I wrote the following words, just the italized ones, to that friend in an email just now, and then I came here and wrote the rest. It's loosely edited and all my heart.
I'm excited to hear the parts of your story that you share. I too have felt this similar rumble in my heart, one that's making my knees tremble with fear because it's terrifying to say yes to the story God puts us in. There is so much of my life I like sharing, and that's easy, but I feel this tension to start sharing the parts that don't shine quite so pretty, but that just absolutely wreak of the Gospel.
I feel this tension right now. So strongly. To tell the stories of what is actually happening. I’ve never lied here, and I’ve never painted a perfect life, but I’ve also written little about some of the biggest things going on in my life.
I want to write more about being a worship leader. How I prepare and how I love it. How it’s hard and beautiful and how it’s changed so very much over the past year or so. How my prep is some of the most important work I do for my church.
I want to write more about being a community group leader at my church. It’s one of the sweetest challenges in my life right now. I told some friends recently that during group I usually have the tensest stomach because I feel such a need to make sure the Gospel is spoken, and how it’s also one of my biggest joys. I’m more aware of my failures than my successes as a leader, and I want to write about those things too. I want to share the ways I’ve really failed, the spiritual battle that shows up every single time I prepare for group, the words that the Lord has given me in the midst of it all.
And then there’s the things I don’t want to write about. But that I have to.
I don’t want to but need to and will be writing about being single. The past few weeks have held some of the clearest words from God I have ever heard. And it’s been terrifying. I’m always good at the beginning of things and terrible with the follow-through so I’m trying to listen to Him with such a heart of obedience. Because I’d like to follow through with the call I’m hearing Him tell me, even if it utterly terrifies me.
In the talks of singleness, I’ve got a whole bunch of subjects I’ve been writing on, and trying to study up on. I think there are a whole lot of lies that we’ve been told as singles, and as marrieds, and as everybody in the church. I don’t think anybody set out to lie deliberately but I think Satan set out to just put confusion on top of singleness and I really believe that he has been succeeding. I want to write about the lies I’m hearing and I want to more so write out the truth that the Gospel shares.
In the talks of singleness, I want to talk about what it looks like to trust God fully with your life and also be so very lonely. Not incomplete, because Jesus completes, but definitely lonely. And how that’s not sinful. Oh friends, lonely is not a sin. What we do with our lonely can be (and often is) sinful, but the feeling of being lonely really isn’t sinful.
I want to talk about how Jesus has shifted my heart over the past few months. I want to talk about how Jesus has changed my life. I want to talk about the Gospel and how I was dead and now I am alive!
Yesterday the pastor said: God is not a god who makes bad people good. He makes dead people alive.
That’s what I want to share. I want to share what it means to be alive in Christ.
So I am going to!
Will you join me? Will you start writing the words that are scary to pen but necessary to hear? Your heart needs to be willing to write them, but even if you’re not willing to share them yet, will you write them?
Will you grab a new journal and a pen, or use your typing fingers, and will you start writing?
Because I need your story. I need it so desperately. I need to know I’m not the only one living in the tensions of this life.
Will you join me?
Because it's time we all tell our story.