Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Believe the Hype

Raise your hand if you don’t know how to take a compliment… ::raises hand::

Those who raised their hand, know it’s not a matter of not being grateful, but instead feeling like you’re undeserving and just not that good. My response to a compliment usually involves a, “thank you, keep me in your prayers,” with a huge dose of awkwardness to accompany it in the form of a weird smile and me trying to scurry away and hide.

It’s not just difficult for me to thank someone for telling me I’m good at something, it’s difficult to admit to myself what I’m good at. I can tell you what I do (sing, write, teach, speak), but to say I’m good at those things or that I do them well, seems like a stretch. When people compliment me, it’s not that I think they’re lying but I explain it away by saying it was just a good day. My father figure once told me that if this is my idea of being humble, it’s annoying and unattractive. Harsh, but he was right. I’ve come to realize me saying “I’m not that good,” is just another way of saying, other people are better. This is not a reflection of my gifts but a reflection of how I view myself.

I teach fifth grade, mostly boys, and one day we started talking about basketball, and they were telling me how good they were. They didn’t say, “I’m pretty good,” or “Yea, I play a little bit.” They spoke as though Lebron James had seen them play in an AAU tournament, recognized their ability, and was working out with them during the off season. “I’m better than all y’all!” “You not blocking my shot, I don’t care how tall you are.” “But you can’t beat me though!” They went on and on about how good they were and what was amazing to me was none of them had seen each other play. But that didn’t matter because they believed their own hype. They were unconcerned with someone being better than they were; they knew they were good at basketball. And to my surprise, they were.

Now if a bunch of eleven year olds can have that much confidence in their abilities surely I can, right? Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” I have allowed this fear of destruction and falling keep me from acknowledging the gifts God has given me. I have made it about me and my ego instead of Him and His glory. I imagine every time I say I’m not good at something that I know is a gift God gave me, it is a slap in the face to Him. Instead of saying “Thank you for this gift,” I say, “well, You’ve done better with other people.” It sounds ridiculous to say out loud.

Jesus, the son of God, was our gift from God. Some did not believe He was the son of God, but it did not change who He was. Even when they did believe Jesus, it was not a surprise to Him. He knew who he was. The same goes for us: we are who we are, whether anyone believes it or not, including ourselves. It does not change who God made us to be. He’s a father who gives good gifts and that’s not to be ignored (Matthew 7:11).

There are some gifts inside of us that God may not have revealed yet, but there are others that we are well aware of. Not only do you feel the breath of God flowing through you when you use your gift, but other people notice. You can be humble and recognize the greatness of the gifts God has given you. It’s not about you, but what God is doing through you. Believe the hype, especially when it’s God serving as the hypeman.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit

Speaking at a convention in Nashville, TN (March 2016)

Dream Big: Dream with God

September 2015

September 2015

I am the girl who has always dreamed of her wedding day. One summer, while in middle school, my best friend and I planned each other’s wedding, hairstyles and venues included. I am the girl who has always thought about how she was going to be famous. Growing up, I would tell my grandmother that I was going to be a star and she would ask what would be my claim to fame, and I never had an answer, I just knew it was going to happen. I am the girl who’s always dreamed of life after school. My friend and I would meet up and talk about all the things we would buy and places we would go once we got our degrees. I am the girl who is always trying to find a way to make more money. My younger sister gets tired of me telling her “I’m plotting and scheming my next venture.” I was the girl who thought she had to make all this happen on her own, and didn’t consult God.

You would think, me being the good, saved Christian girl I am, I would know to include God in on these plans, but too often, I forget. I just start making plans without praying about it. I share what I want to do with different people, and don’t even consult God and see if this is what He wants me to do. Matthews 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seek God first. I believe God will give me the desires of my heart (Psalms 37:4) but in trying to make all my dreams come true on my own, I limit myself. God is bigger than my dreams but I can’t experience that if I don’t talk to Him about it (pray).

I recently started getting up half an hour or so earlier than I need to (it doesn’t happen every morning and when it does happen, I’m barely making it, so y’all pray my strength lol), to really take time to talk to God and listen to God. My pastor has stressed the importance of meditating on the Lord when you wake up (Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success) and I can see the impact it has had on my life and my dreams. I like to think of myself as someone who makes some pretty bold declarations and sometimes just simply outlandish claims, then I talk to God and He shows me how He can make it happen and what I came to Him with seems like child’s play compared to all that He plans to bless me with.

As believers, we have access to God through His son Jesus Christ and He’s interested in our plans, in fact, He knows them (Jeremiah 29:11) and wants to help us achieve our goals. As true followers of Christ, we cannot fail (2 Peter 1:5-10). Others will come along and attempt to discourage you and set up road blocks, but be reminded of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). Joseph was a dreamer and there were many instances (his brothers throwing him in a pit, being in prison) where it did not seem as though what he dreamed would come to past, but it did (Romans 8:28). No matter how impossible it seems, no matter how many people tell you no, tell God all about your dreams, and let Him guide you every step of the way. Dream big, dream with God.

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: