by Kiley Pritchard – Youth Director
I have always found an appreciation for quotes, powerful scripture, and meaningful stories shared by other people. As I’ve grown older, I find it important to apply those things I’ve learned to my daily life and to try and impact others as well.  A couple years ago, I stumbled across a quote from Marianne Williamson in a book I was reading at the time. It’s inspired me (so much that I have it printed, and thumbtacked into my bulletin board) and I hope it will do the same for you:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” This powerful sentence stands out to me every time, and inspires me to live more authentically, more bravely, and more fully alive. What if we did allow the glory of God to be manifest in us? What if by living more authentically, we give another person the courage to do the same? We are all children of God, each of us displaying a unique piece of God’s work to the world. Without us being vulnerable and living as who we were meant to be, we are not allowing our authentic colors to shine. However, as each of us strives to become more fully alive, we encourage those around us to grow more fully into their own beauty as well.

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 27:1
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reflection Questions
What quote or scripture has impacted you the most?
How can you live your life more authentically?
In what ways do you share your “shine” with others?

Prayer
Loving God, give us the strength to shine our own light, especially where there is darkness. We ask you to help us live our lives more authentically, more bravely, and more fully alive.  Amen.