#NoFilter

Hi Queen,

It’s been quite a week. I am currently preparing to preach! Yes ma’am, preach. I am on the leadership team for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and my mentor is encouraging me to take a risk and step into my calling. Tomorrow, I will only be preaching to a preaching cohort of five other people but the way my nerves are, you’d think I’d be in front of a crowd of five thousand. Honestly, I think the fear is coming from the fact that I know these five people. In that crowd of five thousand, I am free to make mistakes and look dumb because none of them would know me and I would go about my day as if I was the greatest thing walking. Now, it is obvious that all illusions are being shattered. The funny thing is, at this stage in my spiritual journey, I would have never imagined myself as that person. I couldn’t fathom that I would be someone who would not only be okay with but would much rather prefer to be someone that everyone looked up to. Someone that could come off as perfect to a crowd of people who didn’t know her and be content with giving the allusion that I owe my preaching abilities to myself. To make it plain, that girl on the stage of thousands is essentially your favorite Instagram model who goes through hundreds of photos before posting her perfect bare-faced selfie. Or that celebrity that doesn’t worship God but never forgets to thank Him upon receiving their latest Grammy. And possibly that classmate highlighting their noteworthy GPA in the caption of their graduation pics even though they cheated their way through college. No shade at all, sis. Get it how you live it. I don’t know about you but I’ll be the first to say that I am definitely that person at times. I am the person who wants society to see me as put together when in reality I’m just as broken as the next girl.

The good news is: Jesus didn’t come for the perfect filtered life. He came for the one that is struggling to pick up the pieces and put them back together. In fact, He’s more likely to put you back together in a way that appears to make you look even more broken. But that’s the beauty of it, sis. When Jesus died and came back, He chose to keep His scars. Because in scars there is a story of virtue, truth, integrity, and identity.

I’ve struggled with my scars in various ways this week. The first and obvious one has to do with me taking a risk and preaching. I lost sight of the fact that I asked the Lord to be bolder and that’s exactly what He’s been trying to help me to do. This truly showed where my heart was at because when the opportunity presented itself, I fought back and wanted to run and hide. If I truly trusted the Lord and believed that He would never tell me to do something and leave me alone, I would trust that it would be His cross in front of me and that I would be speaking His words and not my own. My desire to be flawless comes from insecurity. It’s vital to know and believe you know in your heart that despite your flaws, God has chosen you for a purpose and would choose you again. In fact, He has chosen you BECAUSE of your flaws. I’ve been afraid to speak and even write because I didn’t believe anyone would want to listen to me. I haven’t seen myself as the ideal person to be called by God. But what would the ideal person even look like? Someone with a withered hand? Like the lady with the issue of blood? The woman at the well? A young boy with a slingshot? A fisherman? A shepherd??

I love David because even though it seemed and probably felt as if the odds were against him, he chose to fight anyway. It’s notable that Saul dressed David in his own clothes before battling Goliath, to which David responded by saying that he couldn’t go in them because he wasn’t used to them. That’s a word in itself, sis. So often we try to wear someone else’s blessing or copy what someone else did to be successful that we end up failing altogether. Why wear the clothes fit for someone else when you have your own closet, your own style? It’s great to admire others but the only one you should want to imitate is Jesus. Why preach like Furtick or Jakes when I can preach like Chantel? Why sing like Beyoncé when I can sing like Chantel? When people meet me they want to meet Chantel, not someone I’m trying to be. The more you attempt to conceal your insecurity, the more evident it becomes. To thine own self be true, honey. What’s more, is that David was anointed without the shield and weaponry. We don’t need gits, gadgets, whistles, and horns to make a statement. If we did then Jesus would have had them and more. But He was Himself, all throughout.

I say all this to say that my fears have stemmed from insecurity. It’s okay to embrace your insecurities, sis. Love on them, they are what make you who you are. Jesus never called you to be perfect, He called you as you are, to be who you are. Find freedom in that and live in it.

Much Love,

Chantel

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