything I desperately tried to hold together in the midst of my fraud was falling apart.
While the inspiration for this message of confession and encouragement comes from Romans, it is also the words of Job in the midst of his anguish that encouraged me, and should encourage you to say “YES” anyway. Remember Job? It was he who wrote, “even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:26) THAT is how you say “YES” anyway.
God loves us so much that He doesn’t even need us to be fully committed at the moments He moves in our lives. (<==== Click to tweet) When God is for us, even WE cannot oppose Him in the fulfillment of His Will for our lives.
Not even we ourselves.
It’s time to say “YES” anyway. It’s time to take a step towards the calling God placed upon your life, WHETHER YOU ARE FULLY COMMITTED OR NOT. Neither “life nor death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future” shall ever separate us from God’s Love and His Plans for us. Not our fear, not self-sabotage, NO THING. Not even a well-constructed, well-intentioned falsehood, like the fraud I created and now humbly confess.
I’m walking towards the dream He planted within me, writing stories, confessing struggles, admitting the failures, and leaning on Him and on the #SQUAD He gave me for good times and all the other times. I’m saying “YES” anyway, because saying “YES” is what it means to step out on faith.
Come along. I dare you to say “YES”