“You can only take others as far as you have been.” Dale A. Dudas
Often after I write (or teach or speak) I have people come up to me and remark how transparent I can be. It’s true, unfortunately, at times what you see is what you get.
The quote above I heard on April 18, 1978 a year after accepting the Lord as my Savior. The brother who was instrumental in leading us to the Lord came over to wish us a happy spiritual birthday. He walked into our little duplex in Nagai, Japan and asked us what a baby does on his first birthday. Being a childless couple at the time, we just looked blankly at him. He simply said, they walk. It should have been obvious to us. Those two words were an admonition to us to walk in our faith. He followed with the above quote. At the time, I didn’t grasp the weight of the comment but have since learned what was meant.
What you go through in life can be difficult, challenging, burdensome. As we learn lessons through our experiences, we are also glimpsing how we can utilize our lessons to benefit others.
One of the first things I remember hearing from the Lord is this, if you cannot be honest and open to people you can see, how can you be open and honest to Me, who you can’t see? Since hearing this, it has been my life goal to be open to others. I don’t always have success. But I am learning.
Being open does make you vulnerable. Oftentimes I mentally question myself as to why I said what I did. There are nights where I am tempted to delete a scheduled post. Sometimes I feel like that nightmare of walking down the hall of your high school naked has come true. I want to find the nearest closet and just close myself in.
However, I have been called to be open and honest. I have this desire to be myself. Being an introvert, this is difficult. But God… God has put this ache deep within me. Sitting down to write I have hesitancy, I cower by the keyboard. By the end of a post, the words reflecting back to me are from God. If I could say it myself, there would be pride. Proofing the posts often finds me in tears as I read my heart, the words that hide behind my personality, words I have hidden in myself.
We can only take people as far as we have gone. That saying is with me always. I look back on my life. A life filled with depression, heartache, loneliness and fear. Lord, let me reach a heart for You. Let my words be only Your words. Use me Lord. Use me in spite of me.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)