It's funny how my lowly job in a coffee shop has so many life lessons for this blog. Cud to be chewed and spit back out. Today's topic= being brave with your words.
My supervisors and managers at work have to be much braver than I feel I could ever be. That's why they are in their position, and I plan to stay in mine, a barista. These managers are the ones who have to address the irate customers, soothing their anger yet not backing down from the company's policies. They also get to confront the laziness of employees caught standing around chatting or checking their cell phones instead of working. Sometimes they even have to ask customers to leave the building when they are acting badly. Yes, even Starbucks employees get to be bouncers sometimes. I've seen it happen. Extremely rude, disruptive, potty-mouthed individuals or people who bring in non-service dogs and refuse to take their dog outside. I'd rather not be the person to have to confront stuff like that. It's just too stressful. Just give me a broom and let me play Cinderella in a back corner somewhere. Or whip up a few frappucinos. Less confrontational. Low risk.
Yet there are times in all our lives when we need to be brave, to face the music, open up our mouths and let some words fall out. I love how Sara Barreilles puts it in her song, I Wanna See You be Brave:
There are definitely areas in my life where I need to step up and be brave. Let those words fall out. I love the way she says that, the words falling out. Notice she doesn't say to violently regurgitate the words, like a cat hacking out a hairball or someone projectile-spewing chunks like a missile. No, when you know who you are, what your truth is, there's no need for a painful ejection of those words, they can just fall out. Let them be what they are. Regardless of how people react. It is what it is.
Also reminds me of a devotional I read recently about boundaries. ahh yes, boundaries. I could write blog posts for a whole year on that topic, but I think books have already been written on it. (thanks, Cloud & Townsend). In order to be brave, we need to know where our boundaries lie. The boundaries we need to set up in relationships. Where we draw the lines. I need to know that I know that I know where I stand, where I am clear on God's direction for me and who I am that He created. Forgive me for my flagrant plagiarism, but here's a passage that sank deeply with me:
"Indecision and unclear boundaries are not from the Lord. They give a foothold to the enemy, a place for him to gain advantage by default. They cause us to dilute our yes, which compromises our sincerity and our impact. If you aren't sure what God wants, take your time! Be clear about your intent. Think before you speak. Pray before you commit one second of your time or one ounce of passion from your heart. Align yourself with God, and give your words power to define the life you want. Yes or no?" (K. Armstrong)
This year of 2013 has been a year of testing my boundaries, jiggling them to see if they're in a solid place or if they were mistakenly placed where i think others wanted them to be, but really wasn't where God designed me to place them. It's taken time to accept some of these realities, these painful truths of misplaced boundaries. And as I process these things and pray about them, I know there is also coming a time when I need to be brave, to open up and let those words fall out. To speak, no matter the consequences. Am I afraid? Dang right I am! Petrified. Shaken to the core. But will it be worth it, to finally be who I really am, to live and walk in truth? Absolutely. Bring it on, 2014. Time to be brave. Even when I'm scared.