“You serve an audience of One” were the six words my counselor imperatively spoke over me as I sat sobbing in front her, pouring out my hurts and frustrations. These words, although simply spoken, were not simply taken. Her mouth uttered the words, but they came with the same intensity as the direct voice of God. Like a lightning strike, an illuminating heaviness seeped into the crevices etched deep within my core.
It was one of those weighty moments. You know, the kind of moment when the words, actions, prayers, or presence of someone or something permanently upset your state of being? My inner-self had been broken open by the surge this epiphany. All of the sudden, I grasped the reality of my existence and the root of my anxieties. Her words, God’s words, spoke an awakening into the slumber of my life. I was enlightened and overcome with peace.
For years, I had served in the local church. For years, I had striven to do what I believed was right. For years, I had “sacrificed” for the preservation of the church- its values and belief systems. And for years, I had attached my spiritual health and well being to man-made systems, accepting the confusion and ignoring the conviction. For years, I had gotten it all wrong.
We all have multiple epiphanies in the vastness of our lives. Some huge and some minor. Some sweet and some harsh. Some welcome and some unwelcome. Maybe your story is similar to mine, but your awakening came through a different avenue. Maybe your awaking came in the midst of a dynamic family issue, stressful work environment, deep grief, or a tumultuous relationship. Or, maybe your epiphany came of the opposite nature. Instead of through pain, it came through joy.
Either way, the outcome is the same. Our lives are forever altered, for our eyes have been opened and life is seen a little more clearly. Like a sail struggling to find the wind, clarity rushes in like a fresh wind and breathes life into our sails. I had been set free and I was able to move forward again.
What we are freed from is different for all us, but what we are freed for is all the same- the fullness of life.
You serve an audience of One. Until this moment, I had not realized my life had stalled. I had known something was amiss, but I could not identify what it was. I had striven, I had tried, and I had worn myself out in the effort to identify why I was in such a state of unrest. With these words, I recognized where I had so blatantly gone wrong. I had been living bound to a system of serving others instead of binding myself to serving God. My anxiety had been rooted in the belief that serving for my beliefs was the same as serving for my God.
There is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy service to God. My intentions had been pure – I wanted to do right before the Lord. However, the system in which I ordered my life had overtime become falsely construed. When the structure had fallen and the floor was no more, my identity crumbled down with it and I no longer knew where I belonged. The realization was that somewhere along the way, I was not living for One, but living for many.
This story is not meant to be another church bashing story. I love the church. But the truth is, where some find their identity in Christ through the church, I overtime had lost my identity. I got caught up in the doing and had lost the being.
My friend, maybe you needed to hear these words today – YOU SERVE AN AUDIENCE OF ONE. If so, I pray your spirit will receive them and you will be set free. I do not know what this looks like for you, but I pray that you will not be bound to the systems of this world, but to the person of Christ. I pray that you will find yourself through the fruit of practicing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control – and not through the fruit of this world. The struggle for all of us is real. Let’s not be women who adhere to a system based on the applause of an audience of many, but women who adhere to the applause of an audience of One.
Be free my friend,