I am currently sitting in the Spokane International Airport waiting to board my flight back to Nashville. Josh (my husband) and I flew home last week to be a part of my little brother’s wedding. We had a fantastic time. But something interesting happened in my heart while I was home. Many of you might know the me before, and the me after but for those of you who don’t, I am a completely different person than when I lived here. God has spent the last several years polishing a harsh, partying, inferiority-driven girl, into a more focused, empathetic, compassionate woman. I’m not where I want to be by any means, but I ain’t who I was! So as I came back to my hometown I found myself battling a spirit of shame. It was like I was actually afraid to see people I used to know for fear that they would see the “old me.” I described this feeling to Josh and he quickly pointed out that how people “see me” is actually none of my business. He added, “They won’t see you, they’ll see Christ.” Well … yes, I agree.
But head knowledge is only half the battle. I can know it and not fully believe it. How many of us walk around completely terrified of what other people think about us. We don’t call it what it is, of course. We unconsciously make comparisons, looking around at people in our lives to see if we’re “doing okay.” But I think if we’re honest with ourselves most of us will admit to doubts, insecurities, and that nagging question of whether we have what it takes. As much as I want to find my worth in the God who perfectly created me, the voices continue to tell me that my feet are too big, my talent is too small, my thighs are too wide, and my dreams are too high. It begins to feel like the canyon of doubt is too deep. It can become paralyzing if we do not launch a counter-attack.
Now, you may have read a previous blog about my most recent audition. (If you haven't read it, you can read it here ----> Squash That Fear) Whether I get a call back or not is not the point (of course I am dying to find out!). Either way, I consider the experience one hundred percent successful. Stay with me here, it’s so worth it.
I’m reading a book, Crash The Chatterbox by Steven Furtick (crashthechatterbox.com), that is absolutely rocking my world! I used to think I was only person who had this incessant chatter going on in my head, like a non-stop twitter feed that relentlessly scrolls through my brain at the speed of flying bullets. At times I can feel like I’m drowning in a sea of internal dialogue and if I’m not careful it quickly brews into a storm of condemnation and accusation. Do I really have what it takes? What if I record an album and nobody cares? What if I schedule a tour and fall flat on my face? What if I try out and I’m rejected?
This book is helping me remember something really important. Steven writes, “You don’t have to sing a single note to get God – or anyone else – to notice you … And accepting God’s acceptance of [you] doesn’t mean [you're] going to stop trying. It means [you're] going to stop trying out! The audition is cancelled!!”
You have nothing to prove. You have nothing to prove. You have nothing to prove. Do you believe it yet? I'm getting there.
I have started to recognize that when I find myself being motivated towards success by the desire to tout, “How do you like me now?!” I need to step back and refocus on why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m hearing God say over and over that I will not be successful at this music thing so long as my goal is to prove my value to other people. That is self-serving. I will be successful when I actually use music to help folks get through hard times, celebrate good times, and connect with other people in their lives. Because success isn't an endpoint, it’s all the little connections we make along the way.
I challenge you to stop seeing success as an endpoint. I’ll bet you were successful in a hundred different ways this week and didn't even notice! Give someone a hug who looks like they need it, ask how someone is doing and actually listen to their answer, help someone move. Time is precious, it shows where your heart its. Use your gift to benefit others and I'm certain it's going to benefit your heart.
You are worth it. You have nothing to prove. I sure love you.