“But I don’t want others to judge me. I don’t want to give them any reason to question me, my faith, theology, or what I do.”
Sitting in front of a person I deeply respected, I blurted those very words. I had sought them out for help, something that is far too hard for me to do. But I’d been swirling fears around in my stomach and knew I needed perspective. My fears were starting to freeze me.
DING! GOT IT.
And as soon as the words left my mouth the light bulb went off in my head. This is how coaching / mentoring works. The wise person guides you along in dialog and different perspectives. Then before long you are blurting out the answers you knew all along (but for whatever reason you hid from yourself because you were stuck in a box).
So there I sat, realizing why I’d been questioning the opportunities for work that were tailor-made for the person I am. The person my Creator had meticulously planned long ago (and allowed experiences and circumstances to happen to—just so I’d be ready for this moment). And all my questions and doubts came down to me worrying what “so-and-so” would think of me. OH MY GOSH IT WAS ABOUT ME AGAIN (seems like it always comes down to this). sigh. ego. grr.
MAKING UP WHAT HASN’T HAPPENED
I had already made the conversations in my mind. I could hear that woman say, “How dare she go to a New Age center and teach there. See I told you she idolized those people/things/etc…” I could hear that man say, “See, you’re not a good representation of our faith, you’re mingling with those opposed to Christianity, and that’s why we can’t support you.” I could hear family whisper, and wonder, and soon I wouldn’t even be able to take care of my niece and nephews if something happened to their parents because I was distrusted with who I am and what my spiritual foundation consisted of.
THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW.
Those conversations, the ones I was making up that “might” happen today, were real moments of my past that still—apparently—haunt me. There was a time when what they said to me, and about me, were true. BUT, today, those things that do not define who I am or what I’m about. But somehow the past and my need for their approval had a hostage-hold on me, like a ball and chain, keeping me from going through the doors God was opening for me.
It wasn’t until I sat in-front of this wise person who spoke good words backed by scripture I trusted, that I could accept my REAL fears and acknowledge them.
The take away and lesson learned after listening to wise words and advice from this person was: Yes I might be judged. Especially by those who are judgmental in nature. Expect it. And hold tight to the truth that I was made for this work.
The wise person looked at me with all seriousness and said, “Sherry you can go into places and reach people who I would never be able to reach—because of who you are, where you’ve been—just like there are places I can go and reach others that you could not. You’ve earned the respect of those in your reach, because you were there, you understand them like others could not.”
And it took everything in me to not fall apart. Because truth is truth. And it cuts so deep when you finally get it…and believe it. And one day I’m gonna be in heaven and I fully expect to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant—thank you for going where I planned for you to go—you were light and salt—and you represented Me every time—thank you—enter into your rest.”
This thought helps me immensely. And if someone feels the need to judge and misunderstand my pure intentions, I don’t need to fear. If they feel they need to influence others with slanderous words again me, I need to let it be. It’s not their approval I’m after. I have to keep remembering that.
We have to keep remembering that.
You have to keep remembering that.
Do what you do best. Honor and be faithful to your values and beliefs. Give yourself permission to live the life you were specifically designed for. And understand how very blessed you are—because of everything you’ve experienced, gone through, and done. You have now arrived in this season. Ready.
There is no shame in being the you your Maker thought up. Even if your hair has red streaks, you bare tattoos, and a nose piercing to boot. God thinks you rock because there are people you can reach that others can’t.
Let’s go and be the light and salt. Unlock the ball and chain of approval-fears that keep you frozen on the ground. Let’s own who we are. Let’s fly!
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