As I said in the last post, everyone has their scars, the lies they believe that prevent them from seeing the Truth. Because I am human, I have them too. One in particular plagued me for a long time. I believed that I wasn't important, that I didn't have anything to offer the world. This lie was more harmful than it seemed, like a poison that slowly eats away at self-esteem and plants not only seeds of self-doubt, but seeds of God doubt. It caused me to reach the point that I described in Doubting Your Doubts, where I couldn't even believe God intellectually any more, I just said and did things to keep up the show for people who I thought would reject me if they knew I didn't really believe what I said.
Thankfully, God is patient and persistent. He pursued me when I didn't even know he was. Then he grabbed my attention and spoke straight to my heart (for more of that story, check out my first post ever here). It was then I was able to start seeing the intellect in it all. But this lie, along with many others I believed then, and some I still believe today, created those deep scars I spoke of. Scars I didn't even know existed. Scars that I'm still discovering today.
I briefly mentioned in the last post that if you want to truly heal, you must identify the scars and the lies attached to them and bring them to God. But how do you do that?
The first thing to do is find the scars. How I've gone about doing that is just by paying attention to who I am and how I am. How do I react to things? What's something I don't like about myself, or something I'd like to fix? When you find a scar, ask yourself, "Why do I think this way?"
For example, I'm insecure. Sure everyone is insecure in someway, but I am specifically insecure about my creations. I have a very hard time expressing myself and my understanding of things, so I like to do it in the most creative way possible. I turn my frustrations into art. I draw, paint, write, sing, spin stories, etc. Some of these things I'm better at than others. But all of them are a deep expression of my thoughts and emotions that I am too scatter brained to articulate to another human being in the form of verbal communication.
It's my artist brain, and I love it, but for a long time I did not love it.
In fact, I hated it! I hated not being able to express myself. I hated the blank stares or confused misunderstandings I got from others when I tried. I hated feeling constantly judged and worthless.
So, I created nonstop. I created worlds, characters, stories, ideas, pictures. I even created masks to hide behind. And I was so, so insecure about my creations because they felt like part of me. Because, they really kind of were. They were the only way I knew how to express myself, but even then, I was scared to show my creations to others because I was scared they would say something less than positive about it and not realize that this wasn't just some little thing I made for fun, but this thing was me.
Those insecurities are the manifestations of a scar of a wound I received when I was young. A wound fed by the lie that I wasn't good enough, I wasn't lovable, I wasn't wanted.
But realizing that lie took time. First I had to identify the scar. I had to look at my insecurities and say, "I don't like you. You are not me, you are my chains. You don't define me, you just keep me tangled in fear." Then I had to search. I had to pay attention every time I felt insecure and ask myself, "What am I afraid of?" Through several months of asking that question, I discovered the lie I had come to believe.
The process isn't a fast one. It took me months to identify my scar, and more after that to identify my fear and the lie that fear was rooted in. But that was almost two years ago. It wasn't until this spring did I start to dispel the lie by finding out I was not alone. By meeting many other creatives who thought the same way I did and had the same doubts that God was using to do glorious and magnificent things! And not just things in other's lives, but some had even had impacts on my life before I ever met them.
But I almost didn't meet these people. My fear almost told me not to go to the Re:Write conference. "What if you don't get anything out of it? What if it's a waste of time and money? What if something bad happens on your long drive down there?" And many more what ifs that scared me. But I knew one thing.
I have a dream. A dream that I'm more scared to lose the opportunity to reach than I am scared or other's opinions of me or falling into crippling debt or even dying in a freak car accident. So, while all of the "what ifs" my fear whispered to me were very valid "ifs," I had one, single quiet "if" whispering to me, "But what if you can reach your dream?"
And that single, small, truthful whisper got me shaking with such anticipation that I no longer cared about the big, scary "ifs" my fear screamed to me.
I realize now that I am the way I am for a reason, although sometimes I forget that. It's still something I only understand in my mind, but don't quite know in my heart. Because of this, I try to do things on my own. Don't get me wrong, it's good to work towards your dream, but when you forget that your ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God's kingdom, you can shoot for the stars all you want and have a real hard time getting off the ground.
God has been challenging me with the question I shared in part 1: "Is there a limit to my power?"
I already know that God is bigger than my biggest fear. But I have a hard time learning that He is also bigger than my biggest dream.
So recently I have been circling this dream in prayer on many different levels. I'm circling that I'll be able to get the book I've already written out there where it can impact people in the unique way that only story can. I'm circling that He would guide me on my next novel, which is centered around escaping the lies of the devil to see God's Truth. And I've recently added a new prayer to the list of things I'm circling.
The book I'm working on now is set in the desert, yet I have never been to the desert. I, however, have a standing offer to get a chance to see the desert this summer with my Grandparents in New Mexico. All I must do is raise the money for plane tickets down there. The day I decided this was something I needed to do, I began circling New Mexico in prayer.With 10% of all I make going towards travel I knew I would only be able to make it there with God's provision.
In the three days since, I have made almost twice at much money as I usually do on these days.
Such an immediate answer to prayer is something I'm not used to. I was excited, stunned, grateful. But most of all, I was overwhelmed. After just a few hours, He had already provided, and it instantly brought to mind a song by Big Daddy Weave
So, how big is my God?
He is bigger than my biggest doubts, darkest fears, and most unattainable dreams.
Is there a limit to His power?
Never! He is limitless, and in Him we, too, can be limitless.
He is eternal. He is infinite. He will provide.
Do you trust Him?
I'm learning to.