For example (though this was not the case in this particular church): The worship leader was helping out in Kids' club. The nurturer was tending to the coffee and not able to mingle with the hearts that needed their gifting. The encourager was wearing the shoes of the back-up singer, while the back-up singer took care of the overhead projector. And so on and so forth. None of them were committing sin by doing these things, mind. They were simply wearing the wrong hat, and, chances were, happy to do so.
But God creates us in our mother's womb. He sets in us gifts and talents and callings He wants us to fulfill, then sends us out into the world on a path that suits. But then life happens. I can't imagine there are many that made it through childhood without being broken in one way or another, who made it through their teen years and into adulthood without at least one scar. Which means, many of us are walking around guarding our hearts - or, our true selves, and not daring to let them out to live the life we were created for, or we're bound by insecurity, fear of rejection or failure, or something else that has worked its way into our soul and stopped us from being all we can be.
What could cause a congregation of souls - God fearing/loving souls, at that - (and that's more than one or two people, ay), to sacrifice the giftings and talents they were given? It could be one of the aforementioned fears, or something like that. And, more than likely, it was the goodness of their hearts that enabled them to tend to a need in front of them rather than fit into the place God had created for them. And there's nothing wrong with that - other than being in the place God hadn't created for them but for someone else. But, either way, whatever caused them to wear a false identity, they weren't free. You cannot be free if you are not living from the depths of your own soul, I reckon.If you can't stand up before the world, without deep emotion that causes you to guard yourself against one person or another, then, I believe, you're not truly free. Stand up in confidence AND love, then you, and the rest of the world, will know you're there.
A few weeks ago, it came to me that I'm not totally free. And the more I thought about that, the more I was convinced of it, and the more convinced I became the more I questioned God about it. "I'm not free, God. I'm not free to do this, to go there, to be that..." and so on. And it really started to irk me. :) But, I figured, if that were true, then God would soon respond and move to set me free with His truth.
Recently, my youngest (Kathleen; the one with the beautiful eyes in the picture atop of this blog page) started looking into personality types. (Take the test...?) I must admit, upon reading the type we thought I was (INFP), I was relieved to discover some of my quirks and, what I considered faults, lol, are shared with others and are more defaults rather than faults, and that helped me be more at peace with me.
The I in INFP, stands for Introvert.
Yesterday, Kathleen and I were discussing the personality types, and she said something like, "I don't think you're an introvert as much as you are fearful. Introverts are at peace with being that way..." and so on... "whereas you are more frightened of what others will think." And so the conversation went on as something thumped me in the chest and brought tears to my eyes. To which I replied, "You're not the first one to say that... God told me years ago that He made me to be an extrovert, not and introvert." I also shared with Kathleen that God also told me, once, that my extrovert daughter, Amanda, whom I adore and greatly admire for who she is and the courage she uses to live her life, was [in personality] me but without the fear... It is fear that causes me to live as an introvert. And I confess I envy Mandy's freedom.
As Leeny (Kathleen) and I continued talking, a few incidents from my childhood came back to me, and I realised, with another thump to the chest, "I was trained to be silent. I was, through 'life', taught that no one wants to hear anything I have to say." And, yet, God has told me differently. I know has called me to be a voice. I know God has called me to write. And sometimes, and in my own way, I break through the fear and do just that, but I also know I bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut a lot more than I need or want to.
But, the voice aside, it's time to walk in complete freedom. I want it. I'm ready for it. I'm trusting God to lead me to it. So...
Today, I start this section of my blog as a diary, if you will. As a record of my journey out of the shell I've been living in for most of my life. God has opened windows and doors of this shell - many times, over a period of many years - but now I'm finally brave enough to seek that freedom the Holy Spirit had me questioning the other week. I want it. With all my heart now, I want it. And, as I step into this part of my Life's Journey, I pray and trust that God will reach out to others who are caught in a wrong identity, so they, or you, too, can know true freedom.