There’s a song by Francesca Battistelli that speaks of being honest, laying our fears and secrets down at the cross, and finding healing in God’s love. It’s what I’m borrowing the title of this article from, and it’s part of the inspiration for what follows. If you like to listen to music while you read, be sure your volume’s turned up and click the below video before moving on to the next paragraph.
“Not one to wear her heart on her sleeve—at all.”
~ The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel ~
Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve is all about being vulnerable and sharing the deepest part of oneself. I’m not always great at either. Yet, here I am, typing up this gut-deep article. The way I see it, if I can’t be honest with myself and with you, then what’s the point of writing at all?
Oh, trust me: All the rest of my articles prior to this point (and afterward) have been (and will be) honest. But I haven’t always dug very deep. I haven’t always made myself be very vulnerable with you.
It’s hard to put myself out there, to say what’s moving my heart in monumental ways. It’s even tougher to admit what’s holding me back.
A terrifying concept, yet something I want no part of. It creeps up in numerous ways along the way through life, even if I don’t want it to.
Right now, I’m battling a fear that has the opportunity to steal years of incredible, indescribable joy from me. It’s chosen me to wage war against, and I’m struggling to hold my spiritual sword steady enough to not only deflect its blows but also to strike back in an aggressive move of my own.
A year or so ago, I experienced a divine call to write a Bible study. I clearly heard God’s whisper about it, including the title of the study and the subject. Shortly thereafter, as I was praying about the study, I received a vision of myself near the end of my life, and the joy oozing from the inside out was inexplicable. It was evident in this vision that I had written dozens and dozens of Bible studies through the years, and diving into the Word of God that much obviously had an amazing effect on me, as the joy fully expressed.
In that moment, when I received that vision, I wanted so intensely for it to come true. I still do. I’m praying that I will learn to love writing Bible studies and diving deeper into the Word and clinging ever tighter to God immensely more than I can currently fathom. The journey might be tough, even excruciating at times, but I know it will all be worth it and very incredible too. Learning more about God, growing closer to Him each day, and earning more of His characteristics through the hard work of letting go of myself and learning from Him are what I want through this and any other journey on which He asks me to go.
Yet, I’ve hardly written anything on the Bible study in the last year, until recently.
I wasn’t sure at first. For many months, in fact. Only around Thanksgiving or Christmas in 2017, did I figure out what was holding me back.
Yep. There’s that word again.
In a cry-my-eyes-out moment, I realized that I had not kept a close watch and had let fear consume me. I was overwhelmed by this first Bible study. I didn’t have a clue how to start, how to design the thing, how to study and work what I learn into an easy-to-understand book. On top of that lack of knowledge, I was afraid of failing, that my work on the study wouldn’t be good enough, that it wouldn’t be satisfactory to the God who had called me to write it. All those fears set out to crush me.
But then I remembered: God had called me to write the study.
And when God calls one to do something, He empowers one to do it.
Only, I had forgotten that. I had let fear get in the way. It became a stumbling block to me.
So, as I said, I cried my eyes out, a bitter cry of remorse and repentance.
After asking for and receiving God’s forgiveness, I got back to work on the study, beginning with a few days’ worth of prayer for guidance and knowledge, and would-God-please-teach-me-what-to-do-because-I-really-don’t-have-a-clue-how-to-write-this-thing type of prayers.
He’s been answering those prayers ever since.
As I put in my work on the first draft of the Bible study, I know that by taking my time with God on this first one, I will learn much more from Him than if I rush through it. Besides, He’s been amazing me every step of the way, naturally, and I love taking the time to soak in the awesomeness that is my God.
For instance, He used my fear, turning it into a piece of the Bible study. Is that cool, or what? God took my fear that I laid at His feet, and He turned it into a part of the very study I was afraid to write. I am so blown away and mesmerized by that. My God is incredible and completely amazing.
He takes the very things I fear and turns them into something good, and all I had to do first was lay them down.
Side note: It wasn’t as easy for me to lay them down as I just made that sound. It’s a monumental struggle for me every time, it seems. I hope it becomes easier along the way. As I study more and follow God’s will for my life, perhaps it just might.
So, this is me, being brutally honest—with myself and with you. Again, not an easy thing. Yet, somehow I feel freer for having done so.
I’m still digging deep for the Bible study. I have no idea how long this first one will take, but I’m praying my way through it and enjoying the journey. Yes, even when it’s challenging and makes me cry. But I’m also looking ahead with hope. Because if that vision is going to come true, I have a lot of incredible journeys ahead of me. I want to soak them all up. Not only that, but I want to be filled so much by God that I can’t help but pour His love right back out to Him by way of writing Bible studies for you, my lovely readers.
Curious about that quote near the top of this article? One of the reasons why I included it is because the characters in Lindsay Harrel’s The Heart Between Us also face overwhelming fears that threaten to steal their joy. I’ll be posting my review for this book here on the blog next week, so please stay tuned for that.
Did you like the song at the top of this article? Another song that spoke to me about conquering fear this week is Building 429’s Be with Us Now. Here’s a video of that one for you to listen to while you type up your comment in the section below.
What fear are you currently battling?
What goal do you have to hold on to through it?
What traits of God are you discovering along the journey?
How do you think this journey will make you stronger?
February is All About Love! What books are you reading for the challenge?