I was very shy as a child. My mom would always encourage me to speak up without fear in expressing myself through the gifts she saw in me as a little girl. I will never forget my children’s choir director at one church we attended paid me five dollars to say ” Ooouuu” in a song because I wouldn’t open my mouth to sing at any of the choir rehearsals. I didn’t milk it for the five dollars although it was a pretty sweet gig for a 9 year old back in the 90’s. I was just fearful as a child in shining any attention on myself that would garner me being in the spotlight. However through my mom’s encouragement I grew better in breaking out of my shell. She bought me poetry books from Dr. Maya Angelou having me to practice reciting them out loud. She and my grandfather discovered that I had a voice to sing like my late father with the gift to direct choirs when I was a teen. My first solo as a teen was “This Little Light of Mine ” in our small country church in the back woods with the youth choir. Thankfully my first breakout solo was recieved well with the church rocking. My elder cousin, Robert Rouse over twenty years later still calls me, ” This Little Light” every time he sees me. We each have a distinct light that God has blessed us to shine brightly in it’s own unique brilliance; we have a equal responsibility as believers to shine the light of Jesus.
The 3 Ways We See Ourselves
There are three ways we see ourselves in connection of our reality. We see ourselves the way others see us, we see ourselves through our own vision, and we have the way God sees us. The way others see our light is usually based on experience, temperament, and acceptance. The way other people receive us or our inner light shouldn’t hold much weight in salt unless our actions towards them are deliberately hurtful in action with our behavior. The way we see ourselves is far more important in knowing our identity of who we really are in acknowledging our weaknesses, but we can’t allow ourselves to let our weaknesses overshadow our inner strengths in seeing the beauty of our inner light. The most important way we should see ourselves as believers is to see ourselves as royalty in being children of God our Heavenly Father. The God we serve created us in his own image in knowing our gifts, talents, and the purpose he wanted to use within us to serve his kingdom. Remember you are a child of God.
Don’t You Dare Dim Your Light
It doesn’t take long for us to learn to adjust our light to make others comfortable in not ruffling any feathers in doing our best to fit in. We’ve learned that in hiding our gifts,down playing our talents, and not walking in truth that we make ourselves less of targets for criticism, judgments, and rejection from others. It doesn’t take long before what was first an adjustment in our light later dims our light in second guessing who we are and what we represent as followers of Christ . However, just because a light is dim it doesn’t mean that the light isn’t still there. Let your light shine in the authenticity of your gifts in making sure you honor God in expression. Shine the light of love, forgiveness, grace, and compassion in your homes with your family. Be unafraid to shine your light to the world in giving God the glory in showing what miracles he can work in the humblest of people. Be courageous in speaking the truth of the word of God when others pressure us as believers to believe in the ” Universe” as if they forgot who created the universe. Be bold to stand in sharing the light of Jesus when the world makes attempts to act like he doesn’t exist. Make sure to let your little light shine in knowing that it’s glow makes big things happen.