This may be a surprise to some of you, but this blog has been a year and a half in the making. I thought I’d take a quick sidestep from the main theme for a moment, and give you all a little background, and hopefully, a little inspiration.
Almost 18 months ago I was first presented with the idea of writing a blog. It was not a particularly impactful moment. The heavens didn't open up, there were no booming voices or choirs of angels. I didn't see a creepy floating hand writing messages on the wall, and I didn't see Jesus’ face on my piece of toast that morning. It is unlikely that I had toast that morning.
It was a quick flash of inspiration, an abrupt and laughable suggestion from the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t really listening too intently and I swatted the thought away as if it were a mosquito buzzing near my ear.
A few months went by and I met with an awesomely sweet and godly woman. At the end of a very intense conversation in which I poured out my heart to her, she pointed out that I tend to be a pensive person. She asked me if I was writing these thoughts down. I said that sadly, I hadn’t really written in a long time and jokingly implied that I should start a blog. In her bright, kind, and matter-of-fact way, she replied, “Yes! I think that’s what you should do!”
It’s important to note that I have not particularly been a fan of social media. I have tried to utilize it to stay connected with people, but the moment I would feel myself gaining a little enthusiasm about it, I would, very calmly and rationally (sarcasm) bury my head in the sand and pretend like Insta didn’t exist.
When I say ‘not a fan’, let me pull back the curtain a little further. I have resented it. God has planted and cultivated in me this seed that has grown into this thriving desire to see and equip women to communicate well. I have seen social media aid so many people in retreating further into themselves, rather than reaching out to one another. We have all seen (and maybe even personally experienced) the aftermath of online bullying or information that is just simply too easily accessible. How many women have learned to correlate their self worth to the number of people willing to click on a heart regarding a picture of their face, or their food, or the cute shoes they wore today?
I’d like to make a quick disclaimer and point out that I am very fortunate to have many people around me who do social media well. I have learned so much from them and continue to do so. Often times it can be a little too easy to focus on the negative and miss the amazing connections that are happening all around you. I was too busy viewing social media as a platform of pain, vanity, and hate. It was, in my mind, something to work against, not embrace.
But the thing that I love most about our amazing, beautiful, steadfast and yet wildly unpredictable God is that he takes what we think we are and what we think we know and he turns it around. How he can do this and yet be completely unchanging and always in alignment with His Word, draws a beautiful picture of his complexity. I can’t understand it, but I don’t need to. I just need to be near Him.
This blog concept kept coming to me over the course of a year. I kept saying, “Thank you, God, but no thanks.” I knew I wanted nothing to do with web domains and graphic design and lipservice comments and a phone screen 6 inches from my face at all times. I didn’t even know what the concept would be, I just new that i wasn’t the person for the job.
Until one day the gift that had been sitting in front of me, the one that I refused to open, was unwrapped for me. That Sunday, there’s no way that anyone else in our congregation at New Heights Church here in Fayetteville, had received the same message. The sermon inspired it, but the Holy Spirit took me on a tangent that morning and I wound up rushing my family out after worship was over because…”I AM GONNA START A BLOG CALLED BEING SALTY AND I HAVE TO GET HOME TO SEE IF THAT DOMAIN AND INSTA HANDLE ARE AVAILABLE BECAUSE IF THEY ARE, IT’S TOTALLY JESUS!”
And they were, and it was and here we are. : )
But that was just the beginning of saying ‘yes’. I had so many hurdles to overcome from that point… especially considering that rejecting social media typically comes with the little hiccup of not knowing how to use it (God bless the Crown Beauty Bar team for their constant tutelage and unending patience with me!)
Over the last 6 months, I have gone from being certain and secure in His calling to doubting the whole plan… believing that perhaps I just conjured up this crazy scheme on my own, for what, I don’t know… attention? Fun? A way to spend my downtime?
That’s a joke. I have 2 boys. There is no downtime. Ever.
Regardless of whatever silly speculations I could have developed to talk myself out of this, I can assure you, there have been definite moments, more often than not, where I haven’t bought in.
In Mark 9, a distraught father begs Jesus to help his son, if he can.
He can. We all know He can. Whatever the circumstance, He can.
Jesus made that clear to this man.
And this father’s response was so beautifully humble, so self-aware. There was a deficit in his faith, and he needed grace from the only One who can offer it fully and freely.
“I believe Lord. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
OH, my God… help me. Every day, help my unbelief, please, Lord.
Now here I am, in the beginning stages of this journey and God has blessed it. Despite many setbacks, there has been a clear direction in which He is leading this project. I am blessed to follow where He calls and here is what I have gained a new appreciation for thus far:
Honesty and humility at the feet of the Lord are essential. He does not wish to work with our piety, our self-righteousness or judgement. He wants to build beautiful, powerful, glorious things out of our brokenness. We want greater faith, but in order for it to become greater we have to be in a place where we recognize the potential for growth.
He wants to build beautiful, powerful, glorious things out of our brokenness.
In humility, we allow ourselves to gain the full perspective of the works he brings nearer to completion in us. With every milestone, we have the chance to build a memorial to the Lord. It becomes a place of remembrance in our hearts and minds of how far he has brought us. Looking back at those altars of praise and seeing that it is nothing short of a miracle that we are still standing - that is what builds our faith.
Acknowledging it to those you trust is important as well. The fellow little Christs in your life- it is their role to minister to you and you to them. This is not a role where our perfection is required - and thank God for that, you guys!
In his book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it this way: “Through him [Christ] our brother has become Christ for us in the power and authority of the commission Christ has given him. Our brother stands before us the sign of the truth and the grace of God.” That statement has resonated with me ever since I first read it. It is our job to bring Jesus to one another. In doing so, we not only see our own faith grow, but the faith of others as well. If that is not an encouragement, I don't know what is.
So, now, when I write, or formulate a post, or reply to a comment, I no longer have a bitterness toward social media. I have praise and a desire to see Him move. I have a prayer for and an anticipation of community among women that knows what it means to be salty and bring that flavor to the world around them. God has given me a perspective change and has reminded me that I don’t make the calls about who or what can be used to bring Him glory.
With every sentence that He puts on my heart, that heart is crying out, “I BELIEVE JESUS! Please help my unbelief.” Every keystroke is mounting in an invitation for Him to work, outside of my parameters, like I have never seen before.
To those of you who are here now, thank you for joining in, for being present, and reading this. If you have commented here or on Instagram, ‘liked’ or shared a post, tagged a friend, or even talked to a friend about it, thank you! Thank you for joining in this vision with me.
And now I’m going to ask for you for an increased level of investment… PRAYER!
Please, friends, pray for this platform, that God would be in it, that His will would be done and we would see His movement here. Let’s confess to Him that we believe and ask Him to help us with what we can’t see yet.
Actively pray this week, not only for this community as it is in such early stages, but also for the community around you, that it would be filled with salt and light. Pray for the women who bring Jesus to you, and pray that you can bring Jesus to others. Ask God to reveal and remove any misconceptions or barriers that would keep you from following Him completely… and then watch Him work!
Have a favorite verse that you like to pray over women in your life? Please share it with us! Is there something that God is calling you to, but something else is keeping you from saying ‘yes’? Share and let us offer up some prayer and encouragement!