It’s OK to Step Out Inadequate and Afraid

1129130721

“Grandma, you have a picture of God on your computer?”

My grandson saw a picture of Jesus on my screen saver stretching out His hands to invite us. It’s so hard for us as adults to understand, so how can a 7-year-old understand we can’t “see” God, but Jesus is still truly God who came down for us as a man?

As we further discussed how God is everywhere, another grandson said something that stilled my tossed-with-tempest heart, “He is always right beside us. Grandma, He is even sitting in your chair, and you are on His lap. And He pats your head.”

“From the lips of children and infants
You, Lord, have called forth Your praise.”
Matthew 21:16

Little does my grandson know how I long to truly believe it in my heart that God holds me so gently and lovingly. That He encourages me with a pat – Keep going, My beloved child. I have you safe in My arms.

As I look back to the beginning of the year when I selected “My One Word for 2014” as “trust,” I think God is leading me step by step, however so tiny they are, to learn to trust Him more. To believe He has only pure, holy, and grace-filled intentions towards me.

On January 7, 2014, I wrote in my Writing Journal:

Recently I found a blog called “Faith Barista.” What Bonnie Gray writes often resonates in my heart. She bares her soul – her true self. She doesn’t hesitate to talk about the pain in her heart, though she admits she struggles to do so. Her writings give me hope. It’s like she understands my heart. She dares to do what I often don’t. Too easily I hide behind a mask and a sign saying, “I’m fine.” I put on such a strong front for everyone instead of allowing myself to feel pain or admit I’m hurting. I wonder if it’s because it was when I told my pain to a minister, he devastated me. It’s hard for me to share my hurts now and it’s hard for me to ask for help.

Yesterday I was moved to tears when I read Bonnie’s Just One Word: Giving Voice to Your Soul, Even When You Have Very Little, especially when I came to “Is there a desire God’s placed on your heart, but you’ve not dared to move — because you feel your ability to meet that passion was too ‘little’?” As she further talked about how we can become frozen in our inadequacies, she wrote, “We can become so analytical about problem solving and overwhelmed by our conflicting emotions, we no longer feel.  We numb ourselves from our wounds and our desires.”

When I admitted to Bonnie how I am sometimes so ready to delete my post about my one word for 2014, and that sometimes I just want to give up blogging weekly posts, she responded, “Dear Trudy, I feel the same way you do. I had been planning to post this last week, but felt so reticent. It’s never too late for us to step out “inadequate”. Jesus makes us adequate. I’m also learning God can use others (like you) to help me become real to Him and to myself. We can embrace each by inviting each other into our heart spaces. And it starts by sharing ourselves as is. Don’t give up. You are worth expressing.”

I long so badly to become real to God and to myself, but fear keeps holding me back. Sometimes I think I’m almost there, but then I regress back into a shell again. It’s easier to hide myself. I long to invite others into my heart space, but sometimes when I take that risk I feel so afraid and vulnerable. I long to allow the creative child in me to burst forth. I feel so stilted and frozen. I long to trust and not be afraid. Like in the post I wrote at Bonnie’s prompt – “What Is Your One Word for 2014?”

Jesus, I’m so afraid to be open and honest. I’m so afraid of getting rejected or condemned. I know in my head there is no condemnation in You, but it seems so far from my heart. Please let this be the year for me to step out in faith and trust You wholeheartedly. To believe in Your adequacy, Your powerful and sufficient grace, and to believe in the gifts You have given me. Please give me power to be who You created me to be. Help me to believe I’m worth expressing. Please push me forward to take risks. Please help me to open my heart to You and Your will for me. I want so badly to trust You, but I’m always holding back a part of me. Help me! Jesus, I need You more than life itself, but I’m so afraid I am again and again shutting the door to Your help. You know how frozen I am, Lord Jesus. I numb myself from my wounds, and I also numb myself from my desires. I don’t allow myself to really feel. I have a God-sized dream, Lord, and I need Your power. Please give me the courage to move forward to share more of my heart and writings with other hurting souls. I have wasted so much time, Lord. But I’m so afraid of being hurt again. And I’m so afraid of hurting others, even if I tell the truth in love. Rejection and condemnation hurt so deeply, but You know that in truth, Jesus. No one has been through as much as You have. And it’s because of Your sacrifice that there is powerful hope for hurting souls like me.

Since that day, my life and heart have journeyed through more healing. I have a long road to travel yet, but now I feel Jesus is not only with me, but He truly desires to be with me. To take my hand and lead me.

I’m never a waste of His precious time or in His way.

He accepts me just as I am, no matter how broken.

No matter how inadequate. No matter how afraid.

Crack by crack, I am allowing myself to open up my heart more fully and freely to Him. To trust Him with my vulnerability.

To trust Him as a loving Daddy who cherishes me and will never hurt me with His words or actions.

A Daddy who will always protect me and will catch me when I fall.

I’m beginning to trust just a little that my story is worth expressing, because it is His story in me and in my life.

That God has given me gifts with a unique purpose no one else on this earth can fulfill.

That through His grace I can make a positive difference in this world of hurting people.

Do I always believe this in my heart? No, sometimes it regresses to just my mind again. And sometimes I still clunk to the bottom of the pit of despair when I doubt His faithful character and can’t grasp His promises. But I realize more now that I don’t have to make myself more adequate, less afraid, or more cheerful to be accepted and even welcomed by Jesus.

You see…

Jesus knows.

Jesus cares.

Jesus understands.

It’s ok not to be ok.

It’s ok to step out inadequate,

Afraid,

Downhearted,

Even upset with His plans.

Because no matter what,

His love towards us will never falter,

His acceptance of us will never waver.

His grace within us will never diminish.

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Hebrews 4:14-16

cutecolorsbutterflyline

If I had to pick two books I read so far this year that especially encouraged me to believe Jesus wants us to come just as we are with all our brokenness and vulnerability, no matter how inadequate or afraid we feel, they would have to be:

 

findingspiritualwhitespace

GodsheartforyouFinding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest

by Bonnie Gray

God’s Heart for You: Embracing Your True Worth as a Woman

by Holley Gerth

 cutecolorsbutterflyline

Praying we will step out inadequate and afraid,
and open our hearts to the God of all grace,
Signature

 

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

God’s Signs and Seals of His Generous Love

God'screatures

Signs of God’s goodness and love surround us in His creation, whispering ever so tenderly:

Yes, Child, I am here.
Open your eyes and see.
Open your ears and listen.
Open your heart and believe.
I hold up My Creation,
And I hold up you
Because I delight in you.

Several weeks ago, my daughter spotted a Baltimore Oriole in our birdbath. I missed it, but I did catch a picture of him on the rooftop. I found out they especially love grape jelly, so I got a little feeder. He didn’t come back…

Last week when I felt so sick, I looked out the window and at the sky and sighed, “God, if You really are with me, will You give me a sign? Will You please bring that Oriole back?”

I quickly snatched it back. “I’m sorry, God. I shouldn’t ask for a sign. I should just trust that You’re with me always.”

I am trying to trust God, no matter what. Not only at times when I feel the sunshine of His Presence, but also at times when He’s covered by the stormy clouds that rage in my body, mind, or heart.

I am trying to find my footing on His immovable character of goodness and love, not in my faltering feelings.

I am trying to own His promises, believing He has personally given them to me and is faithful to fulfill them in His own time and way.

So I felt guilty asking God for a sign. He had just gifted me with a whisper of His assurance last week, “You don’t need to understand. You just need to hold My hand. I am with you.” Just because I felt so alone that day did not mean He wasn’t there for me. He never presses something on our hearts if He doesn’t mean it.

His promises are purposeful and will surely come to pass.

Because He loves us.

So deeply.

So devotedly.

So desperately.


“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

(Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

God takes delight in us. He gladly gives us signs to show His love. He desires to calm our fears. His generosity towards us is a bottomless sea of goodness. He passionately desires to give us far more than we ask for or expect.

A joyful surprise arrived for me on Saturday. I was resting while my husband went to see if our son needed any more help with moving, and my heart nudged me to get up and look out the window.

A Baltimore Oriole! Giddy with excitement, I hurried to get some snapshots of this beautiful bird, so gloriously displaying the goodness and love of God. Thank You, God!

DSC_0239

DSC_0241

DSC_0238

DSC_0236

I don’t know if the Oriole will come back. I hope so. But even if he doesn’t, I will see every bird outside my window as a sign and seal of the goodness and love of a generous God.

The house finches that nested outside my window have taken flight. It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow to nearly the size of their parents.

DSC_0250
I’m a big boy now!

And God has sent a variety of other birds to delight my heart:

DSC_0155
Goldfinches in their
sunshiny array.
DSC_0140
A pair of mallard ducks
surprised us with a visit.
DSC_0092
Mourning doves spread their wings to the sun, teaching us to spread our arms to the Sun and expect His blessings, because He is so willing to give them.
DSC_0264
And along comes Baby Mourning Dove.
DSC_0054
Let’s not forget the sparrows.
God counts us even more valuable!
DSC_0220
Yes, He’s still watching over you. I’m His witness.

Take a look out the window or a walk in nature. View photos of God’s marvelous creation. Signs of God’s love, His goodness, and His faithfulness are all around us.

No matter what you’re going through right now:
God knows.
He sees.
He hears.
He cries.
He understands.
And His heart is bursting with love for you!

signature3

 

Joining Up With


A Soft Gentle Voice

Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
“Share your whitespace moment.”
– moments of beauty and rest
– feeding your soul
– your alone time with God

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

 

Copyright © 2014,
Trudy Den Hoed.
All rights reserved.