Sweet Courage: For His Kingdom and Glory

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Somebody once asked me, “How honest are you with your blogs?” and “How honest do you plan on being with your public speaking or book?” I gave her my answer. At that point in time, I had a fairly solid response. I still stand by it today. It doesn’t matter how I responded, though.

However, I will say, sometimes it’s really difficult being honest about my life and my experiences. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t such an open-book. A lot of times, I just want to curl up in a ball and not express a word to anyone. Other times, I want to blow a fuse and shatter every part of my life that everyone seems to have an idyllic picture of.

It’s a constant battle. It’s a fine line.

That fine line rests in how much God desires us to share in our afflictions and joys with others. He does not want us to live alone. He wants to us share about His magnificent power and glory in the best way we know how—through our own messy redemptive stories. Yet, I still let fear hold me back.

As I continuously reflect on my blog, I see how many topics I don’t write about out of fear of hurting someone or tarnishing someone’s image. Then, there are other times, where I don’t want to write at all because I feel like no one cares or wants to hear what I have to say. Yet, I do, because I always fear there is that one person who expects my blog, and I if I don’t have it, I will let this person down. Even if that someone is almost always me. I constantly fall victim to the trap of people-pleasing.

Let me tell you, it’s psychologically and emotionally draining to watch the number of views sky-rocket or never rise above the ashes. It plays with your mind. A view count, from a blogger’s perspective, can be outright manipulative. There are a lot of times I have wanted to flat out stop writing simply because the week before I got a response of dead silence.

Reading other people’s blogs or emotional posts that come flooding with tons of responses, praises, and shares can also be depleting. It’s really hard to not fall into the trap of comparison, too. We live in a society where everything and everyone is fighting for some of the most treasured gifts anyone can offer—their time and attention.

We want to make sense to anyone but ourselves. We want just one person to say, “Wow, your story inspired me. Look at how far you’ve come.” “Because of you, I want to get to know Jesus.” We want to be the clay in the Potter’s hands. We want validation that what we are doing glorifies the Kingdom. We want assurance that our work is not in vain, that at least one lost person hears what we are saying and is changed.

Yet. That takes courage. Such sweet courage. I know people do not ask bloggers, writers, speakers, or anyone who walks around with their heart on their sleeve to share with the world. Yet, we do. It’s a vicious cycle: We usually begin with a driven, motivated heart that wants to help others; then we begin to question why we are so transparent; then we do it out of expectation; then we question why we do it all; then God introduces us to one person, just one person, who is changed by our work and we are inspired again.

I am not asking you to feel sorry for me or to shower me with compliments. I am asking you to see it is just as hard some days to be real and honest as it is to clam up and shut down. I am not asking you to tell me my work has changed your life. I am asking you to realize that some days the only reason why we persevere is so we can one day change our own lives by trying to make sense of it.

I thought it was fitting to show you my life from a different perspective. For, my life story is a true vessel solely for the glory of God. I may hold back some days. Others, I may shout it from the rooftops for all to hear.

While there have been plenty of times in this past year that I have wanted to quit, I push on. Not for myself. Not even for you all. But for God and the glory of His Kingdom. I may never see how He uses my platform to bring people closer to Him. And that’s okay.

Even if thousands of people, one person, or no one at all is changed by my blog or my future goal to be a public speaker, it will still be worth it. Regardless of what happens, I am fulfilling the call the He has for my life—to share my testimony and be a light for Jesus. There is no sweeter gift.

Blessings,

Renata

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