What the Heck am I Doing?!
I could feel this coming on for a few days. When it finally came crashing down on my shoulders like a ton of bricks, I threw up my hands and screamed to myself, “Look around you. Is this what you want to be? Is this who you want to be? Holding yourself to the standards and expectations of the world? To be beautiful, successful, happy and perfect?” Page after page after social- media page smeared with images of perfect bodies and more success than I can fathom, call to my heart to give in to the fear of insufficiency and insignificance. But look behind their curtains, deep into their eyes, where you can see into their souls...they struggle for purpose just like you and me. They are likely to be hurting and feel insignificant, just like you and me. The truth is God has promises for us exceedingly far above what we could ever see on social media. But the minute we take our eyes off of Him and place them on to what we think we should be doing, we will feel less than and inferior, like we do not measure up to all the others in the world.
So many times I have thought, “What the heck am I doing? Everyone is passing me by and I am just sitting here waiting on you Lord.” But then He always takes me back to the promise...the promise for who He is in my life and what he wants to accomplish through me by his hand, not mine. The promise that if I will draw close to him he will draw close to me. The promise that I am successful when I am right inside of his will for me no matter what the world tries to tell me.
So world, you inspire me. You make me fight (on my good days) to be a better version of myself. You encourage me in ways I cannot even express. I appreciate you because you make me need the Lord. But...I have to be who the Lord is telling me to be. For my sake, His sake and yours, I want to be who He is making me to be so that I may give the gifts he has picked out for me to give to you. And, it’s not just me. He longs to give gifts to the world through you, as well. There are places in you that He wants to grow and develop that will be life-giving springs to others. Do you see them? Yes, of course they are GOLD and although they may be surrounded by pain or feelings of insufficiency, they are bright and shiny and ready to be used. The tricky part is that these may be places you are hiding or perhaps just skipping over because they are not the places the world values or measures as successful. But the reward for remaining in Him and on His path will be far greater than any recognition you could ever receive from the world. His plan for us is rich and deep and full.
So how do we stay grounded and on the path when the world is coaxing us over one inch at a time? One thing that has really helped me lately as I struggle to remember who I am in a world of success is writing out what Anna Nash calls a Life Mission Statement. When I am very tempted to run and hide and think I am nothing, I read the words of my heart and remember what gives me life and what I believe I am being called to do on this earth. It seems to help me remember that my success is not measured by how many likes I get, how many followers I have or even how many books or paintings I sell, but that I am successful when I am fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. I will not lie, it is not an easy task to capture your life in one statement, but I promise it will be worth the effort. In fact, I highly recommend the entire book as you seek to find purpose and passion in your life. (pathFinder: A Journey Towards Purpose by Anna Nash can be found on beaconpeople.org)
It’s a little wordy and full of commas but here is my latest version (yours will change over the years, too!).
“To live fully surrendered, listening, so that I may hear and see, in order to close the gap between God and his people, binding up the brokenhearted and comforting those who mourn, that they may see Him right inside their pain.”
Now, go dig deep and write one for yourself!