The women at my church have been going through the study Restless this summer, by Jennie Allen (a journey to finding our gifts and using them for God’s glory.) It is an honor and privilege to have my friend Abby McDonald guest post today. I love the way she makes music with her words. Thank you Abby for shedding more “light” on this subject of gifts.
My face beamed as I read my friends words and the corners of my mouth curved into an awkward smile. She was happy. For me.
She was “doing double back flips.” For me. At first my heart didn’t know how to respond. Then warmth enveloped me like a soft touch and I was sure I’d found a true friend.
I’d become so good at undermining my successes that to share them with someone felt dangerous. What if she was offended or discouraged by this turn of events? She hadn’t heard anything from her publisher yet, so I reasoned perhaps I should keep quiet.
With the gentle nudge of the Spirit, I moved past my caution and spilled the news anyway. And her excited response welcomed me in and washed away my fears and apprehension.
I realized for the first time in months how this joy over my progress was meant to be shared. And when I shared it, it grew.
When did I start feeling as through I had to apologize for the good in my life? When did I decide I had to downplay every success and step forward?
For months, I let a few raised eyebrows and jealous words keep me from spreading news of the things God was doing. Something inside me fizzled out day by day, but I reasoned this feeling was better than offending anyone.
But friends, when we place a flame under a cover it will either be extinguished or set the shade ablaze.
God’s light cannot shine through a hidden vessel. When we use our gifts for his glory, they become a lamp stand.
“Each one should use what ever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Using what God has given us is about faith and obedience to his word, not promoting ourselves or our self image. My people-pleasing nature made me want to hide the work God was doing, but not sharing it with anyone made me feel as though it never happened.
Friend, if you’re in a place today where you feel as though you have to cover up the successes in your life or apologize for the work God has done, can I speak some light and truth into your heart?
We are made for community and friendship. And true friends delight in our successes and mourn with us in our sorrow.
Yes, there will be times when jealousy tries to sneak into our hearts and destroy the sisterhood we have built, but through the power of the Spirit we can overcome those moments of weakness and grow into the very likeness of our Savior.
Don’t try to hide your light or be ashamed of it. You were created to reflect his glory.
And when you spread the good news of God’s faithfulness, his name is exalted. You just may be the confirmation someone needs to take her next step forward or put her trust in Him.
Keep shining. You were made for it.
Abby McDonald is mom, wife and southern girl who fell in love with writing at a young age. She started Fearfully Made Mom because she felt God gently pushing her to share her writing with others who may feel alone in their struggles with self-doubt, accepting God’s grace, and finding their identity in Christ. Her desire is to show women they are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who will relentlessly pursue them, even during their darkest times.
When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, Abby enjoys hiking, photography, reading, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.
***Congratulations to Robrta Pacscuzzi for winning the book, Breaking Up With Perfect in the book give away last week.