Radiant

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IMG_1876 We sat there in fluffy arm chairs, clutching coffee: the humble servant, the missionary, the connector, and I.

“Where are you going, again? Ethiopia?” the humble servant asked the missionary.

“No; Dubai!” the missionary laughed in reply.

“Isn’t that kind of close?” I asked.

By this time, the missionary was about to shoot tea out of her nose, her big messy top-knot falling askew as she snorted her famous, infectious laugh. Apparently, it was not close.

We laughed about our failed geography attempts, and then the missionary opened her heart to us. All that stood in the way of her goal of rescuing the enslaved from indignity and bringing them to freedom was a building. Four walls and a roof, and the money to do it.

She named the amount she needed to ground her dream in the soil and the humble servant didn’t miss a beat before saying, “That’s nothing for God.”

I sat opposite her in my armchair, chai tea in hand, and for once, I had no doubt. The Doubting Thomas had become the Doubtless, because God was going to do this. I knew it.

To speak in terms of evidence, God had shown up for the missionary every time before. He always loaded the bases and hit a home run. He placed miracle after miracle like breadcrumbs leading her to this place at this time. It was so completely clear. It was obvious, even to a doubter like me.

But if you want to talk faith, it was the fire in her eyes and the fearlessness in her mission. For example, she accidentally bought a house across from the mafia. The mafia! She said this and laughed and we looked at her and our jaws dropped, horror-struck.


“Aren’t you afraid?” the connector croaked.

“No,” replied the missionary, as easily as if we’d asked her if she was afraid of cotton candy. “And that’s why I’m supposed to go, and you’re not.”

And the irony is, she’s afraid of many things. Just not the things that would stop her from what God has called her to do. I am in awe of this.


It’s easy for me to have faith for others, seeing their obstacles as “nothing for God.” Having faith for myself is a different story. 

I sit here discouraged. Feeling so small. Feeling unworthy of what I’m wired to want.

Every fiber of me screams, knowing that my feelings are a lie, but I don’t know how not to feel them.

I’m a feeler, ruled by my heart and emotions. It’s part of what makes me an artist. But I’m sure it’s also what cripples me in my pursuit of art. Still, I wouldn’t change it, so I need to figure out how to deal with it. I will not ignore it, but I will not let it hinder the call God has put on my life.

Maybe the reason the missionary isn’t afraid to live next door to the mafia is because her pursuits are purely unselfish. She’s not going in order to advertise herself, grow a business, or gain more Instagram followers. She’s sacrificing safety, comfort, and Mexican food to fight injustice. To look in the faces of girls who’ve been bought and sold for a price all of their lives and tell them that they are priceless. To restore dignity and hope to those who have never known it.

And I’m trying to book an acting role.

Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

I believe what I’m doing is important, or I wouldn’t be doing it. But my focus is all wrong.

I just read “Scary Close” by Donald Miller. He talked about how the first part of his career was spent writing to prove that he mattered. Dear God, how I resonate with that. It’s all I want: to matter. What sucks is that my two passions are self-exploiting.

I feel like I live on the hamster wheel of “Pick me! Prove that I matter! Prove that I’m worth something!”

I want off.

I want off the wheel of “never enough” and “not good enough.”

My one way ticket off of those wheels is a daily reminder of whose I am.

I matter because God made me. That’s it. I don’t have to prove anything. I can breathe, I can stop running. I can work from a place of security and love, knowing that God will open and close doors, as long as I show up.

This week I have five auditions. One is for a game show, one is for a cruise ship, one is for a TV show, and two are for playhouses.

I am declaring that these are good things. I have prepared. I am ready. God will choose to shut or open the doors. But I’ll go, so that He can open them if He wants. Who knows who I’ll meet on the way, or what I’ll learn.

I was expressing my irrational fears to my amazing mentor Kathy. She handed me a delicate gold cuff with the word “Radiant” carved into it for my birthday. It couldn’t have been any more timely.

“Radiant” is Kathy and my code word to remind each other of God’s promises. Together, we discovered and memorized Pslam 34, my favorite passage in the Bible. radiant 2

 

I had been letting my fears make my life about me. No wonder I was afraid. To be radiant, I need to keep my gaze on the Lord. I need to let him tell me that I matter.

Hear ye, Doubting Thomases. Nothing in your life, as well as in the lives of others, is impossible for God. Let this faith move you to remember that you matter because your heart is beating. Let this inspire you to be radiant by relying on the Lord.

I’ve been 22 for less than a month. I wear that bracelet every day that I remember. I want this year to be about letting God remind me that I matter; not allowing ups and downs decide.


Daily Dare: Live like you matter no matter what. Like your performance at school or work doesn’t define what kind of human you are. You don’t need to earn your worth. It’s been paid in full.