It’s once again time to dig into Lisa Whittle’s book Behind Those Eyes and join Lelia’s study as we look at the chapter titled, Ms. Spirituality. And what a chapter it is! Each week the idea of being real is coming closer and closer to home, I don’t always like what I see, but it has been good to take an honest look.
So what is this all about? As Lisa says, “The point is not that Ms. Spirituality does these things, rather, why, she does these things.” Something worthwhile to think about, so take a minute – why do you have perfect attendance at church, why do you teach Sunday school, why do you make sure everyone knows you spend 30 minutes in the word every morning at 5 am, why do you do any of the spiritual things you do? Or do you even know? At times we can even fool ourselves and convince our mind that our heart is right, but the truth is God knows!!
I think we can spend too much time trying to and worrying about impressing others and when all of our focus is there our work gets the short end of the stick. Really what is important - what others think or what God does? Believe me that question is more for me than you!!
You see I’m in the midst of publishing a book titled Letters from Leanne – The Beauty of Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationships. Though the book is about the beauty and power in the Titus 2 relationship, I also realize it’s an in-depth look at my life. The story of my struggle with depression, my realization of what salvation was all about, the tension my faith has caused between some family members and me, my insecurities…the list goes on, but you get the idea.
Honestly I have played the game so long that this is hard. I know it’s what God wants and is only because of Him, but still I have moments when I wonder what others will think. What will those who knew me as a child think? I am no longer the person they knew so how will they react? How about the women I now lead in Bible study? Will they think differently knowing where I’ve been?
All of these answers are yet to be determined, but this morning I’m reminded that the question they answer really doesn’t matter. It’s not what high school classmates, girls I’ve coached, or fellow church members think, God’s opinion is all that matters.
Lisa talks about the idea of surrendering and though it’s not easy that is what He wants. And though the walk is not difficult and down right scary at times, he tells me the same thing he told Moses, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.” Ex.33:14 There is comfort in those words.
God is real and the only way others will see that is when we are real too. Lisa closes with, “True spirituality is about the awesome power of God showing up in a person’s life to the point that people around her notice a difference.” People who have known me for years have told me I have changed, which is great, but God finally has me at a spot where I’m willing to share why. Though it’s frightening and involves taking off a mask that I’ve worn far too long, I’m thankful. It’s only when they see the real me, that the world can see a real God.
Really that is what it’s all about – not our church attendance or list of volunteer activities or perfect life we lead others to believe, it’s about what’s on the inside, what’s in our heart and when it’s a desire to be real for him, God will bless us and touch others us through our honesty and transparency.
As I write this it all makes sense and seems like an easy thing to do, but in an attempt to be real that’s not always the case. It’s hard and just yesterday I really struggled, just questioning if this was the right decision – moving forward with the book. At times I was working real hard to convince myself that I had made a mistake and every once in awhile I believed those thoughts. But yet God would draw me back. Thoughts of other’s honesty and the impact that made on me came to mind and my prayer is the words I have written and the life I am now living will do the same for those I am worrying about failing to impress.
So as I resign from the role of Ms. Spirituality I look forward to playing the part of Ms. Real. She might have the most challenging script of the cast, but she’ll receive the only praise that matters when the play is done!!