"Who is your mommy?" "What color was your hair when you were little?" "How old were you when you met daddy?" These are just a few of the 50,000 questions I am asked on a daily basis. My daughter is 6 years old and has begun the lifelong process of getting to know her mother. She is trying to figure out who I am, in her innocent little way, and as time goes by, and the questions grow more difficult to answer, these interrogations will become a relationship. The depth of this relationship with my daughter will be determined by the level of authenticity with which I answer her questions. The more honest and real I am, the more she will know me. The more she knows me, the more she will trust me with information about herself...thereby deepening our relationship. This is my prayer, not only for my relationship with my daughter, but with my fellow Christians as well.
If I could sum up my life's goal and message it would be to live authentically and transparently in my relationships. I long to be completely authentic in my relationship God and in my relationship with others. It is only because of the grace of Jesus that I can be authentic at all...because I am redeemed and forgiven for my past, I feel much more free to share it honestly. Because I am a believer in Jesus, He is inseparable from who I am and where I've been, so I can speak freely of where that was because I am no longer that person. Only by grace. I am not suppose to be ashamed of who I am because Jesus made me this way...and I am not to be ashamed of my past because Jesus saved me from it. To be inauthentic and ashamed is to rob Jesus Christ of all the glory that comes from His grace, presence and redemption in my life. This is why I am a firm believer in sharing ones testimony.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus was meeting with his disciples after His resurrection. He told them the Holy Spirit would be on them and they would be his "witnesses, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." To be a witness means to bear testimony of Jesus before the world. He expected his followers to share the stories of their encounters and experiences of Jesus. He expected them to do this boldly, honestly, and without shame. And this expectation didn't end with the disciples He was speaking to in that moment. He expects that from us as well. 1 Peter 2:10 in the Message Bible says that we are "God's instruments to do His work and SPEAK OUT for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you-from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted."
Without authenticity in relationships with others and transparency in our lives, we aren't fulfilling Jesus' charge to speak out for Him. We are taking away Jesus' glory in our lives and we are robbing ourselves of the amazing quality of deep, meaningful relationships with others. These are a gift from the Lord!
Because of this call to authenticity on and in my life, I have partnered with My Journey of Faith Ministries in creating an online magazine dedicated to sharing the testimonies of women all over the country. The purpose of My Journey of Faith Magazine is to be a place to read, share, and connect with christian women as we walk through this journey called life. It is my prayer that it will be a place to be real...to break past all of the facade that comes with much of online blogging and social networking in order to share who we really are...where our faith has brought us from and who it has helped us become. I hope to challenge others to live an authentic life and experience the fullness of real relationships with others while sharing the power of Christ. Don't be ashamed...be a Witness.