It has been a while since I’ve sat consistently at the computer in the early mornings and wrote off the cuff. I started to scale it back some as I took some heat from people (in actuality, one person) who insinuated I might have been a little hypocritical. “How can you write all of those encouraging words when your life doesn’t appear to be where it should be?” Those words weighed heavy on my mind and on my heart for various reasons (I’m human, you know)- partly because of from whom they came from and partly because yeah, I have been experiencing waves of difficult times in my life. But so what? Life, right? I mean we all go through things- and how can we ever grow- how can we learn, how can we help others if we have no experience, no heartache, no heartbreak, no victories… nothing to draw from. I can talk of pushing past fear, because I have been afraid- getting unstuck because I have been stuck- overcoming mistakes, because I have made plenty of mistakes- disappointments, heartbreaks, bad choices, regrets, betrayal, hopelessness… all of that. And because God’s grace proved to be much bigger than all of that, I can speak on hope, fearlessness, faith, peace in times of choas, being fortified, comebacks, purpose, greatness…
Part of what is wrong in our society is that we care too much about what other people think. We try to make life seem as if it is darn near perfect. We fear that if we show weakness or are transparent about difficulties, we will be viewed as weak people. Therefore, we are often too fake- fake in the homes, fake in the church, fake amongst our friends. We end up living lies and force others to live them as well. Ohhh… I’m so tired of it. Tired of seeing us shut down in areas where we are needed most- tired of seeing us manipulated into living in ways that are not authentic, as a means trying to gain validation, positions, love… Tired of seeing people suffer in silence because you don’t want to listen to or deal with their issue. We tell people to just suck it up! Be strong- leaving no place for vulnerability. There is no freedom when we are not living authentically. We can not help anyone. Oh, but when we live our truth, we walk in freedom and can help liberate others as well. Our exposed scars are just testimonies of healed wounds.
My life isn’t by any means perfect. I have plenty of scars from falling down. I’ve made some excellent choices in my life and some that I wish I could go back and redo. I took leaps that left me soaring in high places and some that left me flat on the ground. But all of those experiences have helped me because I choose to learn from them and they have given me the right to speak on what I speak on. I work hard not to live in my past or be defined by it but I own it all- the setbacks, the breakthroughs, the mistakes and the victories. And because I own my… my life, I’m able to take those lessons- those experiences- those truths, my journey… and help, and serve and comfort others “right now” with the same comfort God comforted me with. Problems don’t change purpose. In fact, they often expose it. And I will never allow a person or circumstance to stop me from being who I am or stop me from giving what I’ve been placed here to give.
So listen, In spite of circumstances, I will always have a word of encouragement. I will still be the most encouraging person I know. I will get right in your face and tell you, “It is written…!” “You are worth the fight!” “It’s okay to cry.” “I see you!” “You are not alone!” “Don’t you give up!” “You’ve got this!” “God’s got you!” “So what if they don’t get you or believe in you!” “How can I help?” “So what if you’ve failed multiple times!” “Failure is not fatal.” “I might not have your answer, but I’m here.” “You were made for this life!” “You make us better!” “Can’t nobody live you better than you!” “You have greatness within!” “Your best days are in front of you! You will get past the hurt, the grief, the mistakes, the pain, the betrayal…” “Let them walk away, you’ll make it without them.” “Celebrate you!” You can live your dreams!” “Get up!” “You are divinely defined!” “Breathe!” “Try it again!” “After all of this, You will live…” I can and will tell you because those are the words God told me and I’ve earned the right to speak them.