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Don't Be Afraid to Use Your Gifts

I have a journaling Bible that my dear husband bought for me a couple of Christmases ago. It's a beautiful hard-backed ESV with lines in the margins. I adore the fact that I don't have to scribble in 2-point font in small margins anymore. At least I imagine I would feel that way. It's been over a year, and the margins are still flawless--and by flawless, I mean blank. I have a couple of other Bibles that I love, and they carry tear stains, coffee stains, highlighting, comments...They are well-worn. But not this one. This one doesn't have any marks from my pen at all. It's so beautiful I haven't been able to bring myself to write in it. I was recently discussing my conundrum with my friend Theeany. She asked me why I didn't write in it. I told her, "It's my baby!" She gently reminded me that babies grow up, and that it's a messy process. There are all sorts of messes from spills to poop! It's all part of the growth process. She told me it was time for my beautiful, pristine Bible to grow up. In simple terms: I had allowed my perfectionism to get in the way of my enjoying my Christmas present. It sounds silly when I put it that way, but that's the truth!

As Kingdom writers, we are susceptible to fearing things God never intended us to: others' opinions, our fear of failure, or sometimes, our own fears of achieving anything less than perfection. We can cause these fears to cripple our writing or make us want to hide our gifts under the proverbial bushel, but that's not what gifts are for! Gifts are given for use! What has God given you to do? Are there any fears stopping you? Think about these questions and take time with them. Perhaps journal what you aren't going to allow to hold you back any longer. Choose faith and exploration over fear.

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