Along with a few others, I recently contributed a couple of devotionals to be compiled into a resource for our church. A study on joy through the book of Philippians, our hope was to draw them into God’s word both individually and collectively. And I was so nervous. I mean, I write, sure, but what if my style or my skill level or experience or whatnot just wasn’t on par with their expectations.
I so desperately want to be all-in, but I fight to balance between too much and not enough, this comfortable place of escaping notice. My insecurity flared up, threatening to stymie God’s good work. So much of my life has been spent trying to dim and hide parts of myself to appear non-threatening. I’ve pieced and parceled and sold out my wholeness to appease others.
And then a still, quiet voice reminded me, “It’s not about YOU. It’s about ME.” A flashback to the continuing education class I attended for Holy Yoga Touch Training. One of my favorite takeaways was meant as a mere aside, as Jonnie lovingly scolded us teachers, “It’s not about YOU. So you just need to get out of the way.”
And it is such great advice. As I write, the Holy Spirit has this wonderful tendency of taking over, and the finished work is so utterly transformed from what I had initially intended. I can’t even explain it. Sure, my name is listed in the byline, but the words don’t belong to me at all. I simply string them together, adding a period here, a comma there. When facing the quiet confidence of purpose, insecurity finds herself homeless.
I had this beautiful vision during my quiet time the other day of building boats. When I write devotionals or lead Holy Yoga, my sole intention is to create an environment conducive to meeting with the living God. God’s words, these wood planks, carefully shaped and stacked to form the hull. The Holy Spirit filling in the gaps of my limited wisdom and understanding, protecting the boat and ensuring she will float.
It is not about me whether or not anyone chooses to get in. I have simply been charged to build and invite.
It is not a reflection on me how far anyone chooses to journey in the boat. It’s the point at which they see Jesus beckoning, come.
It is not up to me when (or even whether) someone chooses to step out of the boat. Pushing people toward Jesus is ineffective at best. They must find their own balance, trust the Savior, and, one foot at a time, step into the waves.
I am not the only boat maker or even a very good one, to be honest. Half the boats I build don’t even float. Still others sink under the weight of pride and insecurity. But since I have been called to build them, build them I do, weaving words and flowing poses together, inviting the Holy Spirit to seal this work. They aren’t very pretty boats, sweat and tears stain the wood in places. Some have been battered and broken from my own journeys, but I lovingly restore them for their next passengers because they know the way.
Ever since I finished my Holy Yoga training, I have struggled mightily with insecurity regarding teaching. I feel ill-equipped, unprepared, and wholly inadequate. I have been allowing my perfectionism and well, ME, to creep in and kill “this new thing” that God has started before it even gets off the ground. But if I don’t build this boat, I am robbing every single person who desperately needs the ride.
It’s time for me to touch toe to wave at last. And so I pray and I trust and I pray some more.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26