The Fear of Being Me
It's my birthday and I'm sooooo freaking excited!
God has done some pretty incredible things since my last birthday. I traveled to Nigeria and was quarantined from my job for 21 days because of the Ebola scare, had another successful Woman of Purpose Conference, got a financial advisor to help me better manage my money and set myself on a path to financial freedom, went on my very first missions trip to China, took a nice little vacay to Brazil, lost a few pounds and still going, plus I've been offered a few opportunities to speak in other countries. Oh yes, bae and I completed pre-marital counseling (I think an engagement may be coming soon).
It's been ages since I last blogged, but I will be blogging more often in these next few months to share many things with you. I remember a few weeks before my birthday last year, I released a blog, The Gods in my Life: People, Food and Marijuana. It was a scary blog to release, but I'm grateful I did. I had a fear of releasing the blog because I didn't want to tell people the TRUTH about my struggles even as a woman in ministry. I had soo many people reach out to me and pray, share their weaknesses and even give me words encouragement. I did get a few bashes, but in today's world that's definitely expected because everyone has an opinion on what they think you should do and how you should do it.
But here's a little secret I learned just from studying the word of God. God never asked you to be perfect while he's using you to do his work, neither did he ask you to wait until you're perfect before you begin. Oh boy, did I have a challenge with understanding this. My excuse for not doing something was, "I just don't think God wants that for me right now" or "He's still working on me!" I know some people that the Lord has been working on for a very long time. The reality of it is he is always working on us, but that's no excuse to not get up, be a light and be YOU.
I asked myself the other day, how long am I going to continue to keep JESSICA from the world. Most of you get bits and pieces of me, but I could make so much more impact if I just allowed God to do ALL he wants to do in me and through me, without me getting in the way of it. Do you sometimes feel the same way as if there is a fear to be the REAL woman God has called you to be? I actually discovered that all this time, I've been playing SMALL.
Here's the deal, if you're always playing yourself small then consider these things:
Are you playing small to make your circle of influence comfortable? If so, then you need to quickly change your circle of influence.
Are you playing small because your not secure in the woman God has called you to be? If so then you need to spend more time with God instead of people so he can begin to pour into you and help you become confident in your identity in Him rather than the identities you've tried to attach yourself to.
A close friend of mine text me upon my return from Brazil and she said, "I was so happy to see Jessica be JESSICA!" That brought me to tears and I asked her what she saw? She said she saw Jessica outside of ministry but it did not alter my mission. She was specifically referring to a bathing suit picture I posted. She had no idea that I went back and forth about posting this picture because I was so concerned about what people would think (my Jesus circle). Religion and "so called ministry" will keep you from really being YOU. Just about all of my close friends encouraged me and loved on me after I posted that picture. I simply shared my battle with weight and you wouldn't believe the number of messages I received from others telling me how encouraged they were by me sharing my weight loss journey and posting the infamous bathing suit picture.
What people think of you should NEVER stop you from being who God has called you to be. The idea of perfection can keep you locked in a cell forever and that's just going to hold you back from living your purpose in freedom. Your struggle, weakness, testimony or bathing suit picture could be the same reason why someone is led to Christ, on their path to losing 30 pounds, or help someone to overcome addictions. God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
My goal this year is to be JESSICA without fear and I'm seriously excited about what God is doing in my life. I can only imagine what the Lord is going to do with yours as you choose to be YOU without fear of anything, but God. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes.
P.S. - For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.