I knew what I was supposed to do. Go into all the world and share the gospel with every creature. But something in me held back, and it’s been holding for so long. Maybe it was holding even long before I was born.
My Great-Grandmother was a young maid for a wealthy farm owner, and she got pregnant, just a young thing, before she was married. That baby, head full of curly red hair, was my grandmother, and she lived with her own grandmother instead of with her young Mama. Nine years later, she finally moved into the house with her mama and daddy and all her younger sisters. She was gorgeous, grew long legs, and became a majorette with a wit and beauty that snagged a handsome country boy. The country boy played a mean game of basketball. Together they had my mama and my aunt, but he didn’t stay.
It makes me wonder if we were all born into shame. Do we pass it down, pump it into umbilical cords? Something in every one of us has felt the sting of rejection. Some of us hold back all our beauty for fear of coming under the shame of rejection. I know my grandmother has had a hard time passing down the beauty instead.
Some people might call it a nudging of the Spririt, but I promise you, I felt God stand behind me and start pushing, while I dug my heals into the ground. I wasn’t being “called.” I was being taken into ministry. I was asking for His Kingdom to Come, but then it terrified me, because I knew I was hindered in my walk. I began to work through all the things that kept me from loving others, because ultimately it was a lack of love that kept me from going freely where I knew to go.
So much of the world that I had tried to control began to crumble when I finally named it: a spirit of, and such a fear of, rejection. When I finally named it, called it an idol, and saw what lies it had fed me, I couldn’t help but turn and run in the opposite direction. What I’m finding in this freedom is completely new. It’s a race, and I’m finally running.
I’ve not only been released to love, but I have a new trajectory. I am no longer being pushed, but I am full-on running toward HOPE.
It’s funny how strange it is to have HOPE again. It’s what draws the poison out.
For a while now I’ve so overly empathized with those wrestling doubt and disbelief that I forgot about HOPE, and if we forget hope, we begin to only hear the shame. We nestle into the dark, disappointed left and right. But I remember it now:
“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
The walls I’ve built against men, and the ones who look so fixed, and yes against my own grandmother, they are crumbling. Sometimes we just haven’t yet believed how loved we are. If we would listen – not as the world listens – but really turn around and listen, the Holy Spirit speaks to us within our own broken hearts. He shines light into shame, as when He spoke the word over the void dark of the deep: God loves you. You won’t be disappointed. Hope, let’s call it Kingdom. It’s here and more than that, it’s mighty and on its way. Get back up and run.
*This post is part 2 of Let the Game Changer Change the Game.*