I had a heart to heart with Jesus last night.
Around midnight my husband’s pager went off. I always feel uneasy when his pager goes off, especially in the middle of the night.
Not only is my husband a firefighter, two of my son in laws are as well.
It was only minutes after he rushed out that I heard a loud explosive sound in my backyard. I quickly jumped out of bed and grabbed my phone to call him. And then it happened again, even louder than the first time. My whole backyard looked like it was on fire. We lost electricity and the sky grew dark again. My heart felt like it was beating outside of my chest. Within seconds the fire truck showed up. I sat at the top of my stairwell in the dark, looking out at my backyard, watching and listening as the firefighters got out, and with flashlights began to assess the area. They had complete faith in their training and fire gear and I was in awe. I watched those brave men outside and wondered if they might step on something electrical or worse, have the whole incident happen again.
To be honest, I was scared. As I sat there watching, I started thinking about all the stupid things I’ve allowed myself to be scared of my entire adult married life.
Compared to this moment, they seemed so insignificant.
So many things flooded my mind, but one stood out above the others~
I’ve been holding out on God because of pride.
All these years I’ve been blaming so many things on the fact that I’m “shy” and I’m an “introvert”. For the longest time, I wouldn’t willingly walk up and converse with people at church or around town and I always blamed it on my shyness.
God brought something to the forefront of my mind as I sat in that stairwell last night. Lately Facebook has been prompting me to do a video for my Holding Hope page so that followers could “get to know me”. I felt this nudge from God every time I got that notification. I know that this generation is drawn more to visual than written word. It’s easier to watch or even listen than to read. I also know that it is a marketing ploy on Facebook’s behalf and due to my shyness, my response has always been “no way”. I have an extremely hard time doing video chats with my own children let alone recording myself for a bunch of strangers.
I tend to be overly critical and find every flaw, not to mention the fact that when you’re recording, you’re pretty much talking to yourself on camera. I don’t know how this generation can do it so easily. I chalked it up to their self love and prided myself on my humbleness.
And that’s exactly what Jesus pointed out to me last night~
I was proud of my humbleness, when in reality I wasn’t being humble at all.
I was just proud.
It’s a lot easier to speak up for God behind a pen and paper or a social media post, but the minute you put your face out there you become vulnerable. I was scared of that vulnerability. My fear was this~
I was afraid of what people would think of me. Bottom line. Pride. Not because I’m shy. Not because I’m an introvert. Because I’m scared of the opinions of others and what they will think of how I look, talk and act. Sadly it wasn’t a fear of how I would represent the Lord, it was a fear of how people perceived Charisse.
I forgot the very important fact that God is within me and by my side and by hiding behind my pride and the false identity of shyness, I was hiding His glory and all the joy He brings to my life.
The next morning as I read His word, three verses popped out.
(1 John 1:4, 2 John 1:12, 3 John 1:4)
I thought about how much joy writing for this blog brings me. I thought about how much joy each one of you brings to my life. As I go through notifications, I pray for names of women I will most likely never meet, but it gives me joy to do so. It gives me so much incredible joy to share the hope of God. It brings joy to tell you how He can change your life forever. I don’t want to quench that joy. I don’t want to suppress it. I want it to multiply to all of you. If that means following the nudge of God, stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new, then I know I can do it because God will be with me.
I don’t ever want people to see Charisse in my posts or conversations.
I always want them to see Christ.
So what is the point in my rambling and confessions? I guess to just encourage all of you to examine your own hearts. What are you allowing to hold you back? God’s word promises us that He will always be with us. It’s His training through His word that will sustain and carry us through. If He asks it of us, He will provide every measure of strength we need. Look for God’s leading in your life. Don’t be scared. If He is leading, He’s right there with you and He will continue to be with you every step of the way.
Yes, I am an introvert. I am shy. I’m not a people person and it’s very hard to put myself out there~but I can’t lean on that crutch for every situation in my life that feels uncomfortable.
I have to step out on faith.
Just like my brave firefighter husband, son in laws and friends did last night.
And in the process, you might just see some videos in the near future 😉 Philippians 1:6