This season is so spectacular to me because simply put; the fact that Jesus was born changes everything.
Growing up and even as an adult I had the mentality, on my own, that if I had talents I should be making money with them. This is fed by our society. So with a diverse set of gifts and talents I have over the years tried myself and been told by other to make a business out of my talents.
"You could make a whole branding out of that"
"You could make alot of money with that"
"That could take you far"
"You'll be famous"
...are lines I've been fed and honestly fed myself.
Recently I found myself discouraged, bitter and confused about why I had these talents if the Lord wasn't going to bless them. If every one of my attempts was going to fail to do something useful with them…what's the point.
Kyle encouraged me to just do them for fun. To quit all this business, business. That is was taking the joy out of something that was once a source of creative juice and passion for me, now was competition and stress. And no matter why God gave them to me, he surely didn't intend for me to be stressed out over them.
So i quit. I deleted my "business" page on facebook. I quit listing things on Etsy. I quit pushing myself.
(some of my favorite words throughout the bible)
But God intervened by allowing me to study the bible. Specifically this year, Genesis.
So, take this snipit from the tower of Babel:
4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (Genesis 11:4)
This hit me right between the eyes. In the NIV they say, "let's make a name for ourselves". I heard our teaching leader say, "If your exalting your own name, you can't be exalting God's"
I realized that I had had a divided heart for almost 30 years. Trying to make much of me with the things that God wired me with instead of trying to make much of God no matter what happened to me.
This changes everything.
There's also a snipit (Genesis 12) about Abram not consulting God in famine, instead made a logical, reasonable plan to go to Egypt where he just makes a mess of things. I won't write the whole things for the sake of space, just go read it. Again, at bsf, it was summed up the best that "Abram's logical plan led to his led to his demise." Read Genesis and try to tell me that humans logic works out…it fails everytime. The only time that you see people succeed (truly) is when they consult God and ask him what HIS choice for them is.
So at this point I told the Lord that I was done. I was done pursuing myself, I was done trying to make a name for myself, I was done with all of it. I didn't want to be like Babel. I didn't want to do was logical. Most of the time what God calls us to do for him is contrary to what the world says we should do.
I let go of it. If I only painted for my home, if I only make cakes for my kids, if I only took pictures for fun, if I only wrote books for my only enjoyment, if I never acted again…so be it.God had changed my thinking and my desires. For years I had wrestled with why God had given me talents, desires and even dreams. Now I can see that its all about him. And if it's not, then its meaningless.
And it's not sure a christian cop out of, "I promise to use my talents for good Lord, if you bless me." No. It's lay it all down. Walk away. If you never get to do it again, praise him. Because he is better. He is more. Make him famous, we have nothing good in us anyway but God.
So, present tense.
I recently got asked to be on this creative team at church. And got asked to write a series of monolouges for our christmas series. Then ended up performing the first one. I haven't really acted in years. So come Sunday morning I was a mess. I was sooo nervous.
Standing back stage trying to remember the lines (that i had written, that's how silly and nervous I was) Then I took a deep breath and remembered something that we pray at leader's circle in bsf, "Help me be invisible, Lord."
And there i stood, in costume, listening to the worship songs, feeling exhilirated again by the feeling of being back stage, I realized this was a culmination of events (of sorts)
Here's what i prayed:
"God, help me be invisible. You gave me words and I wrote them. Help them accomplish what you want to today. Help me remember the words so that I don't stumble and then distract people towards me. I want to be invisilble. I want YOU to shine. Fill me up with you spirit and hover over me so that you are glorified in me today."
And I went on stage.
I didn't miss a beat or forget a word. I got the laugh and everyone clapped. But that's not the point.
God answered my prayer. Both the prayer to let it all go and pursue his namesake and also my backstage prayer. And God gets ALL the glory for that.
I'm proof that Jesus changes everything. For almost 30 years all I wanted was to make a name for myself (even in my good christian things) but now he's changed me to want to be invisible and for him to shine in me.
And one of the great parts about that is that I don't care what happens. I can leave the results to him.
He saved me
He loves me enough to change me
He prunes me until I'm willing
He uses me
He shines through me