ONE VOICE WORSHIP
Artistry. Discipleship. Worship.
I Can Just Be Me
by Heather Hitchcock, One Voice Worship on August 15th, 2015





Wanna know a secret? All my life I’ve struggled with fear. I’ve spent much of my life entangled in a web of “how’s” and “what if’s”, always expecting the worst and living as if it’s become a reality. Countless hours have been invested into trying to prevent, intervene, and prepare for any and every possible scenario that this earthly life could throw my way. And exhaustive energy has been spent rehearsing scenarios and every possible outcome my mind can entertain. For as long as I can remember I’ve been insecure, which is just a “prettier” name for fear. Circumstances and experiences set the perfect stage for this stronghold…Tragedy. Bullying. Health crisis. Loss. Hardship. Grief. Disappointment. Unrealistic expectations. Control. Disapproval. Failure. Rejection. The list could go on and on.

And while God has used this life-long struggle for good by cultivating in me a heart of compassion, encouragement and faith, I can no longer deny that even now as an adult, fear is still blatantly starting me in the face.

Fear of not fitting in and never being enough. Fear of disappointing others’ expectations. Fear of wounding others’ hearts. Fear being rejected by friends. Fear of imperfection. Fear of being made a spectacle and being made fun of. Fear of losing my husband and loved ones. Fear of illness. Fear of brain surgery. Fear of making my husband a widower twice over. Fear of being in another car accident, fire, or tornado. Fear of being the victim of a crime. Fear of being persecuted for my faith. Fear of losing material possessions and provision. Fear of losing my job. Fear of losing my voice and never being able to sing again. Fear that others don’t really view me as a Mom and that my daughters will one day stop loving me because I’m not their biological Mom. Fear that my grandangels won’t know me because they live far away. Fear of being alone. Fear of being in community. Fear of change. Fear of staying the same. Fear of failed dreams. Fear of trying to make my God-sized dreams a reality. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of stepping out in faith. Fear of losing control. Just, fear.

All day, every day. Fear, fear, and more fear. It’s become the soundtrack for my life, an unwelcome white noise playing in the background serving as the filter for every thought, feeling, word, and action.

And it’s time to deal with it.

Time to embrace the reality that by adopting the identity of fear, I’ve assumed the position of sitting on the throne of my heart and have crowded God out. And while Jesus has been Savior, He hasn’t always been Lord of my life. How could He be when fear has become my idol, and I have shouldered the responsibilities of God? No wonder my heart feels heavy and my life burdensome. It makes complete sense that I’m riddled with the fear of things falling apart!

You see, I wasn’t created to carry the weight of this world or the responsibilities of this life; Jesus was. All of my fears are legitimate when I am acting as my own god, but they are utterly irrational when Jesus is Lord of my life. And as His child, I am safe. Protected. Sheltered. Assured. Confident. Fortified. Indemnified. Accepted. Forgiven. Loved. SECURE.

I can accept my imperfection and humanity and receive them as blessings because they force me to my knees in pursuit of His truth and grace, strength and sufficiency, peace and provision, wisdom and wonder. It’s where I receive forgiveness, rediscover joy, bask in freedom, and willingly surrender to God’s sovereignty instead of resisting and fighting against Him. It’s where the weight of this world is exchanged for the simple yoke of Heaven.

It’s where God can be God, and I can just be me, short-comings and quirks and all. Just, me.

Beloved friend, I encourage and challenge your heart just as mine has been to radically embrace your position of obedience. Yes, obedience. Not results, not outcomes, just obedience. Embrace your present and momentary troubles as divine opportunities for Heaven to touch earth. Embrace your dreams as the catalyst for God to accomplish the impossible and mature your faith. Embrace your failures and mistakes as grace moments for growing in the likeness of Christ and learning lessons of eternal value. Embrace your blessings, big and small, as abundant provision from God’s generous storehouse. Embrace pain and disappointment as possibilities for experiencing and extending the forgiveness and healing and love of Jesus like never before. Embrace loved ones as prized possessions and treasure them as you honor God through relational stewardship. Embrace strangers as if you were serving Jesus in disguise. Embrace your shortcomings and imperfections as symbols of unique, irreplaceable you, where God’s sufficiency completes your inadequacy and His glory emanates through you. Embrace being brave and courageous because the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is coursing through your veins and the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit has equipped you to accomplish and overcome in Jesus’ name! (Click to Tweet quote)

And embrace God as both Savior and Lord, so that you can embrace just being you.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m finally ready to just be the me I was created to be. I may not be enough for anyone else, but God in me is enough for, well, me.


Study & Application


PROMISES:

Psalm 34:4; AMP
"I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." 

Psalm 4:8; HCSB
"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.​" 

Psalm 138:8, NKJV
"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me​..." 

Isaiah 41:10, AMP
"Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice." 

Philippians 4:6-8, AMP​
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]." 

Ephesians 1:17-21; AMP
"[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones).  And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come."


REFLECTION:
1.  What fears are dominant in your life right now?  Resist the urge to justify or rationalize them; you have already validated their realness through their presence in your life, and God wants nothing more than to work through them with you.  Big or small, identify and write them down.
 
2.  Let's revisit part of our devotional reading:
"Beloved friend, I encourage and challenge your heart just as mine has been to radically embrace your position of obedience. Yes, obedience. Not results, not outcomes, just obedience."
 
Obedience can be defined as submission to God's authority - His sovereignty - over your life, characterized by faith, leaving results and outcomes to Him.  Have you been assuming your position of obedience, or His position of Lord over your life?  Give examples or support for your answer.
 
3.  Select one of your responses from question #1 for answering the following questions.
 
4.  Fear is often exhibited in our behavior, thoughts, words, internal dialogue, habits, relationships, and even how we spend our time and money.  What impact does this fear have on your day to day life?  How much effort is invested into preventing, managing or rehearsing outcomes of this fear?
 
5.  How much control do you really have over this fear and your effort to prevent it from becoming a reality?  
(Heather's example:  "I am fearful of a terminal cancer diagnosis like both of my parents experienced.  I eat a healthy diet, try to exercise regularly, minimize stress, rest, and manage chronic health issues to reduce my risk of disease. While these habits promote God-honoring stewardship of the body He has given me and enable me to live an enjoyable and productive life, I ultimately cannot control whether or not I am diagnosed with cancer because God is sovereign and only He can control the future.")   
 
6.  The habits and consequences of fear can often be debilitating or damaging.  What habits and consequences of this fear have you experienced in your life?
(Heather's example:  "I am fearful of disappointing my husband and losing his love for me.  In effort to "prevent" this from happening, I've developed the habit of over-apologizing and assuming responsibility for his frustrations that are unrelated to me or our relationship.  As a consequence, habitually apologizing for everything that occurs in our home has caused me to develop the self-perception that all I do is disappoint my husband.  And, it has caused me to become defensive, reactive and critical towards him since I've adopted the perception that I'm always doing something wrong in our relationship.  As a result, I end up manifesting the very fear I'm trying to prevent - disappointment and frustration - and robbing our marriage of the joy, freedom, acceptance, and love that God has richly blessed us with.")
 
7.  Let's once again refer to our reading:
"I can accept my imperfection and humanity and receive them as blessings because they force me to my knees in pursuit of His truth and grace, strength and sufficiency, peace and provision, wisdom and wonder. It’s where I receive forgiveness, rediscover joy, bask in freedom, and willingly surrender to God’s sovereignty instead of resisting and fighting against Him. It’s where the weight of this world is exchanged for the simple yoke of Heaven...Embrace your present and momentary troubles as divine opportunities for Heaven to touch earth. Embrace your dreams as the catalyst for God to accomplish the impossible and mature your faith. Embrace your failures and mistakes as grace moments for growing in the likeness of Christ and learning lessons of eternal value. Embrace your blessings, big and small, as abundant provision from God’s generous storehouse. Embrace pain and disappointment as possibilities for experiencing and extending the forgiveness and healing and love of Jesus like never before. Embrace loved ones as prized possessions and treasure them as you honor God through relational stewardship. Embrace strangers as if you were serving Jesus in disguise. Embrace your shortcomings and imperfections as symbols of unique, irreplaceable you, where God’s sufficiency completes your inadequacy and His glory emanates through you. Embrace being brave and courageous because the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is coursing through your veins and the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit has equipped you to accomplish and overcome in Jesus’ name!"
 
In light of what you just read, answer this question:  What potential blessings and positive outcomes could occur if you gave yourself the freedom to be imperfectly human and embraced the fear that's entangling you?
 
8.  Are you ready to embrace God as both Savior and Lord, so that you can embrace just being you?  Are you finally ready to just be who you were created to be?  Why or why not?
 
9.  Identify 3 practical action steps to take this week towards overcoming your fear, and write down the name of someone with whom you can share them with and ask for prayer.
 
10.  Select at least one of Bible passages from the "Promises" section to read daily and use as your prayer to God as you seek Him in overcoming your fears and becoming the amazing you that He created you to be!​


WORSHIP:
Here are two songs to encourage you on your journey towards freedom and fearlessness!

"I Can Just Be Me" by Laura Story:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VRUU8UBXCk&list=RD0VRUU8UBXCk


"The Same Power" by Jeremy Camp:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsifiZxVXU

If you would like to know more about how to have a personal relationship with God, or if this post has encouraged you in your faith, would you let us know? We would love to pray with you, encourage you, and hear how God is at work in your life. Email us (greg@ovworship.com or heather@ovworship.com) or leave a comment on this blog post. And feel free to share this post with others to further the reach of our ministry.  Thank you!


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