I first met Shelly Miller of Redemption’s Beauty through her much-needed Sisterhood of the Sabbath. She’s on my blog today with another necessary challenge. Welcome, Shelly!
As I step over the threshold from my garage to the side yard, holding a full trash bag in my hand, the sound of something rustling in the leaves nearby startles me. I’m a bit jumpy this time of the year. I live in a part of the country inhabited by almost every species of snake. Walking barefoot in the summer is an extravagance I don’t allow myself.
As I look from side to side, scan the grass, inspect the flower beds and barbecue, I remember the source of the sound that reverberates. A blush-cheeked skink lives a few feet down the sidewalk, behind a drain pipe, nestled among leaf litter. Though the sight of a giant lizard isn’t less creepy than a snake, I can see his frozen stance like a picture hanging on a brick wall in the crevice. I know he is more afraid of me than I am of him.
And I’m the only one who knows about the skink setting up residence in this secret place. I’m the gardener in our family.
It suddenly occurs to me that my son squawks in certainty about hearing a slithering snake, every time he takes the trash out. I just happen to be doing his job on this day and realize it’s not a snake threatening my son’s peace, but a harmless skink.
I wonder how many times I have done this; withheld information that seems trivial when sharing it would be a gift, like a prophetic word. When I offer prayerful, sometimes seemingly insignificant impressions with others, it is an act of the deepest kind of vulnerability and yet reveals the most profoundly courageous truth. God is asking me if I’ll risk looking foolish; if I’ll trust Him for the sake of love.
Perhaps He is asking you too.
There’s no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness. ~Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
The beautiful paradox: every time I dare to be vulnerable, expose my perceived weakness in sharing what I sense He is saying for someone else, faith grows strong like a shoot stretching tall toward the Son, for both of us.
Recently, I became reacquainted with a girlfriend on Facebook after a fifteen year lull in conversation. She reminded me of a time of barrenness, when she desperately wanted children and worried about not becoming pregnant. She says, “I still tell the story of how you had a prophetic dream that I was pregnant with our first child who is now 14. God is so good! Thanks for sharing that with me so long ago. It proves again the goodness of God and His ever present hand in our lives!”
She just had her sixth child.
Humanity shares a common trait: the desperation to be set free from ourselves, even when we don’t know it. Prophecy is the reminder that we aren’t alone; that your life and mine, they matter and He is listening.
Brene says, “We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us.” And perhaps our sharing what we know, what seems insignificant to us, will transform someone’s perceived situation from a snake to a skink; help them breathe a bit easier when stepping into the unknown. It may even allow a person to release the trash they were holding back.
We are light bearers, holding torches we assumed were lit with the wisdom of our experience, when often we carry flames of truth from His tongue illuminating the mystery of the Kingdom. The Light you carry may set someone free. Share it.
What is worth doing even if you fail? Have you ever pushed away that inkling you perceived as coming from God for someone because of fear? Or perhaps you’ve been the recipient of someone else’s prophetic word in due season. Tell me about it in the comments.
Shelly Miller is a writer, photographer, clergy wife, mother of two teens, and a leadership coach. She enjoys writing stories that make people think differently about life and helping women discover their calling. You can read more of her stories on her blog, Redemptions Beauty and in her column at Living the Story. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.