The Ministry of Authenticity
I've watched it happen so often: a tired mom walks up to a group of mothers sitting at a table. The chit-chat continues as she sits down and glances slowly from woman to woman. As the conversation turns to more serious topics, perhaps it is her exhaustion that compels her to speak. All eyes turn to her as she tells with a catch in her voice of the trial or perceived failure she is dealing with.
Suddenly she realizes she has opened herself up and fear lights up her eyes. The air in the room becomes momentarily thick as she waits, bracing herself, to hear the response of those around her when someone speaks up . . .
Finally relief floods her face. She smiles, relaxes, and sighs.
"I thought I was the only one!"
Suddenly more voices chime in, now encouraged and brave enough to be honest and real.
One shares from the midst struggle, another shares from the other side, and yet another shares of the Lord's grace she found while in the midst of it.
It's beautiful to watch and be a part of. And it is a place I have seen the Lord minister to tired hearts and weary souls.
I call it the ministry of authenticity.
Sometimes it is easier to hide. It is easier not to speak, not to be vulnerable, not to admit things are hard. Sometimes it is easier to give advice or simply nod your head. . . but not truly come alongside.
I don't always like to admit I reprimanded my child too harshly, or can never seem to finish the laundry. I don't want to admit how often I struggle with insecurities and fears.
But when I am brave enough to confide and it is echoed by "me too", the Lord ministers to us both in that place. And when the role is reversed and I echo "me too", He is also in the midst.
Vulnerability and authenticity lower the walls--they create trust and open the door to share honestly about both the struggle, and how the Lord is teaching, growing, and guiding us through it. It allows us to minister to each other in a way we never could if we remained silent, or simply gave advice and walked on. It is scary, but this is my favorite ministry to those around me because I love to watch the Lord work in that place.
It feels so ordinary to consider everyday conversation a ministry, but it truly is a place I have watch the Lord do extraordinary things among women. That's why I am so excited to be a part of the book launch team for Lea Ann Garfias' new book, Rocking Ordinary.
This book is so timely, and we ALL need the reminders enclosed within the pages of this book. I've been reading my pre-release copy of Rocking Ordinary this week and I can tell you, you are going to love it! I've laughed and I've cried through the pages and the Lord has used it to minister to me right where I am at.
You, my friend, are being used by the Lord to make an impact on the world around you. No matter how insignificant and ordinary you may feel, He is there and He is using you. That is a truth we all need reminded of often. Rocking Ordinary releases July 1st, but you can pre-order it from CBD right now at a discount--who doesn't want to be encouraged while saving money?
And if you should find yourself in a conversation where you can echo "me too", be brave. The Lord can work together some extraordinary things from an ordinary, everyday conversation.