RAW + REAL
Last month we began a series that has been extended until further notice, because it’s been that good. The topic our youth group, LSA Breakout have been focusing on for the past few weeks has been Raw + Real. I remember being in New Jersey with my husband for the Christmas holidays and in my prayer time, the Lord gave me this theme. I said ok, we’ll do it for February since January is prayer month. It was settled, raw + real would be the theme we would kickstart 2018. However, the Lord has a sense of humor, and He has blown our expectations through the roof! This has been an on-time, God-ordained word that our youth (and I believe young people in general) need to hear.
We live in a society that is ‘filter-happy”.
The pictures we upload to the ‘gram has to have a certain filter or else it’s not post-worthy.
There is so much fear in being raw. It’s hard to be raw and unedited. You see, we live in a society that is ‘filter-happy”. The pictures we upload to the ‘gram has to have a certain filter or else it’s not post-worthy. We download many editing programs and apps that will enhance our features, we spend so much time taking the “perfect” picture from the “perfect” angle and out of 20 shots, only one is “ehh.. we’ll see if we can fix it and then post it”. This is the filtered generation and it’s hard to become real in the midst of so many options for enhancement.
Fear of rejection, judgment, shame, guilt have many young people living in filters, rather than in the raw. Whether it’s because you won’t get a lot of likes on a certain unedited photo or you fear abandonment if you open up and share your struggles; the hesitation to show who you really are stems from fear.
I’ve spoken about fear a lot in my days; however, it continues to creep up in my life, in yours and in in everyone else’ because fear is a part of life. Can we have a handle over it? Absolutely! How do we overcome fear? How can we once and for all, defeat fear for good? Through this series, I myself have learned to confront my fears by doing that very thing that I fear. I must admit, that after becoming raw + real about my infertility, I can say, two months later that I am enjoying the freedom that comes with speaking up. The more you become silent, the more of a prisoner you become. Fear places bondages of guilt, chains of rejection, and prison walls of resentment and judgement. Fear converts you into its slave.
The bible says to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. We may not have control over the thoughts that enter our minds; however, we have the choice to feed and indulge in those thoughts. Our minds are a battlefield and the enemy will send darts in form of thoughts. Seeds of doubt, insecurities, and fear will bombard our minds but we must hold tight to 2 Corinthians 10:5. We have the authority to take captive every (not some) but every thought and it must submit in obedience to Christ. What does Christ say about me? What does the Word say about my identity? Am I defined by my past or by His Word? Whatever we are filling up our minds with is what we will believe. If you are constantly listening to the lies of the enemy, you are going to believe them but if you are reading and listening to the Word of God… you got it, His Word will prevail in your life.
Raw + Real is taking the mask off, wiping off the makeup, removing the filters and presenting yourself completely bare before God, and then people. For starters, we know we cannot hide from our Maker because He knows and sees everything. Transparency is the key. Come before the Lord and be totally honest with Him, tell him the ares that need healing and restoration. Tell him your frustrations, it’s okay to say, “God, I don’t get it……….but I want to trust you! Help me surrender THIS (insert).” And then when you’re honest with God, be honest with people. I’m not saying, put your business out there, what I am saying is seek help. Surround yourself around people who will uplift you, who will be your battle buddies, people who will stand in the gap with you and for you. No one should have to endure pain on their own. As the body of Christ, we are called to be a family who is united and as Ecclesiastic 3 says there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. If someone is in a season of weeping, let’s weep together, if you need healing, I’ll be there with you throughout your healing process. If hurt people saw more compassionate people around them, maybe that would propel them to lose the facet and become raw + real. It can start with one person. Be that person for someone. And then that someone will become it for someone else. But we are losing a lot of our young people because all they see around them is “perfection” and they are scared to talk about their issues to people with perceived perfection. Let us set the example and remove the layers of perfection and beauty and become vulnerable and more relatable. Let them see us not only as leaders but as real people that can identify with real problems. We become more approachable and relatable AND our young people will begin to bring down their walls.
I encourage every ministry leader, teacher, coach, parent, friend to be that person for someone. I pray for guidance and wisdom and may every person you encounter, love and grace fills you so that you can speak life and hope into their situation. People who are living in silence want to be heard and you and I are the ones that will help them face and conquer their fears. We will encourage them through the Word of God that they no longer have to be held captive by fear because they know who they are in Christ. 1Timothy 1:7 says: For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. The only spirit we have been given is the Holy Spirit. Fear does not belong in our lives. We have the power to cast it out, in the name of Jesus.
What fears are you facing and how are you overcoming it? Or how have you been able to overcome past fears? Share your experience because it may help someone who is facing a tough situation and you may be the battle buddy they need. Love you guys and I hope this has helped someone.
Please take a moment to listen to this song “No Longer A Slave” by Bethel Music, its been instrumental in my life and I hope it blesses you as much as it has for me.
Be Encouraged, Be Blessed!