One day, in the middle of chemo, I was having a particularly hard day. It was getting harder to publicly share my journey because I’m naturally a very private person. But I felt that I needed to open my mouth and share the good, bad and ugly of my breast cancer journey. The reason I wanted to share ALL of it was so that God would get the glory for ALL of it. For my quiet time that day I had escaped to my room, taken off my cap because my head needed a break, and without knowing everything that was going on in my heart, my mom came into my room with a sticky note that said, “Be Fearlessly Authentic” (that saying just so happened to come from a Dove chocolate, lol) and stuck it on my mirror! At the time my mom hadn’t seen me without my cap because I was still too uncomfortable to walk around without it. She gave me the biggest hug and told me how beautiful I was. Even though I still don’t feel beautiful without my hair, I understood what she meant … it was more than just about my hair. She encouraged me to continue sharing what God was doing and thought I needed this daily reminder. She was right! I still look at this reminder every day and it is a constant reminder to me to “Be Fearlessly Authentic” so that God gets the glory.
So far everything God has called me to do, has the convenience of me being able to use the delete button. When I write out posts for social media, a blog post, or a book, I can backspace as much as I want and even have my husband edit it. Or I have the blessing of the cut button while editing our podcast episodes when I’ve paused too long trying to figure out what I’m going to say next. (You can find our podcast here.)
Realizing that God loves me for me, without the delete button or cutting out stutters or long pauses … that He fearfully and wonderfully made me exactly the way He wanted me is hard for me to believe. I am my own worst critic. I still remember times when I said something that was so stupid, and I’ve convinced myself that the other person will never forget how stupid I was. Maybe they have forgotten, maybe they haven’t … the fact is, I’m human. I’m going to make mistakes. But, God loves me anyway. He remembers I’m dust. I used to be offended by that verse. Thinking that by God remembering I’m dust, He was constantly putting me down … that I’m nothing but dust. I knew, of course, that I am dust and God in Heaven is holy and perfect, but recently I read that verse and it meant something different to me. God in His holiness, remembers that I am dust so therefore He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. He loves me for my flaws, stutters, and awkwardness. He loves me when I mess up. He died for my mistakes! Rather than feeling brought low, I feel forgiven, loved, ok to not be ok.
The beauty of my surgery story (coming soon) is that for once in my life I didn’t care how imperfect I was. I was only doing what I heard God tell me, in my heart, to do. I spoke His name over and over, louder and louder. This is how I want to live my life everyday … fearlessly, authentically doing what God asks me to do.
However, being completely authentic, I constantly live in fear. (I will be sharing another blog post soon about how “Fearless is Overrated”.) It is in my DNA to have fear. So, I want to walk forward doing what God asks me to do in the middle of fear … doing it anyway.
I want to encourage you, my friend, that God has a plan for you. He’s madly in love with you and wants you to live fully in your authentic self without being afraid that you’re not good enough because HE says you are good enough … in Him. I love how Holley Gerth wrote in her book Strong, Brave, Loved, “Whatever the future brings, our God is still holding the pen. He is the only one who gets to write, ‘The End'”.