I was recently asked to write an article for Share Her Story. This is a website that was created by a group of incredible women, to express through the extraordinary stories of regular women, how incredibly loved and valued they are. Please take time to go check out “Share Her Story.” Also, check out and like the new Facebook page for Straighten My Crown! Here is the article below, I hope you enjoy and I look forward to discussing it! Love you guys!
“OVERRIDING MY PASSION”
Growing up I was often described by those that know me best, as outspoken, passionate, and sometimes even dramatic. I am not the quietest and most meek of women. I also have a difficult time withholding the truth from people, so I tend to speak with realness and truth…some might call that bluntness. I have often been told I am intimidating and carry a presence of confidence with me that makes women (and men) scared of me. Those things are the last two things I want people to see or pick up on when interacting with me. Confidence has been a journey for me and I have never gotten to the point of being fully confident in myself. Although, by His amazing grace, I have gotten to the point of complete confidence in God, which makes it so much easier to surrender myself over to Him day after day. I have learned that is the only way I function at my best…when He has all of me. The times I don’t surrender all of me, are the times when conflict comes.
As a child and young woman, (just like anyone else) I had a process to dealing with conflict or just relational issues in general. For example, my mom and dad always impressed upon the importance of Ephesians 4:26-27, which says “’Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” I understood early on, why this was important. This is not only talking about going to bed angry, but letting time pass in anger. Staying in your anger towards someone or something, leaves the door open for the enemy to inject other feelings and emotions into the equation. So staying angry even as a child was something I was very conscious and aware of.
As a teenager, it was not that I would stay angry for long but rather that I was quick with my words and passionate about my message. I found that conflict would escalate quickly, because of my passion, not to mention my unbridled issue with lack of humility. The older I got and the more I experienced in life, the more I became a expert in the subject…whatever subject that may be. I knew it all and had been through it all, or so I thought. I mean good grief, by the time I was 21 years old, I had given birth to my first child, bought first house, bought my first car, and was battling a very unstable and volatile marriage to a alcoholic and drug addict. It was not long before I was a single mom, putting myself through night school. It was due to what I was accomplishing through such a turbulent and volatile season in my life, that I thought I was expert on every subject. When talking to other women in similar positions, I began to take this “put on your big girl panties” approach. This was the beginning of my passion overriding my compassion. If other women I encountered were not performing from a standpoint of victory or “I can do this”, it would eat me up. Often, as a result, the more passionate I was on subjects, the more I would intimidate or blur over my intended message. One of the hardest things for me in life, has been learning how to balance my passion and compassion.
Experiencing the cross, brought me to a whole new subject matter. It has been a game changer. Understanding the cross, has made me a completely new person. I am madly in love with a compassionate God. Although now, there is the issue of my passion for God overwhelming my delivery of compassion for people. The more He reveals to me, the more passionate I get about the freedom that comes with that revelation. Each time, I experience a whole new level of freedom and want to share that with others. The balance of allowing God to tame the passion and provide the compassion is an intense process. The times that I have realized the passionate message I am trying to get across has resulted in hurt for that person, has brought me to tears. It absolutely breaks my heart to know that the result can go against every one of my intentions of building them up and encouraging them to be the strong woman I know they can be.
When I fell in love with Jesus, His passions very quickly became my passions. His compassion on the other hand, has been a bit of a challenge to obtain. I had to learn that without an understanding of His love and compassion towards me, I had an underlining competition with others, a fear of rejection or an offense that would come in. There was a serious fear of man. My fear of living up to man’s standards and even my own standards, was greater to me, than living up to God’s standards. I realized I was not developing deep, lasting and meaningful relationships because my perspective of others, is mirrored by my perspective of myself. I was looking at others through the same lens that I was looking at myself with.
God wanted me to see myself through a completely different lens…a heavenly lens. He wanted me to operate from this lens of grace and love with every word I spoke and every action I took. God wanted me to see myself how He sees me…with a heavenly perspective. I realized that if my words for myself are not laced with compassion, love and grace then it defeats every point of the cross. It is the love and grace that Christ brought to the cross that empowers us to walk from wholeness, speak from wholeness and operate from a standpoint of wholeness….to operate from HOLINESS.
One morning He began to speak to me about His creation. He told me that when He created me, He simultaneously created His Kingdom purpose in me and that is what He sees in me. He then revealed that this applies to all His children and this is how I am to look at His children…my brothers and sisters in Christ. To also keep in mind, our life is a journey of Him molding and shaping us to expose that Kingdom purpose.
He wants our words for others, to begin to peel away at the layers of the shell that contains this Kingdom purpose. Our words, should build up and edify others to shed that old skin and reveal the new. Because the enemy loves to inject that underlining competition with others, that fear of rejection or that offense anywhere he can with women, it is important that we be very intentional with our words. We also have to be willing to receive reproof. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” I know what your thinking…”OH, well since the Bible says my friend, who did not accept my wisdom is stupid, let me just give her a call and tell her that even the Bible says she is stupid!” No my dear, that is not the case. It also says in a couple of chapters later, (in Proverbs 15: 1) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.”
In Philippians, Paul points out that Euodia and Syntyche (sisters in the church) who found it difficult to love each other, needed “to settle their disagreement and be restored with one mind in our Lord” (Philippians 4:2-3). To get our point across, our words should not always be disguised in tough shell of passion and urgency but laced with love and compassion for our sister’s growth. While some of our relationships are awesome, refreshing and challenging, often times there are those that are difficult, exhausting, stretching and sometimes even draining. It is in those difficult moments, even moments of conflict, that we are to put on the spectacles of God and look through His lens. It is only through those lens, that our passion for the subject no longer overrides our compassion His people. It is through those lens, we obtain balance of the passion and compassion of Christ.