Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stick to Your Guns

Stick To Your Guns
by Tanya Gordon

For someone who seems so confident to other people, I’m actually quite a chameleon. Over the years, I’ve often adapted my ideas and dreams to what I thought other people wanted to hear. I think it’s important to be humble and understand that I’m not perfect, I’m not always right and I don’t have all the answers. I believe that every other person on the face of the Earth has something to teach me, and two heads are nearly always better than one. But, on the flip-side, I’ve come to realize there are certain things that should be non-negotiable.

A few years ago, I was in a meeting with my male senior pastor, pitching what I believed to be an important, groundbreaking idea. I wanted to put together events and resources that would inspire and encourage a group in the church that I felt had been generally overlooked by the Christian community - young women between 18 and 35. In researching this group, I had found that many desperately craved mentoring and felt like they lived in no-man's land. Programmes were targetted at youth and older women, but there was nothing reaching women who found themselves too old for pizza and bowling with 15-year-olds and too young to ponder the complexities of menopause with the other middle-aged ladies in their congregation.

What seemed like a blatantly obvious need to me, registered a minus 12.1 on my pastor's Richter scale. Not only did the Earth not move when I laid my ideas out in front of him; he seemed to look at me like I was speaking in a foreign language. To put it simply, he didn’t seem to get it - at all. He was the kind of guy who needed to see how an idea could fit in with already established programmes in his church. As the words were spilling out of my mouth and scattering all over his office floor, I thought, “I’m dying here. If I can squeeze this size 18 idea into the size 4 swimsuit that all the other church programmes fit into, I might have a chance.” So, I spent the next 30 minutes prodding, shoving, poking, rolling, pinching, scooping and squashing my concept into his itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot church model. As I stood up to go, I felt like I’d achieved something. And I had.

I’d taken something that was big and beautiful and full of potential and compressed it down into a constricted, breathless nothing.

I felt like I had sent my child to have cosmetic surgery. Like someone had come in and nipped and tucked to their heart’s content while I just let it happen. When they told me the idea wasn’t pretty enough, I believed them and willingly let them butcher it until it didn’t look anything like it was created to look.

The older I get, the more I’ve learnt to stick to my guns. If the input of others strays too far from the original idea I’ve had, I thank them for their enthusiasm and politely exit, with the original idea, stage left.

I have mentors and my husband is my six-foot-two, devastatingly handsome sounding board. If he strongly disagrees with a project I want to undertake, I don’t move forward with it, and vice-versa. Sometimes that means scrapping a project completely. Other times, it means sidelining it for a while until we’ve had time to talk it through and reach a point where we’re happy to go ahead.

Ultimately, I’ve learnt to listen to my gut, to be true to what I believe I’m meant to do. If I go ahead with an idea and it fails, at least I’ve kept my integrity intact.

There are 6 billion+ people on the planet and they all have an opinion. But the only opinions that really matter are yours, God’s and those of your closest family and friends.

The yellow polka dot bikini experience with my pastor all those years ago inspired me to write a song called Weight of the World. This song could sound like an all-out attack on my pastor, which it isn't. We were actually very good friends before and after this encounter. Weight of the World is about the oppression we can feel when we constantly try to fit into someone else's or society's mould. Ultimately, I believe we need to be primarily concerned with obedience to God rather than gaining the approval of man.



Tanya Gordon is a 33-year-old singer/songwriter, radio host, writer and speaker who lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her devastatingly handsome husband, Dale Rankine, and their three gorgeous daughters, Isabella, Olivia and Gabrielle. She is passionate about helping teenage girls and young women to discover how unique and valuable they are to their Dad in Heaven and the vital roles they have to play in God's plans to bring healing and redemption to humanity. You can learn more about Tanya and her music by visiting : TanyaGordon.com


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