I have two elbows and chances are that you do to. Let me tell you a little about my elbows......
Recently I was on a photo shoot with a friend and brother in Christ that I admire. No matter what, I can always count on him. For instance, I was suppose to meet with a photographer early one morning and because of certain circumstances he had to cancel 60 minutes after we were suppose to start. Well, I was showered, dressed, make up on and hair done. I was still good to go! Naturally, not wanting to waste a good hair day, I called my buddy, Randy, and he packed up his gear, scouted out areas with me and we shot at four locations.
At the last location he asked if I had any CD's to give to the people whose space and property we LITERALLY invaded (in fact we did that at all three sites, but that's how we roll) and I said "No, I don't have any, I normally have them, but....." As I continued to explain to him the reason He said "Mia, those are just excuses. Excuses are like elbows everybody's got two of 'em." That shut me up. He was right. I was unprepared. For all the times I pack my CD's just in case I have an opportunity to share them with someone, I failed. I was NOT prepared and what I needed to do was NOT make excuses.
But, now, every-time I walk out of the house I think a bit more quickly to myself about grabbing some spare CD's in case the lady at the grocery store tells me she likes music and I am able to just give her a CD. When people speak the truth to me, I may pout my lip for a moment, but my heart hears, receives and becomes all the wiser and more aware.
Some people thrive on affirmation, I thrive on loving reproof. I thrive on people pointing out my weaknesses so I can be better. Several years ago I was at a place in my life, music and ministry where I desired so deeply to have someone who would just tell me the truth and stop telling me everything I did was good. By the grace of God, He sent those people in my life...... people that recognized I needed help, guidance, direction, honest feedback and a swift kick in the butt.
Some of it came from my friend, Mark, who is a gifted songwriter. He saw that I needed stronger songs to sing. And so He allowed me to sing my heart through his music. He offered to work with me on songs I was writing to make them better. My ministry needed someone like him and I am so grateful.
Some of it came from my producer who worked with me on the last two Tree Hill Collective Recordings. OK, he may have made me cry, but that's mostly because He speaks so much truth, pushes me harder than I have ever been pushed, challenges me on the words and notes that I sing and does not let me slack. He tells me to deal and accept certain things and face others things head on. He does not let me cower.
I thrive on that. Last week as I was leading worship at a church. I could hear His voice in my head "Why are you singing that song" "What does that mean" "Who are you singing to" "You sound like you don't care" "Did you just belch in the microphone?" Having him speak truth in my life challenges me everyday to stay focused on why I do what I do and who I am doing it for. It keeps my eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfector.
I am a better worship leader, piano player, singer, writer and leader because of what the people in my life have dared to do for me....speaking truth in love, the hard not so fun truth. I love it. I need it. Do I accept it easily all the time? No, sometimes I pout my lip, sometimes I walk out, sometimes I cry, (my husband, Bob, knows this best as He is my biggest truth-giver) but just about every time, I come back a whole lot stronger and a whole lot wiser than I was when I first started.
For that I thank these brothers in Christ. I could not walk this road without you!
So it leads me to this. If I appreciate truth so much and the fact that people dare to give it to me, am I loving people the same way by speaking truth to them? For me the answer lately has been yes, but it has been hard. And when it is difficult, I just remember how much I desire truth and desire to do the same for others as God leads me. #LoveGodLoveOthers
Who loves you in truth and who are you loving the same way?