One of the hardest challenges to living free of fear is battling the lies you believe about yourself and replacing them with the truth. Sometimes you don’t even know what those lies are until they are revealed to you. And sometimes it’s God who does the revealing.
Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and said, “What?! That’s not me!”
How about a video? Me, too.
I wasn’t looking for revelation; God offered it very gently. I was past tired. It was late.
Not long before going to bed, I watched about two minutes of a video of me teaching at school that day. Watching myself was like watching a stranger.
I almost didn’t recognize myself. And what I was seeing wasn’t good.
I was watching what could have been an expert lawyer advocating an important case. But I was just teaching. What I saw was a fierceness in me. Passion? Yes, but not just passion.
I saw a “delivery” that didn’t match the content of my message. It was in my voice tone, inflection, and facial expressions.
And honestly, it wasn’t in my heart. I didn’t know this was what I looked like.
Here’s a miracle: I didn’t feel self-condemnation. I felt confused. And I fell asleep.
A gentle God reveals big ideas gently
God, almost every night, untangles and reveals ideas to me in my sleep.
In my sleeping mind, I asked Him about the video.
And He gently reminded me of my childhood belief (for about 50 years!) that I had to fight for attention, and to prove I was right, and to find validation. He reminded me that sometimes, I literally had had to fight for survival.
I know performing to try to get attention was the fruit of this tree. And also my “need” to “prove.”
My years as a teacher and administrator in charge of outcomes… He reminded me of these trenches, too.
He reminded me of my long-held belief about Him: that He ignored me, and that I had believed I had to prove my worth to Him, too.
And then He ever so carefully connected the dots.
My habits of communicating are 54 years old and were formed in my old nature. But I'm not my old self anymore.
For so long, I was a fighter; now I often talk as if I still am.
My new nature is maturing as I continue to trust it. Some of my old habits don’t match the new me.
A softer, gentler, welcoming offering, instead of a fire cracker in your face.
A trusting, patient listener, unafraid of being ignored.
A fun, adventurous–and, yes–passionate “girl.”
It feels so right.
I love God’s timing. Not that long ago, I would have been devastated and embarrassed. And today, I was just ready. He knew.
I shared this revelation with my students.
I gave them permission to make little signs with exclamation marks on them and hold them up if they felt like my teaching was getting too passionate and needed to be tempered with some grace.
They laughed. And loved. Nothing was fixed. And everything changed.
Together, we made more room for trust.
Trust always attracts grace.
Grace is the stuff of miracles.
Are you ready to battle the lies that are holding you back from experiencing freedom? It’s admittedly a challenging idea, because practicing self-awareness is not for the faint of heart.
But we trust a big God. A gentle God. A God who offers grace.
What does He want to reveal to you?