We find our voice while pursuing His.
I love the secret place. I love the place of hiddenness. I’ve led a large global conference over the past five years. I’m the director of the conference and at each event one of my secret joys was that nobody really knew it. I wasn’t on the main stage. I didn’t have a particularly outward-facing role. I sat on the front row next to the stage manager (who looked the most in charge because she had the cool headset!).
I love being hidden. I am an intercessor. My favorite place in the whole world is my prayer closet – hidden. Just me and Jesus.
Recently, the Lord began telling me – “the season of hiddenness is coming to an end.” An unveiling is occurring. The Unveiling. It has taken over a decade in the hidden place – the preparation season and honestly just the “This is my preference, Lord!” season. I mean, I don’t even have a Facebook page – I am hidden!
But what happens when the Lord calls you, a hidden one, to be unveiled? And to be a voice? To have a platform to speak and teach and equip and encourage? The Lord unveils us.
This has been the story of my journey with Jesus over the past 15 years. Becoming unveiled, vulnerable before him, completely transparent in his presence. None of it came easy – learning to be transparent before the One who knows everything about us – none of it was without cost, without personal sacrifice. Because it’s dying to ourselves that we live in him. We become crucified with Christ in his presence. We picture that often as some thing that happens to us, but it’s in his presence. It's in the secret place that he unveils the things that are hindering us that he wants to heal. And if we’re honest before him and say “here it is, Abba, you are the great healer,” He will not only heal it but he will transform it to bring glory to his name.
I’ve had a calling to speak for many years now – it scares me. But in this season, my charge is to boldly and courageously step into my calling – to learn, to grow, to live unveiled. I began looking for training opportunities asking the Lord how do I prepare for a ministry of speaking and encouraging and teaching?
I didn’t feel I was supposed to go to seminary but just needed some practical training. As I searched for a training program I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I talked to one of my mentors about it. As I was talking to her she simply asked: “Connie, why don’t you create the training?” She basically told me “Connie, you’ve spent the past years being trained. You don’t need any more training.” And I was actually a little bit annoyed because I didn’t think she fully understood what I was saying, so I continued on explaining. I think in exasperation she finally said – “Ok, write the vision for the training you think you need.” And as I wrote those words, something unlocked in me. I literally was like “Oh, I can do this. I have been doing this.” And she was just looking at me like: “Uh, yeah, I know this.” She encouraged me that I had already been trained to do this through my years directing large conferences and speaking at events. And I got excited. I CAN do this.
Ladies – we NEED each other. We need the body of Christ to call out the gifts in us that we don’t readily see in ourselves, and to challenge us to take the first step forward.
So, here we are. I’m bringing you all along with me on this journey of learning to live unveiled, living boldly and courageously into our callings as women to be a voice.
Is there something you've sensed God inviting you to do, a passion or calling he's made clear to you, but you haven't taken that first step yet? Perhaps like I did, you feel like you're not yet equipped to do it (honestly, we'll never feel fully equipped - and that's God's grace to us all that we would have the opportunity to fully depend on him for our next steps).
So here's my charge to you: "Write the vision for the training you think you need." Give yourself a "cast my vision by..." date within the next 14 days.
What are the steps you think you need to take before you can get started? Write those things down. You might find that you already have more than you need! Or, the exercise of putting it down on paper will help you to hone in on the specific next step that you need to take to get started.
But here's the secret -- trust Jesus that your time in the secret place will bear fruit in the public place. Trust him that he will speak to you. As you talk to the Lord about your next steps, trust that he will guide you. He says "My sheep hear my voice. Another voice they will not follow." He will lead you and guide you by his right hand. These are promises you can hold on to. If your Heavenly Father has put a dream in your heart, he intends to give birth to it. Trust him. He is trustworthy.
So, what are you waiting for? Come on, there is no time to waste. Let's get about the business of living out your purpose!