Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Inside out heart

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a place where we step back and take in life. There are moments where we’re so caught up in it all, the hectic, mind-boggling pace of the day. but here we encourage you to take a moment and view the Bigger Picture. Whatever that means to you. A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and breathe in the bigness of it all -- the hugeness that is life and all the small moments adding up to one Bigger Picture.

Bigger Picture Moment

We hope you’ll join us! Take a few moments, think about your week, and pour however little or much onto a page. Then share. Melissa is hosting this week, so head over to her place to tell us about your moment. Link up, grab our button, and share your Bigger Picture Moment. And while you’re at it, share the love and check out at least one other participant’s moment, too! Maegan will be hosting next week, so keep an open mind and heart throughout the week and come back to participate again or for the first time! All are welcome!

Just tell your story.

She said it so honestly, so matter of factly. How could I not have realized that.

I'm not arguing. I'm not trying to sway anyone to believe or embrace. I'm not preaching.

I'm just sharing my story.

These words from my very wise mentor have been wandering around in my brain since she said them.

You see, sometimes I feel if I say anything about my relationship with God in places that aren't "mine" {my blog, my home, my church} that I come across as preachy.

And oh, my. That's really the last thing I want.

Because, really, I haven't it got it so together that I can go around preaching to others about how to live or what to do or what to think. Because I'm not perfect. I've got my own baggage, my own heart issues, my own plank in my own eye.

So I'm not qualified to preach religion and shoulds and shouldn'ts to anyone; and that's really kept me quiet in spaces that are not my own or in spaces where people may not share the same beliefs. My fear of sounding preachy and religious has silenced my voice in many places here in blog land and here in general every-day life situations*.

And it's left me as simply an observer in the conversation rather than a participant.

And that's silly.

It's silly because we don't come together as friends face to face or here in the blogosphere to just talk to ourselves. We come together for companionship. We come together to learn from one another. We come together to connect and share and encourage and support.

So when I take the backseat and remain silent in conversations to avoid sounding preachy, I'm really just hiding. I'm hiding because I'm too concerned with coming off as judgemental or authoritative. I'm hiding because I've seen others label Christians with a whole slew of nouns and adverbs that aren't very appealing. And I don't want anyone lumping me together with Christians who have treated others in ways I'm positive Christ would not have treated them {Though, I'm sure there have been points where I've acted less than stellar; see, again, not perfect. Don't have all the answers.}

But I think I've confused preaching with simply just sharing my story in most of these self-censored instances.

Because when I'm sharing why I think the way I do and how I've handled situations and what's given me the vision to walk through really dense patches life fog, I'm simply relaying my life story. And my life story just happens to be centered around a Saving Grace. A Saving Grace named Jesus. And unfortunately Jesus has been given a bad name through some Christians who have really let themselves get bogged down in legalism and religion rather than focusing on the beautiful relationship with Jesus.

And that's the thing about my story -- I'm not a religious person. I'm not bound to man-made laws in the name of religion. I'm more focused on being in communion with a God who created me and who saved me.

Ugh. That's where it sometimes gets sticky. Saved. Saved me from what?

Because I'm not one of those people who hit rock bottom and sunk lowly into the deepest pit before she realized that she needed something else, realized that Jesus was what she was missing. I was actually happy before I decided to have a real, lasting relationship with Jesus. I had good friends, a satisfying college life, a good boyfriend, an awesome job and a loving family. I had everything, really, most people ever strive for in life.

Well, I had everything but a real deep-seeded purpose. I had been trying to live my life finding purpose in serving others. I'd been trying to find meaning in bettering the world. But I had these deep-rooted foundational problems with even the very definition of evil and good. And I realized before I could strive for goodness that I needed to figure out why we all have these very basic opinions of good and evil, which is a whole different post. At any rate, all of this questioning really led me to seeking out who Jesus was and why I'd want to love and know Him beyond just believing in Him.

So in essence He saved me from the exhausting and confusing and irritating quest for meaning and understanding. My entire good life morphed when I began a real relationship with Christ. And it really changed my whole life from good to amazing. From confusion to an understanding. From uncertainty to peace. From happy to joyful. From the chains of adhering to man-made laws to the freedom given to us so wonderfully through grace.

And like with any meaningful relationship, it invaded all parts of my life. So I cannot help but often find myself wanting to contribute my experiences regarding my relationship with Him while reading or conversing about subjects or events or relationship.

And the more I think about my mentor's awesome words of wisdom, the more I realize that preaching doesn't play into what I'm doing here or in person when I'm engaging in community and conversation.

I'm simply sharing my story. And my story just happens to revolve around the Author of my life.

{*I should also note that in these thoughts I was really striving to do what Christ would have me do -- and that's speak freely about the freedom and peace I've found in a relationship with Him.}

And I hope, even if we don't have the same story, we can all share here without worrying about being mistreated or labeled or judged.


  1. Hyacynth, thank you for sharing your story. We need more Christians like you, because honestly, it’s the preachy types, fanatics and evangelists (of any faith) that give religion a bad rep. I was once a believer and have since found my own path to peace – sans Jesus. But I do believe that there is a higher power at work I’m just not a fan of manmade rituals and rules. I try to be good, do good and respect others who do the same regardless of their beliefs. And I hope to teach my kid(s) the same.

  2. I feel this way so often, Hyacynth. I don't want to step on anyone's toes with my enthusiasm or doubt (it changes regularly :)) so I step back, and listen instead of talk. But recently, I've become more okay with just tellin what I'm feeling to a few close friends. Usually in email form, so I can organize my thoughts better.

    I'm glad to know that you're becoming more comfortable with sharing your story :) Everybody has one, after all -- we should be able to discuss them peacefully!

  3. I think it's nice that you felt safe enough to share that story here.

  4. As far as being qualified to preach religion, discipleship is not just for ordained pastors and ministers; it is for every believer. If you continue to speak from your heart your message and intent will be clear. ♥tlb

  5. {{{{{ I'm just giving you a really big squeeze-like hug...and I'm smiling }}}}}

  6. This was absolutely lovely.
    Because when people share their stories, we learn so much. Maybe we believe different things, but from learning more about our neighbor we learn more about our world. And that's not a bad thing.

  7. This was absolutely lovely.
    Because when people share their stories, we learn so much. Maybe we believe different things, but from learning more about our neighbor we learn more about our world. And that's not a bad thing.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and heart with us! I feel this way quite often and even find myself holding back in places that are "mine"...watching out for people's toes hinders me a lot. It always gives me confindence in myself when woman of faith reveal their hearts, it lets me know that I'm not the only one who has these insecurities and questions.

  9. This was fantastic. I have read posts where people almost apologize for their faith, and I think that's wrong, as is bashing people over the head with your beliefs. But you did not do that. I love how you shared - gently but with true conviction.

  10. I am so happy you shared your story. I know your struggle and I'm so proud of you. Well done, Friend!

    I love you!

  11. absolutely. i love the idea of story. stories are compelling, no matter our differences (and sometime because of them) because they are real and personal. i love the idea that all of of stories are part of a bigger Story of God at work.

    i think, too, of the idea of Truth: Jesus said he is the Truth, so Truth is a Person that we can know rather than a set of doctrine or beliefs to convince anyone of. God changes hearts--that burden is never on me. i'm just a fellow pilgrim living a story to share of life and grace along the way.

  12. love this and your guts for putting it out there. i talk alot about faith on my blog....but sometimes i am pretty hesitant.
    because i have plenty of my own planks. and way more questions than answers. but you are right. it is so much about the conversation. great piece.

  13. These are the stories we need to hear. These are the voices that quash that slew of shudder-worthy nouns and adverbs thrown at Christians. Brava, Hy!

  14. I LOVED reading about this part of you, because even though we might not all feel the same about purpose or our own inherent spirituality, we should all be willing to support and listen to one another. If we read blogs, if we truly share and find joy in this community, than to me, that's what it's all about. Connecting, understanding, sharing, learning, and growing. Thank you, for your own honesty and for showing this us this glimpse into your heart.

  15. The Author of your life ... So eloquent! I wish I had the strength of conviction that you have, and I appreciate you being honest and open enough to share it with all of us, despite everyone's different sets of beliefs.

    (Visiting from Justine's. Pleased to "meet" you!)


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.