This past weekend, I had the honor to be in the UK at !Audacious Church for a women’s conference, Luminous. The first evening Pastor Sophia Barrett shared on being part of the collective verse individualism, the myths about you, personally, having to be the whole package, and seeing others through God’s lenses instead of as a threat.
“So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:6, MSG)
She then shared her isolation story and her struggles and as the conference progressed, we heard many leaders’ isolation stories and it was so freeing.
When you think about sharing your isolation story and being vulnerable with someone, even your spouse or best friend, shame, thoughts of never being good enough, frustration, increased heart rate, flushing of the skin, upset stomach, and fear start to take over usually causing us to push it down and hold it in – not letting others see what’s really going on inside of us. But that is exactly what the enemy wants you to do – to stay isolated, to stay living in fear and having feelings of never enough, not seeing yourself as God sees you, and definitely not to share with someone and they be encouraged and freed from something in their own lives through what God is doing in your life. So what’s the solution – BE VULNERABLE, SHARE YOUR ISOLATION STORY! You don’t need to share it on podiums or with every acquaintance you have – just one friend. Might they reject you or see you differently? Possibly, BUT possibly not. We are built to do life together – your weaknesses are their strengths, your strengths are their weaknesses. One leader at the conference was saying, “I often pray to God about situations in my life and the answer, is actually the women right next to me.” When you don’t see others, specifically women, as a threat, you don’t compare, you don’t compete, and you don’t tear others down. You support each other, you lift each other up, your words are full of life and not death, and you live free! “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). None of us are running in the same lane, we each have our lane – so stay in your lane, but run together!
So the first evening, I went forward as the Holy Spirit showed me some chains of isolation that I had (that I thought I had already dealt with and that hadn’t returned). It was feelings of isolation in living in Poland – of feeling alone, pointed at as a foreigner, immense pressure and frustration with the language and trying to immerse myself in their culture, feeling like I dressed differently, and just feeling like I could never be accepted here (by others or by myself). But the Lord spoke to me these words: “Remember My promises! Remember me telling you 3 years ago that Kraków would be your home. And in a home, you are accepted. You are at home. You are supposed to be there, you don’t try to fit in when you are at home, you’re just home. You belong there. Kraków needs you, I NEED YOU THERE. And you are not alone, look around – it’s my Kingdom, you fit right in, it’s family, you’re surrounded with others. Look at the situation and yourself through My eyes, not in the natural.” I later shared this with Magda and Marta, from KDM, as we attended the conference together and in just sharing my story, there was freedom – chains were broken and I felt lighter that I wasn’t carrying this baggage around trying to look like I had things together, and especially to women that I had often compared myself with.
This is freedom – this is natural in the Kingdom! God did not create us to live alone, to live isolated, and trying to fix everything ourselves yet pretend to others that things are okay. So go to a friend this week, share your isolation story and let the Holy Spirit replace the lies with truth, fill you with love and not fear, experience being a victor and not the victim, and lift others to their miracles through sharing what God is doing inside of you (the good, the bad, and the ugly)!
“If you have a relationship with perfect God, you can have a relationship with imperfect people – they aren’t a threat.” ~Hannah Adkins (!Audacious Church)