• Dana L. Butler

An Outsider No More, and Thoughts on Allume<br>[What I’ve Learned in 1 Year of {serious} Blogg

Hiya my friends!

I pray this Wednesday morning, or whenever you happen to read this post, finds your heart fully alive and joy-filled in Jesus.  Reveling in His goodness, even.  I find myself caught up in that fairly often these days.  Reveling, I mean.  He is CRAZY-extravagant in His love for us.  I can’t talk about it enough.  It just messes. me. up.  In the best way possible.

Anyway–

A little blurb about this post:

It’s part 5 of my current series and it’s kind of a piggy back on last week’s post (Why I Was Afraid of Online Friendships- But I’m Not Anymore).  So if ya missed that one, you may wanna catch it here.

Side note: I’ve been thinking lately that if I could re-name this series, I’d name it, “How God Has Changed Me In 1 Year of {serious} Blogging.”  I think it’d be a more accurate series title.

K.  End of side note.  Moving right along–


[If you’ve missed pieces of this series, you can get caught up right here.]

I recently came across this quote:

Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain. – C.S. Lewis, The Weight Of Glory

MAN, he nailed it with that one.

Where My Heart Still Needs the Gospel

This whole blogging journey– it’s revealed places inside my heart where Truth is still working its way through.  The truth of my identity in light of the Gospel.  Like leaven in a loaf that God is kneading, kneading.

Perfect example: this fear of not belonging, not being accepted, not being seen.  I had no idea I was still so prone toward insecurity.

I’m so, so still-in-process.  Eesh.

But guys, the power of the Gospel is starting to change me, even in these places of my heart. The deep, dark, afraid-of-being-an-outsider places.

I’m being transformed by the practical reality of my status as accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6). My identity as chosen and dearly loved (Col. 3:12). My value: worth the blood of Jesus (Heb. 12:24).

And knowing that it’s what He says about me that matters, I’m not afraid of outsider-ness any more.

At least, I’m mostly not afraid. Heart surgery is a process, not an instant fix.  And let me just tell ya– it’s not easy to wrangle my heart, to keep it surrendered, to keep from crawling off the operating table.  And I do that.  Crawl off the table, I mean.  Over and over and over.

But in God’s goodness, His extravagant affection, His kindness draws and leads me to repentance and I crawl back onto that table yet again and let Him keep working, revealing, healing, transforming.

This Is Not Small

So. By God’s grace, and by this ever-increasing faith, let me say it–

I’m done.

I’m done viewing you, my fellow bloggers, as competition. And I’m done over-thinking and over-introspecting and cross-examining my motives for every online interaction. I’m trusting if my motives need tweaking, the Holy Spirit will bring clear conviction, and I’ll be responsive to Him.

But for now–

I’m believing I am who God says I am, trusting God’s plan for my future, and choosing to walk this dream-path at His pace, by grace. Confident in Him.  Belonging in Him.  Not desperately needing to “belong” in any human social circle.

I’m not gonna lie – there are a few of those I’d love to be noticed by and when my faith dwindles a little, I won’t tell you I don’t still lean toward an unhealthy need to be seen by them.  I do at times.  But more and more, I’m okay right here.  Right now.

Because the right now of my life is not small.  It’s big in His heart.  Top priority, even.

And His heart is what counts.

Jesus’ blood speaks a better word over me: Included.  Valued.  Wanted.  I’m learning to live out of this– my Gospel identity.  

And guys, the change.  So. much. change.

And Now: About Allume

True confessions here, y’all.  Here I go.

This is one (fairly big) practical way God is changing me:

Last Fall I was a brand-spankin’-new {serious} blogger. As I flitted around from blog to blog trying to make good impressions (cringing again, but keepin’ it real), I noticed “I’m Attending Allume” buttons on various blogs.

When I learned a little more about Allume, I quickly came to a few conclusions:

  1. I couldn’t make it happen financially. (Which was true.)

  2. I didn’t need to attend Allume. (Which was true, but simultaneously wasn’t true.)

  3. I wouldn’t benefit from Allume even if I could attend. (Which was straight up not true. And did I mention arrogant? Okay. There. I said it.)

The reality was– I was insecure and jealous and I felt like an outsider.  And all those “I’m Attending Allume” buttons?  In my mind, they proved my outsider-ness.

So no way was I going to admit that I actually really would have loved to go. (Heck, I woulda been scared outa my mind to go too, but that’s beside the point.)

Now. Fast forward to this year: I still can’t go. But this year I’m not going because we just adopted a baby and it’s [even more than before] practically and financially next-to-impossible.

BUT, the difference this year? It’s that I so. wish. I. could. go.

And not even necessarily so I could “network” or introduce myself to all the “right” people. But simply because so many of you ladies whose hearts I’m growing to love will be there, and I just wish I could throw my arms around your necks and hug you in person and talk late into the night over coffee and chocolate.

And THAT– is the difference.

Relationship.  And a dose of humility.  Made possible by– you guessed it– that whole Gospel identity revelation working its way ever deeper into my dark corners.

I’m so thankful for this, y’all.  For how God is so fiercely committed to my getting who Jesus’ blood says I am– getting it so deeply that it changes literally everything.  Down to the practical outworking of my online friendships.  Down to the humility it takes to tell you I would love to go to Allume next year.

Really.  I’m praying we can make it happen in 2014.  Stan and I are already talking about it.

But for now, I’m content to enjoy these budding friendships with many of you– these gifts that are such a breath of fresh air to my heart.  And to pray that one of these years, I can hug your necks in person.

I’m thankful.

And y’all?  I love you guys.

Whew.

Okay.  Moving on.

My friends, may you find your own hearts permeated by Gospel-identity-goodness this week, in the exact places you need it.  May you lose control a little and jump up and down and scream it out over all the noise and all the lies– “The Gospel changes everything!”

Because it does.  HE does.

And the blood of Jesus speaks it clear: you belong in Him.

Know someone who'd appreciate this?



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