To the Girl who is Intimidated of a Public Christian Life
Often times, you only hear about the solid Christian woman who is so open about her relationship with Jesus. She is exposed, vulnerable, deep, and zealous about displaying her love for Jesus and the Bible. For me, a lot of this perception came social media—girls openly identifying as faithful Christians, whether their public display of their faith was truthful or not.
When I went to college, I realized I was intimidated about living a Christian life, and I was unsure why. Every day, I came across girls who lived out their faith considerably different than I did. They were like the girls mentioned above, publicly displaying their faiths. I wasn’t intimidated by my faith guiding my college journey; I knew it should and wanted it to. I was intimidated by the idea that I was doing faith “wrong”.
As my first semester of freshman year progressed, I began to understand that the foundations of my faith were seemingly weak in comparison to the passionate girls I met the first couple of weeks of my freshman year. I came to a realization that I was an absent-minded believer. I had no idea how I got to this point or why I felt intimidated.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. -James 1:2
I slowly began to realize that I’d never been challenged in my faith, and because of it, I accepted God without developing a relationship with him. I did not realize to the full extent of Christ, what it meant to be a devoted believer and follower, and how to share that with others. I had never been open about my faith with friends, family, and others, and that led to being content in my faith, never grappling with tests and trials I felt I should be having surrounding faith.
This thought made me terrified: Am I alone in thinking that I am an absent-minded believer? How could I be so preoccupied in thinking I was a Christian when I wasn’t being vulnerable in my faith? Because my faith is different from these other girls, does that make it wrong? These questions constantly swirling in my head made me anxious and unsure of myself.
The thing is, I did think I was alone in thinking this, thinking my relationship with Christ was trivial and that I must make up for lost time. But soon enough, I learned that I was not alone.
I soon discovered a women’s ministry that accepted my flaws in my faith. I no longer felt like I had to be on a pedestal as a perfect believer in order to be considered a “good Christian.” I could step down and be emotionally vulnerable. I slowly began to understand that my imperfections were normal! God does not see what we consider flaws; God wants me to let myself be “flawed”. After all, I am His creation, and He even created my perception of my imperfections to make me the specific child I am that He loves so dearly.
I no longer felt the pressures of trying to live up to these Christian girls publicly displaying their faith all over social media. I accepted the fact that everyone’s faith journey is different because their relationship with God is different and I can’t compare myself to other girls. I was openly sharing my relationship with Christ with others in a special way through a small community of Christian women.
You are absolutely beautiful my darling; there is no imperfection in you. -Song of Songs 4:7
I established and became a part of a community that supports my rocky relationship with Our Father. I completely accepted that I was severely under-qualified to help lead these courageous girls, but by hopefully shedding the layers of perfection and composure I demonstrated the beauty of being raw and vulnerable in a relationship with Jesus.
Find that community where you no longer feel like you are wrong in your faith, where you are no longer intimidated about being a “perfect Christian” (because no such thing exists), or where you are accepted at your current moment. My faith is forever changed by these women who challenge me, strengthen me, and pour into me. You will discover that you are not alone in your insecurities about your faith and about your status as a Christian.
Whatley Hamilton // @whatleyhamilton
Hi girlies! My name is Whatley Hamilton, born and raised in Nashville, TN and just graduated from Furman University, majoring in History and Religion. On any given day, you can find me drinking English Breakfast Tea, reading a good book, and listening to true crime podcasts! My favorite things to talk about are whales, my basset hound Louis (@louisthebassethound), and random biblical history facts. I love building and sharing in community, pouring into the lives of young women, seeking to find themselves and their relationship with our sweet Lord! I can’t wait to spend the next couple of months with you.