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This Platform

08.07.16

This Platform

I really like to write and usually don’t overthink it, but to be completely honest, I am terrified of this post and don’t know where to begin, so there’s no official intro here.

3 years ago my family went through something that turned my life upside down.  It was in those vulnerable moments that I completely surrendered to God.  I vividly remember being in church and just falling down and crying uncontrollably.  It was the closest I’ve ever felt to God, and I haven’t felt that feeling since.  It was the most broken I’ve ever felt yet also the most content I’ve ever felt.  How is that possible?  I remember saying aloud “my life is yours, take what you want”. I have longed for that closeness with God since.

A few months later I took a class through my church called The Difficult Truths of Christianity.  It was during that class that I confirmed what I had experienced.  I learned that God places “difficult” situations in our lives to grow close with us.  To be ONE with us.  ONE.  And when I say “difficult situations” I mean situations that turn your world upside down.  Things like losing a loved one, divorce, depression.  Things that are unspeakable to you and literally feel like someone punched you in the stomach every time you think about it.  Things that force you to surrender to God.  To take this idea further, I learned in the class that we should pray for these heart-wrenching experiences.  What?  I remember a story told in the class about a woman who was in fact praying for a “difficult” experience in order to grow closer to God and months later, she lost her husband.  This blew my mind in that moment and will always continue to blow my mind.  I will never be able to wrap my brain around this concept.  I’m not to the point where I can pray to ask for something like that.  I wish I could, and it terrifies me to say that aloud.  I have experienced something that put me at my lowest low (that I didn’t ask for) and because of that, I can speak on that experience and concept.  The closeness I felt with God was incredible and something I long for to this day.

Fast forward three years and I have this blog that people read and a design business that is growing at a rapid pace.  It’s everything I dreamed of, yet look at me.  The me that you probably don’t see.  The me that only Parker and occasionally my family sees.  I am a mess.  One day I am patting myself on the back for this thing I created.  I’m on my way to being a GIRL BOSS, isn’t that the dream?  I had this dream, and I’m achieving it.  I know it sounds like I’m being really hard on myself here.  I absolutely am, but bear with me.

On the flip, there are other days where I realize my weakness.  It’s all so clear.  I realize that I’m chasing more and more for my own glory.  I realize I’m giving myself the credit and not God. I realize that this platform is a gift that brings me joy AND pays my bills and it should be used for God’s glory.  Period.

But I’ve had so many doubts about talking openly about God on this platform.  I’m not trying to be anything professional here.  I’ve just been called to talk about God, but why have I resisted for so long?  I’ve resisted so long for this reason:  I don’t exude God (in my eyes).  We have friends that do, and I long to be like them.  I admire them in so many ways.  I long to live my life for God from the outside in and show others that I do so in a genuine way – in a way that calls others to do so.  I love a deep conversation about God with these friends of ours.  I love feeling challenged.  I love going to our church and suddenly the noise in my life becomes so clear.  But then I fall back into my old ways/traps that same week.  What I’m trying to say is that I don’t feel like I am good enough to use this platform that people follow and read to talk about God.  I don’t feel like I’m knowledgeable enough, and I really fear the idea of coming across as disingenuous when talking about this, resulting in possibly turning someone away from God.  That is my biggest fear.

I talk about design (that I’m crazy passionate about) for two weeks and God the next day?  I fear that I will sound like two different people.  One person talking about design and another person talking about God.  I fear that people will read this post today and then the post going up tomorrow about this (crazy good) color story and that people will think I can’t talk about both things on one platform.  I know I’m overthinking it.

All I’m really saying is that I’m not going to resist talking about God if I feel compelled to talk about Him.  I’m leaving my comfort zone in a way that makes my heart come out of my chest, but in the best possible way.

God has been telling me to use the platform that HE gave me for some time now.  The platform that I didn’t start.  The platform that He gave me for His glory.  So here I am.  Maybe I don’t know what to say other than why I’ve resisted for so long.  Hopefully that will change.

I don’t think that God is telling me to drop what I have going here.  I think that God wants us to have careers that bring us joy.  But there’s got to be balance.  A career isn’t supposed to be ones whole life.  Will I continue to work hard?  Yes, absolutely.  Will I continue to make goals for myself to grow my business?  Yes.  Will I continue to struggle with that balance and keeping myself accountable?  Yes.  But will I also use this platform to openly talk about God because this platform is a gift? Have I been so wrong not to openly recognize that?  Yes….yes.

So here I am, someone who struggles with anxiety and handing over that anxiety to God. Someone who is just generally a hot mess.  I don’t feel worthy enough to say I’m using this platform to talk about God, but I am.  I just rambled on, with no real plot here, but it did come from a very vulnerable place, that’s for sure.   I just want to start a conversation, really.  My hope is to connect with people over faith.  To share my own struggles and relationship with God in hopes that it will bring someone else closer to God.

A Color Story: Sage Green, Dusty Blue & Salmon
Eclectic Bedroom on a (Seriously Tight) Budget
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48 comments on “This Platform”

  1. This is beautiful, and it’s so wonderful to hear your thoughts on this. It’s a crazy and unstable feeling to get out there to a group of strangers, but it’s just so awesome when you see someone doing it…so thank you! Love your work too by the way 🙂

  2. Your adorable! I love it that you are willing to share your life, your struggles, your relationship with God on your blog! You are right, he gave you the platform to be a light for Him! Write on my dear! I can’t wait to hear how he shapes your life and love of design!

  3. If you’re going to be writing about God, then I’m going to be reading about it! I think this was a lovely brave post!

  4. Not too long ago, I was so impressed by the quote: “If love isn’t in it, then God isn’t either.” I wrote that down a placed it several places in our home just as a reminder. More than once those few hurriedly scribbled words have challenged me to change my attitude. My point is this… as long as you continue your blog in a positive manner. God’s love will shine through and you won’t feel as though you have to present a daily sermon. If you wish to write posts similar to Emily Freeman or Ann VosKamp, you’ll still have followers. Best wishes on whatever you choose to do.

  5. This is wonderful ! You have already made an impact on me and have me thinking about ways I can share my love of God with others. Please continue to share more 🙂

  6. Claire, your post brought tears to my eyes. Man, have I had so many of those same feelings! You articulated your thoughts so well and I appreciate your transparency and willingness to follow what the Lord is leading you to do, in any every of your life. Love you, friend!

  7. Claire- what an amazing post! God has gifted you with an amazing talent that you share here with your readers! You inspire creativity in others and giving God the Glory for what he has done in your life will be used for good! By sharing how God is working in your life and being real will be used to touch someone who needs to hear those words today. A song lyric I love is “Make me a blessing to someone today” and your post today was a blessing to me!

  8. this is real faith and real life and what people want to hear and know about. Claire this is so good. I have dealt with similar issues and just keeping being authentic and uncomfortable and feeling the rub..its when you have it figured out that its scary and off track.

    and i hear you on praying for and asking for things that bring you to your knees..not there yet either. and laughing at the future..i am not there. but i thirst for God and i know he is holding me in the palm of his hand..you don’t have to be CS Lewis or a bible scholar to share about your faith here..this is your platform and you are giving him glory just by keeping yourself in check and being honest sharing the struggle.

    two years ago i had to tell my ten year strong blogging audience that my christian little family life was dissolving divorce..i had never tried to appear perfect but of course i had shared my faith and family and it was known i was a believer..i was forced to be real and honest (as honest as prudent) and it produced much fruit.i got so many comments and emails from women going through similar pain or that had been through similar pain, it was church and still is. I still get emails nearly weekly from one post about divorce.

    People are hurting and need community so badly and want to hear about faith walks and real stories , they stumble upon it on decorating blogs and here and there, God wants to infuse it everywhere..so keep sharing when you feel like it but don’t ever feel like you have to fit into a christian blogger mold or culture.

    i am praying for you and cheering for you and thrilled to know you are just down the road!

    holly in brenham

  9. I love the Lord and I love design and I love people who wanna talk about the Lord! You are a beaming light & I’m even more joyed to follow you. 💕

  10. I have nothing but support and admiration for you, Claire! I think it’s a beautiful & brave thing to find your own way in the world. I’m looking forward to hearing your unique perspectives and experiences. Sidenote- just because I’m sure you were worried about alienating non-Christians by introducing this topic – I consider myself a Unitarian, which means I value everyone’s personal experience with God no matter what religious or spiritual tradition they follow. 😀

  11. It is a blessing to see your obedience. The point where you resist doing what he calls you to do is the point where you are in rebellion to God and that is a terrible place to be for so many reasons. On the flip side, trusting him enough to step out in faith and do what he is calling you to do, even though it is terrifying, even though it may cause you personal loss, (in your case, followers) is another place where you die to yourself, a layer is shed and you experience that closeness with God. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I’m ready to share how I know that. But I’m curious- did you experience it when this post went live? I’ll be praying for you to continue to be humble and responsive to God’s promptings! I hope you are also able to see some of the fruits of your obedience in other’s lives!

  12. I have felt so many of the same things! I absolutely struggle with integrating my faith with my platform in a way that feels real, not preachy. I guess that’s my big fear – that people will think I’m being preachy and be turned away by that. Hopefully I share enough “my life is a mess” stuff that they realize I’m just trying to be authentic and share a story that includes God’s work in my life! I think if you share the imperfect along with the good stuff, it can all form a story that points to him! Thanks for sharing this, friend! ❤️

    1. YES – that’s what I fear – It’s so tricky communicating via blog writing vs. talking face to face….. If something I say about design gets taken out of context, that’s not a big deal, but I really fear that something about God will be taken out of context and potentially turn people away from him. I don’t know, I over think things! Thanks for the encouragement!

  13. Oh, Claire! I love this post. I’ve actually been on a blogging break for much of the summer because of this reason (and general feelings of inadequacy and insecurity). I, too, want to glorify God through my platform and struggle with how to do that in a genuine way. Thank you for sharing your heart, and I can’t wait to see how you handle this. I, for one, will definitely keep reading 🙂

  14. Claire, you are an inspiration just for opening up about this. Please continue to share your faith and your struggles. I think it will serve as a great source for your readers and friends of someone they can relate to. And hopefully, we can encourage you along the way too. I don’t think you need to worry about feeling like two different voices because that makes you human. We all have several sides to us and it only proves the amazing design and detail that God used to make you unique. Thank you for being brave enough to put this out there. I feel so many similar emotions with my work and home life as well. Prayers for you and God bless!

  15. This is beautiful. Thank you for being brave and sharing.

    Also, when I lived in Austin I went to the Austin Stone. Some days, I miss worshipping there. Very cool to know you go there, too!

  16. Claire.. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart… one of your many gifts from God. I’ve never been more proud of your bravery in voicing and validating your Christian faith. When I read your blog this afternoon waiting in the dentist office.. I cried for two reasons:
    A. Three years ago was incredibly gut wrenching. and B. Realizing my heart’s fullness at that moment reading your post made me happy for your professional and spiritual growth.. I love you and so honored that you made me your mom. But more importantly, you are loved and adored by Jesus Christ and HE is with you on your platform every single day. My prayer is that your spiritual eyes will continue to seek HIS guidance in making small and big decisions. You’re not alone in the doubting game.. I wish I could do better in this area too. Keep asking the hard questions about God and your faith. I continue to be amazed and wowed with your creativity, determination and hard work so continue to share your passion that inspires so many! Love you❤️

  17. Claire, I was so surprised, excited, and moved to read your post this morning! I have loved your design sense for a while and it is refreshing to also hear about your honest love for Jesus. I have struggled with the same issues of figuring out the “voice” of my blog and where my personal life and beliefs come in to play. Thank you for the reminder that we owe this all to Him and are accountable for how we use the gifts He gives. Much blogger love!

  18. Claire, I am so proud of you for sharing this! I love reading that you have a love for God like I do and agree that all glory should be given to Him! So refreshing to hear your stand, since I too, feel like I haven’t used my platform enough for Him. Thank you for pouring your heart out here today. You are so incredibly talented and God has some BIG plans for your life…I just know it! 😉
    xo,
    Shauna

  19. Thanks for your post, but since I am not of the religious persuasion, you’ve lost me and I’ll be unsubscribing. My best wishes to you

  20. Claire, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your love for Christ. I am also a Christian and find it hard to openly speak about my beliefs. You’ve encouraged me to do what we are suppose to do!! I always look forward to reading your blog, you have a true gift for design!

  21. I love the illustration of the lamp inside the pot, the more cracks there are in the clay (me) the more his light shines through. I believe humility is the key to contentment in Christ. Humility in the bible has nothing to do with shame and everything to do with putting God’s glory ahead of our own, and a wonderful thing happens when we do – he lifts us up and and honors us in ways we haven’t earned and could never have imagined. To get the place of humility takes many conscience decisions every day to be honest before God and choose to trust him regardless of the circumstance even in the small everyday things. I find the more I practice this the closer to him I get. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself, God is not impatient or condemning if we fail, he is right there holding out his hand wanting to help you get back on your feet agian. God bless you and keep looking up!

  22. Claire, I read this post from my phone out running around a week ago and have been meaning to go back and comment ever since! I was so proud of you reading this girl and so encouraged by every single word! I know what it takes to put yourself out there like this and I can’t tell you how much it inspires me to do the same! Thanks for being real and proving that style, faith, and all in between can exist in one amazing blog! Happy to know you, my friend 🙂

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