Friday, May 25, 2007


We ask ourselves,
Who I am to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
ALL of us.

And as we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

-Nelson Mandela

A few days ago I wrote about perspective. Mostly, I suppose, because I feel sometimes lately like I’m losing mine. After the Leaves Fall hasn’t even hit stores yet--and won’t for another four and a half months--and still I find myself obsessing… Are people looking at my website? Will they like my book? What stores will pick up my book? Do I look like a goon in my photos? Well, the answer to that last one is unequivocally yes, but all the same, it’s ridiculous to worry about these things so much. I don’t want to be this way…

And yet there is a fine balance to walk, I think. I often shrink from the spotlight because it makes me feel like somehow I’ve got everyone snowed. Why in the world are you looking at me? Or, maybe growing up in Christian circles I’ve learned over the years that “it’s not about me.” That’s true--it isn’t about me--but I’m starting think we’ve done ourselves a great disservice by trying to remove “self” from the equation.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people pray some version of the following: “Lord, empty me of myself so that your Spirit can fill me up…” It has always felt wrong to me somehow. Don’t get me wrong, being filled with the Spirit is the earthly goal of the Christian life, but I don’t think that the Lord ever intended us to be emptied of ourselves. He made each one of us according to his good and perfect will and I believe he wants me to be present in the things he has called me to do.

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Not that I am any of those things by a long shot, but I believe Nelson Mandela is right. Who am I not to be? I think the Lord wants to celebrate with us in our joys, uphold us in our victories. I think he dances over us--and not because we are empty, because we are full.

So, keep my perspective, absolutely. But just this once: I’M BEING PUBLISHED!!! YAY!!! I’m doing a one-legged happy dance. :)

I hope you feel that you’ve been given permission to let your light shine. You are brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and oh my word, you are fabulous.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nicole,

    I just saw your hubby at Calvin Seminary today and he pointed me to your website... This post is exactly on - at least, I have actually delivered a meditation that made exactly this point... in almost the same words! - - - That who you are as an individual matters and glorifies and delights God and that we are to stop acting as if our unique selves don't matter...

    Anyway, congratulations on your novel... I look forward to buying it/reading it.

    I think we had one class together at Dordt... It's beautiful to hear from Aaron and now - on your site - how God has blessed you with fruitfulness in parenthood and in authorhood...


    Heidi (Petersen) De Jonge