I am delighted to have Carrye Burr as our #BeBoldGirl this week. Carrye is an excellent writer with truths to share about how we can all use our gifts boldly and not hold back. Make sure you check out Carrye’s newly published book: How To Be A Moon: Embrace Your Worth. Reflect God. Light Up Your Generation.
I thought my bold purpose was to write a book, but I didn’t count on collateral courage.
So often when I start a writing project I’m passionate about, I’m afraid of all the possible outcomes. I worry that I’ll make a mistake, disappoint others, or look like an idiot. I’m afraid no one will read my work or that they’ll hate it if they do.
But just when I wade through the swamp of those doubts, trusting that my passion is meant to serve the world, I arrive at the precipice of a different kind of fear: What if promoting my work or putting myself in front of an audience is really an act of selfishness?
Writing brings me joy, but maybe I should contain my words within the fence of my journal instead of letting them loose in a blog or book for the world to see. Maybe I’m just calling attention to myself.
But I’ve discovered two truths that have changed my view on using my gifts publicly.
First, I learned that my gifts aren’t mine to hide.
There’s a story in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30) about a man who asks three of his servants to invest his money for him while he’s away on a trip. Two of the servants immediately put his funds to work, producing even more wealth. But the third servant is nervous about making any investment, and hides the money in the ground instead.
The master returns and rebukes that servant because he refused to invest wealth that wasn’t his to hide.
In the same way, God has created each of us with gifts, talents and resources. Whether writing, crunching numbers, or baking amazing pastries, our talents are on loan to us. For that reason, we shouldn’t be afraid to put our gifts to work publicly because they simply aren’t ours to hide. God gives us abilities to produce something far beyond ourselves.
Which brings me to the second truth I learned: pursuing our passion produces inspiration for others to use their gifts boldly.
In her book, Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “Your playing small does not serve the world…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
Each of us was made to be a unique “moon,” or reflector of God and the love and gifts He shines on us. When we reflect His light by pursuing the passions He puts on our hearts, we’re always producing collateral light.
Once again, the light all belongs to God, yet the more we reflect Him, the more we multiply His light by leading others to reflect Him as well. But we can’t be afraid of shining.
For me, that means being brave and owning my gift of writing. When people ask me about myself, I tell them I’m an author even if it feels like self-promotion.
As a result, I’ve been shocked to find how many people around me identify as writers too! Many aren’t published authors or even official bloggers, but their beautiful souls are brimming full of stories ready to spill out. Some just don’t know where to start or perhaps are locked in by fears of their own.
To my surprise, my parallel journey infused their own with fresh courage. More than just reading a bold book, people need to witness a bold life. My reflection of God was creating ripples of light that I never planned on.
Likewise, I’ve been spurred on by the stories others are writing through their lives. I’ve been challenged to adopt, give generously, parent with more love, and pursue what I’m designed for. I owe a lot to the collateral courage of others.
What about you? What is your biggest obstacle to chasing your passions, serving others, and using your gifts? I believe you are abundantly equipped to reflect your Maker and change the world. I pray you would freely enjoy what you were made to do, and that you’d have eyes to see the sparks of light you’re inspiring in others as you live boldly.
Carrye is a millennial, pastor’s kid, and mom to three through birth and adoption. As a speaker and author (Gray Faith and How to Be a Moon) she challenges her generation to encounter God tangibly through honest dialogue and creative Bible analogies. You can connect with her on her blog at www.lesstobemore.org.