The Red Pen

This is probably the scariest post I’ve ever written. I broke into a sweat the moment I approached the keyboard with the decision made to go down this path.

My friend Holley has challenged all of her blogging friends to a 21 day challenge of writing the rest of our stories with Jesus. Each day she posts about an area of our life to think about and meditate on, then she asks one or two questions of us. The answers to those questions will begin to map out the story of our lives. (If you’d like to join us on this journey you can do so here)

I avoided the challenge at first. But over some really good Mexican food I caved. It’s a lot easier to delete an email than to look a fellow traveler in the eyes and say no. (Thanks Holley!)

So here I am, 3 days into the challenge with a racing heart and sweaty palms.

Today Holley wrote:
As women, it seems we’re standing ready with our red pens. Rather than loving words, we want to cross through parts of who we are and rewrite until we’re someone else.

But God seems to like who He made us in the first place. He just wants us to be that woman for Him.

The goal isn’t eliminating parts of who we are but rather letting God gently move us closer to the positive in our stories.

So why I am so scared? Because the part I want to edit I now need to face. All my life I feel as though I’ve been trying to run away from who I am. I try to hide, slip into the shadows, shrink down, and become small. But, God keeps pushing me into the spotlight and telling me to shine.

That is my greatest fear. My most difficult challenge.

On the wall beside me is a bulletin board filled with pictures, flyers, mementos, and such. And smack dab in the middle, on a tattered piece of paper sits this:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is out light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear our presence automatically liberates others.

It’s not that I don’t want to shine, I do. I want to do great things for God. I want to be a light. But… what if I fail? What if I let you down? What if I mess up? What if, after you see me, you reject me?

It’s a lot easier to hide our shortcomings in the shadows than the spotlight. It’s a lot easier to appear to have it all together when viewed from afar than up close. It’s a lot more comfortable to work out your “stuff” alone with God that to confess it to the world.

If I could pick up the red pen and re-write my life I’d edit out the spotlight. I’d step into the shadows, where it’s safe.

The only problem with that is that God has not called us to a life of safety. He’s called us to a life of obedience.

So today, instead of running, I choose instead to release my grip upon the pen… to allow His gentle hands to take it from me… to give Him the right to edit my life.

Is it OK that I am still afraid?

9 thoughts on “The Red Pen

  1. That is so beautiful! HE's gentle with us when our hearts our open, even in obedience. I think of Gideon who was from the smallest tribe and was called to battle. He too wanted to just shrink back to his little ol' place in the shadows. But God said “YOU” are the one I want to go. In all his fear (& possibly trembling), Gideon wanted to make sure, like absolutely, are you sure?, sure. God was patient. Gideon gave HIM many opportunities to change His mind. Instead He blostered Gideon's reserve that yes, HE really did want Gideon to go to war. Even up to the minute, right before battle, Gideon still a little afraid or not sure. There God met him again, in the voice of Gideon's enemy audibly stating Gideon's soon-to-be victory. Wow. I think God shared Gideon's story with us, because we can all find a Gideon inside each of us. So spotlights bring out yours. You just might need a little extra help from Him who is patient and loves to show Himself to us. If you weren't afraid, you wouldn't need HIM. So, you go girl! Because HE'll be all over it!


  2. Great thoughts! I am enjoying this 21 Day Challenge too! Have you ever read, “Abba's Child” by Brennen Manning? I think it might encourage your heart!



  3. Yeah, I'm so glad the Mexican food worked. Ha! (: This post is AMAZING. It gave me chills and I just about have whiplash from nodding so hard. Thank you for putting into brilliant words what my heart feels much of the time. Olé!


  4. Keri,

    How do you get lunch with Holley? I know she mentioned it on the blog, but I wasn't sure where to meet. (grin) It's a great chance to take a journey together and to come to some new realizations about ourselves, isn't it? I look forward to traveling with you.

    Cindy Lou


  5. Yes, it's ok! 🙂 It means you're stretching. You're growing. And, by the way, I can totally relate to what you've posted here. It doesn't matter what our heads say… we feel what we feel and figuring out how to step into the light can be scary.

    I think you've already done the hardest part. You took one small (or maybe BIG-feeling?)step. It's the first step. And now, there are a few more choices and you can pick which one to take next. Stop and look around after that one. You're already walking down the path…



  6. I think it is more than all right to be afraid, but I also think that as you surrender that to Him, He will give your a spirit of faith to replace it.
    I am excited to see what the Father will do in each of our lives as we choose to write with Him the story of our lives.


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