Dear Let the Children Fly Family, I owe you a heartfelt apology. God is so good. Why He gave me this message of partnering with Him in our parenting is beyond me. I can think of 101 reasons why someone could do it better. But He has been preparing this message in me since the day I was born. I am passionate about family, restoration, seeing children (really seeing them), partnering with Him, and parenting the way He parents us. I have done my best to learn and grow how to steward all that He has given our family. As any ministry leader would tell you, the leader’s development is not for the faint at heart. God cares deeply about our process of becoming the fullness of who He created us to be so that we can carry our message with purity, grace, and longevity.
When I was in a long season of learning how to run a business, God told me, “Lisa, I did not give Let the Children Fly to a businessman. I gave it to you, a solo mom of four. Lead from your heart just like you do your children.” From that moment on, I felt the freedom to ‘raise’ my ministry from my heart and not like anyone else. But there has been another area of my development that has caused me much tension. I do not like the camera and never have, not even as a child. Not sure why, but I don’t. In order to steward well the voice He has given me and minister well to others, I have needed to cross that chicken line despite the fact it causes deep vulnerability. My greatest gifting is sitting with someone 1:1 where Holy Spirit shows up and ministers to them, so talking to a blank computer screen feels like I am talking to a house plant. It is just not my comfort zone. Over the years, I have overcome my dislike enough to do them anyway. I do it because I love you and want to share what God has given me to help you in your journey. It is important to have people who have gone before us model what the Kingdom can look like. We are never called to be them, but we can pull on what they model, knowing that God wants to do the same in us. I have two people who have been my ‘ministry models.’ They are women who have gone before me and have modeled women in ministry well. God has used them richly in my life to learn from, watch and glean how they lead. They are excellent, refined, polished, and beautiful and have set the bar so high, yet seeing their constant example of excellence has caused me to disqualify myself somewhere along the lines. I felt like the widow giving her all; it always seemed to pale compared to the giants around me. I recently heard God say I was to ‘break up with them’ in my mind. They are no longer the model for which I am to aim for and achieve. Once again, God told me, “I did not give Let the Children Fly to them. I gave it to you. Lead it with your face, your voice, your ability.”
When we feel like we don’t measure up to the standard, we will disqualify ourselves in the waiting to get there. The goal is not to measure up. The goal is to change the measuring stick! I cannot tell you how many times God has shown up in our home, and I want to share it with you, but I don’t. I talk myself out of it because I am not ready like the women who have shaped my vision of what it ‘should’ look like. The lighting, sound, background, outfit, hair, speech, and presentation are perfect; I am not there yet. So I have allowed that to silence my voice and sideline me. God has been speaking to me deeply in this area. Those women are not newbies. One has been in ministry since I was in diapers (literally). They have earned their polished look by taking the same steps God is calling me to right now. Yes, we want to walk in excellence, but we cannot let perfection sideline us. The world needs what God has given us, and being polished can only come from our YES and stepping out, not our man-made perfection. While I love living in a community with so many polished leaders who are brilliant, beautiful, and polished, the truth is many have a vast team of people who are trained in marketing and social media and have incredible skill sets in those areas to help them. The hard thing about that is that it can shape one to think that is how it is supposed to look, feel and sound for someone starting out. I bless their journey and success, but it is so important that we lead and steward what God has given us, stay in our own lane and accept that we are on our own journey.
So to you, my dearest friends, supporters, and passionate parents, I owe you a heartfelt apology for being silent when God has called me to speak. I ask for your forgiveness for caring more about the polish than the message. I repent of hiding behind a bar set so high and ungodly expectations of myself. The truth is I have crossed 101 chicken lines this year alone, and I am committed to crossing them again because I DO passionately believe in the message God has given me. You have my promise that I will no longer withhold from you when God tells me to share. I break up with the pressure to be anywhere other than where God has me. You deserve better. You are hungry for what we carry and have been so faithful to steward it in your own homes. I promise you that I will let go of that style of ministry and share my heart as if we are sitting across from each other. Will you please forgive me?
What about you? Have you shrunk back from using your voice because it did not look like someone else’s success?