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I Also Am Not Afraid

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , , , , , , ,


"But I will speak the truth, even if my voice shakes. I will sing in the woods. I will stand here in the wilderness, head up, unashamed, following in the footsteps of Jesus as best as I know to do it, loving him into every corner of my existence, because, at last, at least, I am not afraid of you."--Sarah Bessey

This post is a long time coming.  It is the one I need to write before I can write any other.

I am writing from the wilderness because I have been accused of many things.  People who know and love me have told me I do not need to justify myself and that is true.  Self-justification is not my intention here.  I simply have decided that now is the time to start to speak the truth.

A prophet said to me recently, "don't let them squash you."  This is me standing up and refusing to be squashed.  This is me saying, "I am not afraid of you."

My accusers are small in number.  And this is what they have said.

That I am too strong.

That I am too articulate.

That I am too intellectual.

That I am insecure.

That I am hypersensitive.

That I have trust issues.

That I have unresolved hurt.

So for the first time, I will address you in my blog:  the reader who accuses me of these things.  If you have ever thought or said any of the things listed above, then yes, I am referring to you.  I never have before. Until now, my posts have been about me.  About my life.  About my family, and my faith.  About the things that inspire me, sadden me and help me to grow.  About my journey in Christ.

You say I am too strong.  I am strong because I know who I am in Christ.  I am rooted and grounded in His identity.  I know that He is the vine and I am just a branch.  A twiggy little branch that would fall and get crushed if it weren't for the vine holding it up.  Nourishing it.  Bearing fruit on it.  I know that without His strength, His wisdom, His pruning, I am very weak indeed.  But with Him as my foundation, my rock, my cornerstone, yes, I am unashamedly strong.  So strong that even in this present darkness, I overcome.  Even in this, I stand.

You say I am too articulate and too intellectual.  I know the gifts God has given me and I know He intends for me to use them.  Yes, I have been blessed with an education and good genes, but I also know that I would not be able to string two words together if it were not for the Holy Spirit acting as my advocate when I write or speak.  He has revealed truth to me, and enabled me to speak the truth plainly for the purpose of bringing glory to Jesus (see John 16:12-15).  I understand that "people hate this kind of talk.  Raw truth is never popular."  (Amos 5:10, The Message).  But like the Apostle Paul, "My ego is no longer central.  It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion," (Galatians 2:20, The Message).  

You say that I am insecure.  On the contrary, my identity is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ:  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, NIV).  I believe these words of the Apostle Paul with my whole heart and spirit.  I seek to be transformed.  I am a work in progress.  I do not pretend to be anywhere near where Jesus would like me to be.  Far from it:  "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:12-14, NIV).  And I will continue to press on.

You say that I am hypersensitive.  In fact, I am discerning.  I know when the Holy Spirit is grieving and I know what grieves Him.  I also know what makes a joyful song to Him and what is just noise and so I can use discernment in worship and in leading others to a place of worship.  I hear the truth behind words that are spoken and I see the heart that bears them.  I hear from God, I dwell in His word and I know what is true and what isn't.  Discernment is a gift which enables me to more easily "test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."  (1 John 4:1, NIV). 

You say that I have trust issues.  I have learnt that I used to trust everyone blindly and give them too much of my heart.  And I have learnt that some people are not trustworthy.  God has taught me a very important lesson about trust which is, "Do not trust a neighbour; put no confidence in a friend.  Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words." (Micah 7:5, NIV) and also that "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man;  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."  (Psalm 118:8-9, NIV).  I am learning to discern between those who can be trusted and those who can not.  I pray my way through it and take much smaller steps when forging ahead in friendships.  I do not expect anything of anyone and instead look to Jesus for his affirmation, guidance, direction and refuge.  And God has said, "this, for you" in response.  He has given me deeper and stronger relationships because I have learnt to trust wisely.  I have relationships with people who would never say the things that you have said because they see my heart in all its transparent vulnerability and they know the truth.  Trust is not an issue for me.  It has been a lesson learnt well.

Finally, you say that I have unresolved hurt.  Every little bit of hurt, every wound to my heart and every chunk taken out of my armour is very much resolved.  This blog is testimony to the fact that I have put into practise "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."  (Philippians 3:13, NIV).  This blog is testimony to the fact that my relationship with Jesus is true and living and that light shines from my words, my life, my love and my music.  I have acknowledged to hundreds of readers the simple truth that because of hurts past, I have fallen into the arms of my first love Jesus Christ again.  

Yes, I have been hurt again, 100 times worse this time, and yes the wounds are still raw.  I weep.  But I also continue to work through the hurt and give it over to God.  I know that just like last time, there is a purpose in it.  I hold on to nothing.  I have no regrets.  I carry no resentment towards you or to anyone.  There is no bitterness in these words or in my tone.  Only sadness.  Great and deep, grieving sadness.  

Sadness because I have also learnt that when anyone aims their arrows at me, they are aiming them at Jesus in me.  Jesus warned His disciples, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" and "No servant is greater than his master.  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." (John 15:18-20).  So I refuse to take it personally.  But yes I hurt and I grieve because every arrow slung at me, is another blow to the nails that hold Jesus on the cross, another lashing to his body, another wound caused by the crown of thorns on His precious head.

 And now it is my turn.  My turn to point the accusing finger back at you.

But I won't.

Not because I am afraid to speak the truth or to reveal the truth and I certainly will continue to do that.  Not because I fear that you can hurt me even more than you already have.  

But because I will not judge you.  

I will not abuse the power of the pen in this post as you have abused your power and authority over me, by lashing out with what I think you need to hear.

Because who am I to presume to know what you need to hear?

Because I am accountable to God alone for my actions and my words.  

As are you.

Because you, like me and like everyone, face your own "great battle" and I do not know your story so will choose instead to "be kind" (Philo of Alexandria).

Because you, like me, are a child of God.

Reconciled to God as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

Forgiven and restored (John 1:12)

A citizen of God's kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14)

Seated with Christ in heaven (Ephesians 2:4-7)

God's masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)

God's ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Chosen by God (Ephesians 1:3-6) *

Loved by God.

Loved by me.

My brother.  My sister.

Above all else, I will not point a finger at you because I know that the prince of this world is wreaking havoc on our community.  I know that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).  

I have not lost hope that those of us who put on our armour every day will continue to stand.  And in standing, there will be a community of believers who "Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34).  

Because that is what we are called to do.  

That is what we must do.

* references and their verses are from Mark Hall's The Well, pp 72-73


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