"You can be intimidating and unapproachable."
I looked at her defensively, but instead of reacting, I sat with that statement for a while. I did not look at that statement with grace and a nonjudgmental stance. I internalized it and labeled myself.
As I have grown older and more mature :), I have seen that I can be unapproachable when I am unhealthy, but when I feel healthy, safe, and confident, others have told me I am warm and inviting. That unhelpful narrative remained, though. It told me that I was not lovable or even likeable. It told me that people did not enjoy my company or that I did not belong.
"You are too loud." "Your voice is annoying."
The first of these statements is one I have actually heard from another, but the second is what I have always believed about my voice. Another hurtful narrative.
Over a year ago, God started stirring within me a longing to start a podcast. I planned to launch in early 2020, but because I had this running narrative in my mind, I pushed it aside.
People won't want to hear me. Why would they care to hear me?
I felt like this was going to tank.
But God had asked me to do something.
And when we disobey Him, there is chaos and unrest in our souls.
I have felt this unrest within me for a long time now, and some of it has indicated that change was and is near. But a lot of unrest was due to my disobedience and this story I had believed about myself.
I joined the hope*writers Mastermind 2020 cohort at the end of last year. These men and women have encouraged me, inspired me, and pushed me onward. They have told me the opposite of what I had believed. One told me how warm my presence was after only just meeting her the day before. Several have said that they could listen to my voice all day, that it is soothing, that it was made for podcasting. Many have affirmed the content I teach.
It really has blown my mind, if I am honest.
These lies I have believed for so long are being overturned.
And now the podcast, Be Known, is out into the world. I would be lying if I did not admit my fears or say that the hurtful narrative is gone. It remains, but I am learning to continue to choose truth.
The truth that God called me. That He equipped me and gifted me for this time. For this purpose. For your healing.
My mantra is "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders," which is from Hillsong's Oceans.
These lies were boxing me in, and God needed to bring me out. Out upon scary waters and the unknown of what will come of this podcast. Out where I cannot trust myself, but where I can only trust Him to use this podcast in beautiful ways. Out where it is not my voice, but His.
And so I am doing it scared.
May it not be about me or my voice or my personality. May it not be about the music or editing or donations or even my words.
May it only be about relational restoration. May it lead you into a deeper and healthier love of yourself, of God, and of your people. May it bring wholeness where there has been brokenness. May you feel seen, heard, and known.
And let's see how that impacts the world.
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Until next time, friend. I'll see you s