I'm quirky and goofy.
I'm unpolished and unrefined.
I'm transparent and honest.
I can be serious, but I tend to infuse humor in everything I do, say, and write.
For a long time, I tried to change who I was to conform to what I thought a "Christian leader" should look like---especially a FEMALE Christian leader---especially a female Christian leader who is also a writer and a speaker.
Because this is the woman who is asked to speak all over the world:
She embodies grace. She is serious, soft-spoken, and refined--not at all goofy (like me). She has attended every seminar, workshop and speaker training out there and has polished her craft so that it shines-she shines and God shines through her. She is poised and graceful. She never forgets what she wants to say and if she does, she recovers with grace.
Yeah, so not me.
|Special sunglasses for "partly sunny days"|
I've never been soft-spoken, nor "refined" unless you count the refining that Christ has done in my soul. I sometimes forget what I want to say, but I'll tell you that I forgot--I'm that transparent.
I've attended lots of seminars, workshops and speaker training. I have won humorous speaking contests with Toastmasters so that's got to count for something.
Yet, when I visit the websites of other bloggers who are speaking, or even the more well-known authors and ministry leaders, they all seem so...well, together (Deep down, I know they're not, and they'll tell you they're not). Their websites list their speaking topics and booking information. It's all packaged so tidy. I'm not tidy. I'm still trying to figure out how my blog works!
And then the devil whispers in my ear, "No one would want YOU to come speak to them. You'd stumble, bumble and fumble all over the place. They don't want that."
Maybe I would. But maybe I wouldn't. Maybe they don't. But maybe they do. And maybe that is just what someone is looking for-authentic simplicity.
Now, I'm not implying that all other writers/bloggers/speakers are pretentious or phony-not at ALL! It's more like I've been believing a lie that I have to be a certain way in order to do a certain thing. And I can't.
Today I found joy in a hip-hop song, called "Do My Thing" by Estelle. Not my style of music, but this song really hit me where I needed a good smack in the head. Don't read too much into it (like rebellion). Listen to it and realize that it's about embracing who you are and not conforming to who everyone thinks you should be. That "everyone" in my case, happens to be the cacophony of liars in my head.
(You can read the words here--if you're over 50, it takes a few listens to understand them)
I can't be like anyone else because I wasn't meant to be. I'm meant to be me. I don't want to fit in, wear the same clothes, speak on the same topic, write the same type of book, use the same flowery language-because I can't. It's not who I am. I'm more Joyce Meyer than Beth Moore (nothing personal, Joyce---as if she will read this). But ultimately, I'm really not like Joyce either---I'm just Mary Flaherty--Mare Flare.
Estelle puts it so well (in non-flowery language--maybe that's why I like the song so much!)
I can't do my thing like you, well that just ain't hot.
My road, it ain't your road, but trust I know, I know just where I'm going-
My flow, it ain't your flow but trust I know, I know just how I'm flowing-
I'ma do my thing.
I may not be a sleek and polished yacht; I'm more like a rowboat that needs a good paint job. But sometimes unpretentious simplicity in the form of a rowboat is exactly what someone else wants. And Jesus happened to like rowboats.
Just because I don't fit the "Christian speaker/writer" mold doesn't mean that I don't have something unique to offer.
And so do you.
We all have a voice. We all have a story. And we need to stop apologizing (mostly to ourselves!) for not being who we think everyone else thinks we should be!
Just be the you God made you to be. Embrace your personality--don't try to change in order to fit the mold. It won't work. You'll get frustrated, and others will see through the disguise.
There is joy in discovering the freedom of being uniquely you.
What "mold" have you been trying to force yourself into, knowing that it "just ain't hot?"
Blessings Along the Path,
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This is part of the Write 31 Days series. Click here to read other posts about Intentional Joy!