A song had made it's way to my mouth and I didn't think to keep it in or suck it back down. I heard it on the inside and I sang it out loud. I sounded great pedaling my bicycle, singing in the heat. And I sang loudly and proudly.
Had I thought for a moment that there were eyes on me I might have stopped. I would have closed my lips and kept the song inside. I might have ducked my head and wondered if they were laughing at me. I may have felt that knot in my stomach that I get when I'm doing something I love and start to wonder if other people still like what they see. But, in that song filled moment, the thought never crossed my mind.
This September, after years of pedaling with my head ducked down, I blindly walked into a journey with God. I thought I was walking into a women's Bible study at church. I thought it was a great opportunity to learn a little about the Bible, drop my kids off for a few hours each week, and make a few friends. The very first Tuesday that I sat in the upstairs room, holding my coffee, with my journal in my lap was the last day I was the same old Crissy who had to be like everyone else. The same old Crissy that was scared to be myself; scared OF myself.
A beautiful woman stood in front of changing hearts and let the Holy Spirit speak. I wrote these words:
"Grace- is God's on going acceptance for us despite what we've done wrong and what we've done right."
"The opposite of grace is legalism."
I didn't know that legalism wasn't part of grace. I thought you had to be good. Like, if I read my Bible enough I'll get extra points.
"Read your Bible from the basis of Grace. To see God the way He sees you."
God used the following words to change me. If anyone has spoken to me in the past several months and said the words, "Crissy, you seem different." The following words are why I'm different.
What's your motivation?
Motivated by fear: "If I don't do better my husband will leave me."
Motivated by comparison: "I want my marriage to be just like my friend's marriage."
Motivated by what God called me to be: Eph 6, 1 Peter 3, Titus 2:3-5, etc...
I'll never be what God called someone else to be!
I was delivered from comparison and fear and of worrying about what people think. God was able to use that teaching to catapult me into something immeasurably greater. I was able to stop smoking on October 12th. I wasn't afraid that other people thought I couldn't do it. I heard my promise from God and I walked with Him.
Scales were shed. The enemy had one less tool to use against me and I could hear my father's voice more clearly.
Shame muffles the voice of the Father.
In the following months:
My prayer life was changed.
I began to have a better understanding of Grace.
I stopped seeing Jesus as a manager with a name tag, standing over me, waving his finger and shaking his head, ready to report my short comings to the District Manager.
I began to see Him smile at me for the first time.
Even when things are messy, he smiles.
When He smiles you can hear it.
I learned that if I talk to God, He talks back.
When He speaks you can feel it.
God has shown me:
When I don't compare myself to other women scales are shed from my eyes and I'm able to better see them the way God see's them...with "Spirit eyes".
When I act out of anger with my 3 year old it's because I feel like he's not treating me the way I deserve. But it's not about me. I'm his only example of Grace.
My husband is not my mess to clean up.
He's my earthly representation of Christ.
Never turn my face away from my Savior!
Show Grace. It's not my job to correct anyone.
I don't know when I stopped singing out loud and became aware of eyes on me. I don't remember the moment that made me duck my head and hold my song in my mouth. But, now I don't mind if people see. My motivation is what God has called me to be. I won't duck my head. God has given me a song and I'll sing it loudly and proudly. I won't compare my song or the way I sing it to anyone else's. I will help other women sing their song. Every moment is a song filled moment. I will grab hold of my Savior's hand and sing with Him.