What I really want to talk about today is Elvis. But even though I have been preparing to write about him after seeing the new Elvis movie (which I can’t stop thinking about since I saw it a couple weeks ago…and no, it’s not because of his “Elvis the pelvis” dance moves so just relax😂), I “know in my knower” as Blake’s dad used to say, that I actually need to write about something else. We will save the King for later.
As I was trying to figure out (see past blog on “A new ‘bad’ word ) what I was going to say regarding my current state, I remembered that this blog has always been a vehicle for me to reason things out on paper with myself, God, and eventually, you. So, because of that track record, I will simply start typing and hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised when it’s all said and done.
This is a confession about a question that has been haunting me, harassing me, actually, for the past month or so. Maybe you have heard a whisper from the same accusing voice in your head: Who do you think you are?
I believe this question is a direct reaction to getting a few “Soul-Selfie Soirées” booked at some local churches. The Self-doubt and questioning started there and came to a head when I booked one at the church in California I attended when I was in high school. Where my father-in-law pastored for 20 years. Where I met my now-husband. Also, where I was kind of a rotten, arrogant, prissy, bossy little brat.
The voice got violently louder after I hung up the phone, securing a time and date to do a 3 hour interactive women’s event: a Soul-Selfie Soirée. It said something like this…
“Who do you think you are, Heather? I mean seriously. So you had cancer. Big deal. You are not even a ‘real writer’ so what makes you think you are qualified to speak? Especially on spiritual topics. Don’t you remember all the dumb, mean, selfish thoughts you had last week? You gossiped and postured and posed. Who are you to tell anybody else how to live? You are a fraud and a sub-par Christian and person at best. Get over yourself already. No one wants to hear what you have to say and they wouldn’t respect you or listen to you if they knew the real you.”
And those are just the PG-13 accusations.
So, now I have three events booked and am locked in. We are moving forward so it’s high time I address this question with a better answer. When I am connected to God and putting His will first in all of it, here is how I respond to the question of “Who do you think you are?”
“I know exactly who I am. I am first and foremost a child of a God who redeems the hard stuff of our lives when we use it to help others who are going through the same. I am fully aware that I am also a hot mess much of the time. I am broken and riddled with chronic plagues of the heart and have character defects oozing from my pores.
And yet, I know that I know that I know, that those are the only reasons anyone keeps reading or listening to me: because I share in the messy. And I share how God has used suffering and various trials to mold me into someone better than I was before. Not perfect, just growing and learning what I can, usually from my mistakes. I long to help others realize that they too can embrace their story, even when it may be intended for ‘mature audiences only’, and share it with others who need to know they are not alone in their struggles and that there is always hope.”
That’s the answer I will try my best to remember. I don’t offer these Soul-Selfie events to brag on myself or show off what I know.
I actually don’t know much, but what I do know, deep in my bones, is that when I continue to “go first” and share with vulnerability, strength, and confidence that God can do all things, others seem to feel free to follow suit.
You can do the same. Mute the evil voice in your head that questions who you are and assumes you will cower when the awful, heinous, lying answer comes.
Own your story. Use it to help others. You are not a fraud. You are human. You are real. You can be vulnerable and let God use you–wherever you are at–to help someone who also needs a new voice of hope in their sweet little head.