I am honored to welcome author Mary DeMuth to the #BeBoldGirl series. Not only is Mary a prolific storyteller, she is an enthusiastic supporter and encourager of other writers and I appreciate her generosity. Welcome, Mary!
Jesus uses the word “go” in the Great Commission, reminding us to go and make disciples. But what does that mean, exactly? Maybe, just maybe, there’s something in that word that also encourages initiation or pioneering. That’s what I write about today.
We are called to pioneer a new pathway so others can find their way too. So they won’t feel alone anymore. So they’ll see it’s okay to be vulnerable and real and hope-chasing.
- For the Ann Voskamps of the world who dare to pioneer for refugees. She goes first.
- For the Boz Tchividjians who dignify and protect abuse victims. He goes first.
- For the Lisa Whittles who try hard things (in warrior boots) and surrender and flat out don’t care what others think as they do. She goes first.
I want to be a disciple who goes first.
Who whispers (can you whisper-write?) her story so others don’t feel so crazy. I’ve shared it in book form, blog form, email form. I share my heart as a speaker, opening my life up wide. I’ve talked candidly about sexual abuse, parental neglect, grief, hyperactive fear, and ministry distress.
There are days like the last few where I’ve wondered if this is a wise strategy, this going first. I receive correspondence smacking of judgment. I’ve watched as my career has decreased, not increased. (Oh to be like John the Baptist in these times where I declare that nothing of platform really matters except the Master’s platform: He must increase, and I must decrease.)
Because the cost of vulnerability is high.
And when you throw your pearls of authenticity out there, sometimes folks trample them underfoot. I’ve learned that when you go first, it’s important to settle your worth. My titanic struggle with worth is the topic of my latest book, Worth Living. And I wish I could assert that I have it all figured out, but I can say I’ve grown enough that the criticism doesn’t prevent me from sharing my authentic story—instead it now invigorates me to step up my efforts.
We go first because others need to know they’re not alone in their own struggles with worth. We do so with full knowledge that obstacles will loom for the explorer hacking away at brambles and weeds. We pioneer into virgin territory because we love to see people set free.
And in a spiritual sense, that’s what going first is doing: it’s hacking away at the enemy’s enslavement and territory.
Because exposing injustice feels like pushing a car up a greased embankment, and still–it emancipates the enslaved.
Because going first might lack glory, but it builds a new community–a community of the broken, bent on loving all the other marginalized folks out there.
I’m no hero.
I seldom feel like a pioneer.
I am a storyteller, sharing my story, going first, in hopes that you’ll find your voice as a result. And together, all the go-firsts will quietly lead a revolution of emancipation, freedom and justice–not for our shiny, fat platforms, but for the praise of His glory.
Because it is not wasted when we throw our pearls before Jesus, the pioneer of our faith—who went first by dying on the cross for us.
Go first, friend.
Mary DeMuth is the author of over 30 books and has spoken around the world about how God restores and re-stories our lives. Her most recent book is Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love Makes You Worthy. Her first conference, The Restory Conference, will be held near Dallas, Texas on September 17th.
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