Monday, October 5, 2009

Fabulous: Revisited

(This post was first published on May 25, 2007, four months before the release of my debut novel.)

*     *     *     *     *

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 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. I love this post! I think Nelson's right, who are we not be pleased with the way God has made us? We're not something to be emptied, or we'd all be bland, lack character, and identical to each other. We're meant to be filled with the Spirit, but also to attain our own personalities and through those personalities reflect God in the ways he created us. I think that's coming out right. I don't know, I say it one way in my head and another on here, but anyway. Have a good week everyone! :)

  2. Good morning, Miss Nicole!
    I LOVE your opening quote! Very thought provoking!

    As I mull this over, I caught myself knowing I have prayed to be emptied...but when I have prayed to be emptied of myself, which I have prayed often, I am referring more to the "me" that is a distortion of His goodness...where I have taken the personality He has blessed me with and turned it into a weapon that I use against myself. Where I take a desire to be in control and hold myself ransom against His grace that desires to use it to raise great kids...or to be a blessing to my husband...or my church.
    He has created us for good and wonderful tasks...has known what He has made us capable of before we ever set foot on this world...and I thank YOU for this simple revisited reminder to BE what He made us to be...let His light shine out thru our lives!
    Praying for you today!

  3. Oh, Nicole! I remember reading this post when I first found your blog. I loved it then. I love it even more now! What a great quote from Nelson. Wow.

  4. "I think he dances over us--and not because we are empty, because we are full." Worded beautifully. And you *know* I'm working to let my light shine. :D
    ~ Wendy

  5. Wonderful thoughts, Nicole! For me it's hard to figure out how to celebrate the joys without giving into pride! So I find myself trying to approach this road to publication with humility and gratefulness, while still embracing the attention and accolades. I appreciate your perspective.

  6. Lauren, I get you. :) I totally know what you're saying.

    Bina, well said. I also "hold myself ransom against his grace." Didn't John talk about not doing the good I want to do...? I equate that with not engaging the life that God created for me.

    Katie, you've read this post before? I thought the only buzz around my early blabberings was the quiet chirp of the occasional cricket. ;)

    Wendy, I do know you're working. And your light shines even brighter than you know...

    Jody, I completely agree. It is a very hard balance to strike. But I wrote this post after weeks of almost shrinking from the awesome gift that God had given me--and my husband finally pointed out that I was forgetting to be grateful for what I had been given. He equated it to receiving out the world's best birthday present only to shrink away (I'm not worthy... You really shouldn't have... Don't waste this lovely gift on me...). What does the gift-giver want to hear? Thank you! I love it! I couldn't possibly be more humbled and excited that you would bless me in this way! I guess this post was my THANK YOU! ;)

  7. Thank you for sharing this. This is a lot of food for thought. Though I am not a writer, I struggle with the balance in my singing of trying humbly accept compliments and somehow still direct the glory to God who has given me the gift. Thank you for your encouraging words.