Struggling With an Idol

I see you there, waiting on the other side of the keyboard. I see the puzzled look on your face as you have wondered about the long pauses in my writing and my lack of using social media to communicate.

There are many reasons why (motherhood comes to mind), but mostly this - - I am struggling with an idol. The odd thing is, writing and social media, those aren't idols for me. I won't say they never have been because there are times in my life I had to have my "facebook fix" or else! But not recently.

Lately, my idol is you.

It's my neighbor, the new moms in my homeschooling co-op, the people at church, ladies I serve with, family members, my mom's friend from church who just started reading the blog, the "professional" co-worker I hide my writing from like it's a scandalous secret (trusting that I'm too unimportant to google, and besides that would be creepy)...basically, it's everyone I have contact with in real life! It's okay to write for "anonymous" readers, but somehow in the last year, I've started wanting the approval of the people I rub elbows with more than I've sought after the approval of God when it comes to writing here. Ouch, ouch, and ouch.

The once fearless, go-get-'em me morphed into an approval junkie.

I've wanted to be liked more than I've wanted to follow this God-given passion. I've wanted to hide more than stand on a stage. The roar in my ear to keep quiet forced me into submission because I have feared that my authenticity would bring a reproach, or even worse, rejection.

In allowing myself to give in to fear, I have hurt my precious Lord and the tears streaming down my face are no match for the heaviness in my chest over my sin, though I know that He has already forgiven me.

And yet...I am a firm believer in the fact that my God never wastes a trial. He's been doing deep things while I've been quiet. He and I have wrestled a good bit over the past year's struggles. I've learned new things. I've repented. I've surrendered. I've grown in my walk. And now, I've drawn a new line in the sand. The enemy has been after my words...but he will not have them.

To all of you who have become my idols - - I'm officially giving you up. This is your notice. I will no longer bank on your approval. I can't. It has killed my freedom and stolen an element of joy from me. It has caused me to sin by placing you in a position of authority rather than Christ.

I am committing to crush the head of fear and take hold of courage once more. There are words to write, hearts to encourage, speeches to give, lives to motivate, and stories to tell...all for the glory of God. I am determined to care more about the message of Christ than about public opinion, even if it means some people think I'm weird, or off, or out there, or too all-about-Jesus-for-my-own-good.

I believe that far too many of us keep trying to blend in, ignoring the fact that God intends for us to stand out.

It's time to stand out.

"You are the light of the world - - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden."
 Matt 5:14