Devotions

Open Book

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Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. 2 Corinthians 3:2

I did not think that sharing my life through writing would be so scary. Who knew that writing devotions would make my heart race? After all, they are only words on a page, right? Well, I can’t agree with that opinion because they are more than words on a page, they are pieces of my heart and fragments of my life’s story.

Do you struggle with living your life as an open book?

Our environment shapes the contours and ridges of our life. For me, I grew up with people telling me, “You need thicker skin, Angela.” These words echo in my ears when something touches me deeply or injures me emotionally. I am the type of person who will take the broken cookie on a platter so someone else can enjoy the whole ones. Basically, I want people to be happy, even if it’s by giving them the opportunity to eat a well-proportioned snack.

Years passed before I realized that there is nothing wrong with me and that the world needs more people who feel empathy and who are sensitive. Most of us grow up feeling the pressure to paint a façade of perfection even when our lives are far from being utopian. Why is it so difficult to share our true self with other people? During the most broken time in my life, I plastered a smile on my face and pretended my life was full of hope, but when I was all by myself, I would break down and weep.

Why couldn’t I be an open book and tell people, even my closest friends, “I’m hurting. I need help. I can’t do this on my own.” It is because my environment told me to grow a thicker skin, to get a stronger backbone, and to not overreact.

Being open with how I am feeling or what I am thinking is one of the most challenging things to do, but that is how I have achieved depth in every friendship I have and how I have grown in my relationship with God.

Ordinarily, hearts are encumbered with anxiety when you allow your heart to become ajar to people’s opinions. It is much easier to build a guarded bulwark around your life, preventing yourself from becoming assailable to people’s criticism and judgments.

As difficult it may be to be an open book, I encourage you to share your story because you will change lives with the lessons you have learned on certain pages of your life’s narrative. If your heart aches to share a talent with the world, then share it, even if your voice shakes and your hands tremble. I promise you will grow and become more confident as you develop your gifting.

Be an open book and share your voice – your ideas – your song – your book – your business – with the world. Share your testimony and witness the power of your life’s story.

 

Angela Overton

Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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