Recently, I went through a season of being afraid – that fear was fuelled by the pressure of people’s opinions and their words that I had allowed to pierce through my heart and occupy my thoughts. That fear almost consumed me and nearly pushed me to begin to change who I am, to doubt my core values in order to fit in with an intimidating minority. Isn’t that strange – a minority! How crazy is that?! What I chose to focus on, was what I had magnified and what I had magnified, I in turn amplified. Consequently, I had begun to perceive the minority as the majority and it caused me to shy away from who I am. But I am not shy, that is not who I am and so I have addressed this to you… the minority… I am not going to change for you.
For my most recent birthday, someone had got various people to write down things they love about me in one notebook and the four most common characteristics that they wrote down was that they love my integrity, honesty, authenticity and transparency. Unsurprisingly these are the things you, the minority hate and despise about me but I am not going to change for you. I will not be quiet when I see things that are morally wrong. I will not sit with you and listen to your gossip. I am not going to be afraid to confront you when things are not okay instead of doing the socially acceptable thing of talking behind your back. I will not shrink and question who I am to make you feel comfortable because you question who you really are. I will not stop speaking and writing about the important things that people would rather not talk about. I will not conform to a culture than I was created to transform through Christ. I will not change for you.
When I first came to Cardiff I said to a leader that they intimidated me and they said something like, “that has more to do with you than me” and although I was offended and more intimidated at first, I found that statement to be true. They had characteristics that I wanted to have, a sense of security that I so desired and instead of initially addressing and admitting to my insecurities I wrongly turned it on them for making me feel insecure. That is what you do to me, you… the minority… and I see that now and I understand you but I am not going to change for you.
That may infuriate you but I am not sorry. You see God did not create me with those characteristics just for me to be ashamed to be who I am. Ultimately, His affirmations for me will always shout louder than your criticisms of me. I know that even the best things about me can be the worst without God: honesty can be harsh and unnecessary if not directed by God’s love, even the heart I have for justice can be a negative without God because it can be unforgiving and in-able to show grace. (any way that discussion is for another blog)
At the end of the days, where I had spent the day trying to change for you or be like you, the minority, I didn’t like the person I was. But when I have integrity, when I am honest, transparent and authentic to who God created me to be, even when it is easier to not be and you would like me more if I wasn’t – at the end of the day I love who I am, so I am not going to change for you.