Wow. This is the first official day of year 29. Yesterday was my birthday and I was inundated with love from every area of my life – I’m so grateful!! As the birthday wishes poured in, I couldn’t help but think back through the year. This has undoubtedly been one of the most eventful years of my life. I was an adventurous unemployed traveler, produced the most blogs in one year in this blog’s history, prayed the hardest and most consistently, was featured in a number of inspirational blogs, became much more clear in my career path, started realizing the type of people I wanted needed around me, and became a master pescavegan chef – ya girl no longer dreams wistfully about burgers and has not eaten meat in one year! In spite of all these exploits, it has been the most vulnerable time in my life. Clarity paradoxically presents with itself a healthy dose of uncertainty. New terrain needs different travel gear. Like the Israelites, I could easily believe that “Egypt” was better – a happy and ignorant slave bound to random obligations and limitations versus the heavy knowledge that there’s a bountiful Promise that I’ll have to sometimes have to wearily crawl to.
As my birthday approached, it registered that there were few tangible evidences that could guarantee my success. I had to wrestle not to measure myself by my accomplishments and who I did (or did not) have around me. I composed a series of questions to combat limiting beliefs and totally made-up stories. Pride and self-righteousness knocked repeatedly at the door of my heart as the easy way out of a conflict. It got real in the last month, ya’ll. What kept me crawling towards that uncertain outcome? Pep talks, verses, loved ones and the same heavy knowledge that my promise awaits. Once your eyes are open to bigger possibilities, you’re left with a sense of restlessness if you don’t engage in the process. So with my knees and elbows to the ground, I studied two important lessons:
- We’re going to die without reaching the finish line. The moment we cross the finish line before we die is the moment we start living our lives without vision. When we follow an eternal dream and vision, it never dies; it will always grow beyond our reach – prompting us to reach out in faith. Or crawl. I reminded myself to be thankful that I have something to live for. In fact, the very root of my discouragement was cemented in the fact that I have something to live for; that I ACTUALLY have vision. It means that when we die, the vision will live beyond us. Jesus himself was mocked while living out his purpose but he had extraordinary vision that would live beyond his human life. The lowest point was not the end. This is what we call…legacy.
- Am I worthy? “I’m going and doing, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled but it all instead…”*If we’re honest, so many of us end up there. If I do not accomplish this, I am not worth celebrating. Wow. The pressure. So now I got FOMO: fear of missing out. We gotta be the prettiest or the smartest or the most relevant or the most helpful. Join two ministries while balancing your marriage and kids – only if you really love God, of course. And don’t forget to check everything off your to-do list but hey! Make sure you live in the moment. Because YOLO. Now let’s take a picture for social media of everything we’ve accomplished because we are definitely so…craazyyy. I mean, c’mon. Can you admit with me that this is crazy? Whenever I succumbed to any of these rules, I was enslaving myself. The point: We should celebrate who God has made us to BE. Minus what I’ve done, who I’ve snagged, or coins in the bank. Fear cannot be the motivation behind any of my pursuits.
There’s always so much more to be done. So many injustices still to set right. Relationships to restore. Lives to change. We’re often reaching toward the future and trying to fill the gap between where we are and where we are going. There is power in the end, but there is also power in the process. Vulnerabilities and brokenness often squeeze out the most change. So when the vision keeps moving out of reach, sometimes you’ve got to look back at the trail you’ve already blazed. By the time my birthday arrived, I had determined to be owt and bad, grab a couple others and enjoy the ride.
Celebrate with me, and cheers to being!
*excerpt taken from Fervent by Priscilla Shirer