I sat with Jesus today. In the corner of that same coffee shop, with that same black coffee steaming. It'd been awhile.
When I was younger, I remember hearing a teaching or just a word from an authority figure- he/she said, "if you don't use your gifts, God will take them away from you."
Tiny, middle-school Whitney sat paralyzed by anxiety and fear. I truly believed that if I didn't write daily, God would take this passion, this desire away from me. I've always struggled with feeling less gifted, less "special." But writing has always been my outlet. Words typically come easy for me. The thought of losing my words literally petrified me into performance.
I took this fear and literally journaled every.single.day. from middle school through college. Even when I don't believe I understood a relationship with Jesus, I was writing, panicked. In college, when I wasn't following Jesus, I would sit in my dorm bed scribbling words on a page, just in case God would take this gift from me.
God eventually rescued me in the fall of 2012 and during that season, I started asking questions. I distinctly remember that same winter break in 2012, sitting at a now-closed coffee shop in my hometown with a high school friend who is very dear to me. I confessed this fear to him and I vividly remember him saying "that's not who God is. That's not his heart for you." I swear I heard glass shattering in my head (much like a cartoon sound-effect). This fear in which I invested years of my life controlled my passion and a way that I connect with God.
Now I'm here, nearly four years to the date later, and sometimes I still have that skip of panic in my chest when I go to spend time with Jesus and have nothing to say. When words won't come I have to remember we serve an unconditional God. No strings attached. We serve a God who lives in this space called grace.
It's hard for us to come to God empty-handed with nothing to say. (At least it's hard for me. You may be a champ at this which in that case, give me a call) We so desperately want to prove and perform and dazzle God. But I think sometimes God wants us to come to him without words. I think sometimes God wants us to rest in this grace-space and remember, he loves us just as we are, not as we should be.
And for the record, I don't think God maliciously robs us of the gifts and passions He creatively gave us. I don't think he ties strings to our gifts and tells us to dance "or else." I think he's gentle and patient with us. I think he wants us to step outside of or comfort zone and use said gift(s) but not in a slave driver manner, but as a proud dad who can't wait to see us come into our own with him. (see Romans 8:15-16)
Here's a pic of the human who shows me more grace than anyone on this planet. He's my human who challenges and pushes me. But loves me big and reminds me of truth. I'm v thankful for him.
P.S. I'm truly honored that you read my blog. Literally, can't thank you enough.