I can’t even begin to tell you all that God has done in me since I was asked to write a blog for ARC women. I have often said, “I write to live rather than live to write.” I write everyday. Maybe you’re like me and have journals and journals filled with revelation, testimony, heart cries, dialogues, teachings, and mostly pages and pages of going raw before the Lord, but what usually comes easy for me, this time left me paralyzed. Only after I had a girlfriend challenge me, aggressively, and twenty-four hours later, do I now understand why I have not been able write one single word…God was not going to bless anything less than complete transparency.
If you knew me, you would know that I am already transparent. I love people, am passionate about life, and have always loved to write. But this time, something happened in my heart as soon as I agreed to share—I was clenched by fear. The thought, which rolled over-and-over in my mind, turned me inside out…”Who am I to speak to these women?” Again, only after an eventful couple of weeks, I got my answer and confirmation in God’s word…”The smallness you feel inside is not from me.”
2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Message
“Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
Truthfully, I was afraid to open up because I was afraid to come undone!
I don’t know about you, but I battle every day with what I can finally describe as a “double life!” I often battle the split life of two people. One is strong, confident, bold and truly believes all the promises God has for me….FOR ME! Other times, I am a person who is intimidated, confused about my purpose, doubting my future and wondering if anyone else believes the same world changing destiny I see for myself. Of course, we all feel this way at moments—but here is the kicker—how do we navigate through this when the flock you are leading is looking for you to be ONE way? My answer…they don’t really want us to be perfect, they want us to be imperfect while serving a perfect God who will do the same dramatic, miraculous, and life changing things for them, just as He has done for us! AND believe for them all the way!
I feel small, I feel inadequate, I feel too young and inexperienced, and yet I know I am a world changer! I know I am a preacher and teacher! I know I am called to the nations. And I know that I am the one who has been called to lead the flock God has entrusted to us! I know all of this, but I had to ask God while on my face at His feet, “Are you sure?! Are you sure you chose me?! You know how transparent I am, you know how messy I can be, you know how raw I can get….are you sure?”
My answer…”Where there is transparency, you will see many flaws, but you will see the glory of the Lord. Now get up.”
I have prayed and prayed about what God wants me to say, and it really is simple—be real!
The world needs us transformed….being transformed…people are watching, and today when I was, yet again, crying out to the Lord, I thought, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 NIV)
This means we have to have a need. There needs to be something to ask for so God can answer it. We have a need, and when we ask, God is glorified.
In my weakness, He is strong…If we are spending all our energy trying to look like we have it all together then how will others learn? How will they be discipled? How will we raise up leaders if we keep our backs to them? Of course I am not saying to unravel all the time, but I am saying we need to love, serve, pray to, and teach about a savior that truly saves. Not just a few token times, but all the time.
I guess I am so passionate about this because when I was finally invited to church it was from a woman who obviously loved church, but was flawed and real (and I mean this in the best way possible). She KNEW she was a daughter in Christ and wanted to be my sister.
Women, if your life is anything like mine, you know in your heart you are called to greatness, but struggle simply getting dinner and laundry done! It’s ok—simply LOVE the one who rescued you and LOVE radically, unhindered, and even be a bit vulnerable to those around you. Yes, we guard our hearts, but, as the word says:
“Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
I love each of you and believe you are leaders among leaders! Live out loud and you will see the promises of God fulfilled in your life and those you lead will be forever changed!
-Amanda Bouldin, in ministry at Celebration Church TX