authenticityReflection… I have been doing a lot of that lately. Wondering how (and if)  I will actually do what is next on the horizon –  spend more time writing about the challenges in my life and God’s presence in the midst of them.  I had been praying for some direction, as I felt God calling me to be brave this year- but that was not the answer I expected.

When I am speaking, teaching, or coaching it is far easier to share the difficulties or dark times… writing them is another story.  (Writing outside of my journal, that is…for others to see, read and know.) Then they will be “out there,” and honestly,  that terrifies me.  My stomach twists, my mind races and fear rears its ugly head.  Instead of brave and called, I feel silly and scared.

Fear is an unfriendly companion, yet I tend to set a place for it at the table sometimes.  Inviting it to stay a while and talk me out of being brave.

Fear whispers: what will people think of my stories, my inner turmoil, even my triumphs? What if they judge me, are unkind, or don’t even read them…  Fear can be loud and paralyzing.  I hate being afraid.

When I spend with God, especially in the more honest in times of reflection…  the conviction and call grows: stop hiding, be vulnerable and write!   Even if I am scared.

I mean, seriously…I can’t pray for God to use me and then when He opens a door or offers direction, say NO in my fear.  I have countless memos, notes and journal entries telling God, “Yes, I  want You to use my life, but please can You do it this way instead of that way?”

(The lyrics of the hymn “I Surrender All” run though my head, and I want to sing the revised version:  I surrender some…”)

But what if.. my writings bless, encourage, help, or comfort someone?  Isn’t that what I have prayed for –  that my life, my story would have meaning and be used to bring glory to God?

What if  writing about my story offers hope by shedding light on the rocky path for someone else?   Isn’t that why we tell our stories, to share the real, the raw, the beautiful, the ugly…to encourage one another, to know we are not alone… and be reminded and reassured God has bigger plan even when we don’t see it?

And maybe, just maybe a fellow traveler will link arms and journey with us for a bit, or offer a place to rest and share.

Recently, I read Undone, by Michele Cushatt – (I am privileged to be part of her book launch team) and God used her incredible authenticity and beautiful vulnerability to not only minister to my heart and soul, but to say, “you too…It’s time. no more running, hiding, pretending…Write!”

Today She Reads Truth-Lent 2015-day 4  talks about confessing our sins to a faithful and righteous God.  and taking time to reflect on our lives. That the God of all mercy meets us there.

The Holy Spirit brought these sins to mind in my time of reflection today…

  • Rebellion- not wanting to do what I know God is calling me to do.
  • Lack of faith- being governed by fear.
  • Idolatry- letting what other people think be bigger than living for the eyes of God

Not very pretty.

So in repentance and trust, I am coming clean here… and sharing the battle that wages inside me.

Obedience, surrender, repentance means writing in the midst of my fear, listening to the Voice of Truth, Letting go of what anyone else thinks – and living and writing for an Audience of One.

(okay, now I said it… time to go write)

What does repentance look like for you?  Where is God calling you to take action, speak up, OR say no, rest, step away?   Whatever it is, my friend, know that I get it – its hard- and that I am praying for you.


4 Responses to “Authenticity”

  1. Linda

    When I read about people separated by silence or by estranged because of misunderstanding I find myself confused. The solution seems so simple. Say what’s on your mind; share the hurts, unscramble the misunderstadings, step out of yourself for the time it takes to know that your ‘truth’ of events, of motivations, of beliefs about what another has done or thought is not necessarily totally ‘truth.’
    Why do we struggle instead of asking questions, listening to answers and allowing ourselves to accept that we are not always right? What is it that makes us need to be right? Why do we struggle with forgiveness–of ourselves and of others?
    Does pride go before the fall or does it come after the fall? Is separation from God, from our calling, any more than the pride of needing to be seen as ‘godly’ or ‘perfect’? Is it that same pride that makes us question our calling? How many of us don’t accomplish what we want because we are afraid to fall? Isn’t that pride masquering as fear?
    In my family there is a nasty battle waging between two sisters. Each is wrong and each is right. The emnity has boomeranged around the family leaving no one untouched. Pride masquerading as lack of forgiveness.
    Each professes to pray for resolution; roughly translated into an apology from the other and absolution from responsibility.
    So much energy mispent.
    God will wait. He will give us the time to overcome our pride, however it is dressed–in fear, in lack of forgiveness, in willfulness (rebellion) or whatever keeps us from doing God’s will. And sometimes, He will say ‘Not yet.’ His time, His will.

    • Susie Miller

      beautiful – poetic and profound. Your hopefulness and honesty are a breath of fresh air and I hope your sisters lean into your wisdom and allows you to help them navigate this struggle.

  2. Jen

    Oh I am so regretful when God plants a seed in me and I ignore it.., the worst of it …I know I am ignoring it. Too busy, not enough courage and the raging fear keep me hidden. How I long to unveil what God has placed on my heart for the person who I have the potential to be, to be purposeful about why I am here. You are right it is time to stop the
    fear and write the next chapter. Thanks for your prayers and for your sharing and letting me know I am not alone. Too often I blame others or find excuses for what I know needs to happen. Small steps… Accountability a friend to walk with….In this moment I feel hopeful.

    • Susie Miller

      Jen, I hear you.. I have definitely been there… and I have learned, the hard way of course, that regret can lead us to action or be wasted on beating ourselves up. Realizing we wish we had acted differently is the first step… letting go of regret and moving forward is empowering and even in our fear allows us to cling to God as we take a leap of faith. I believe in you and your dream and vision. Take a step toward it each day, trusting that while doubts may come we can let faith be our answer to fear!! Thanks for sharing your heart. Cling to hope and be Brave!


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