Time for a #reallife post here...
and just a fare warning, I don’t know if this is going to make sense but it’s on my heart so, I felt the need to share...
I’ve been struggling lately. Struggling with things that are probably distractions keeping me from what God’s calling me too but they’re also distractions that matter, because at the end of the day we are all still human, and we all still have a desire to be loved.
I also think love looks different to everybody, if you haven’t Read the book “The 5 love languages” I HIGHLY recommend it!
There are 5 love languages we all speak
1) Words of affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Acts of Service
4) Physical Touch
5) Receiving Gifts
Jake and I read through this book a few years ago, then took the test and came up with our love languages.
Mine are: Quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service
Jakes are: Physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts
So, both of us thrive off of communication, and encouragement... and ironically I think its the only thing our society does the least of. Our world has become so consumed with ‘woah is my syndrome’ where all we do is talk about the negative, think about the negative, look for the negative, which in turn then makes us as individuals.. negative.
And, if I’m being honest I have fallen into that trap in the last month or so. I’ve become overwhelmed with the ‘things’ and the ‘stuff’ that I’m missing the good...
I’m not saying God has a love language, really I think he has all 5... but I’ve been so focused on my lack of receiving words of affirmation, that I’m essentially doing the same thing to God that I’m mad at everyone else for doing to me... forgetting Him.
Now, I don’t want to come across as the ‘woah is me.. everyone’s forgotten me’.. that’s not my point.
My point is, what right do I have to complain about the people around me forgetting to praise my accomplishments when God is the very reason for those accomplishments and I’m forgetting to praise Him?
Bare with me here because I’m going to take this a step further and get pretty personal...
This month Jake and I accomplished a few things we were super proud of! Things that were a little bit crazy, but we knew God was calling us to them so we did it... and we were proud of ourselves for doing them!
1) Moving in to a house without seeing it first... umm, yeah, kinda crazy.
2) Helping out 2 sets of our friends by moving to this house! One set owns the house and we are blessing them by living here and taking care of it while they are in the mission field, the second set is being blessed by moving in to our old house, which is a big step up for them and their family!
3) Fixing it up... now this we absolutely did NOT do on our own!! We have had tons and tons of help fixing this place up, and it was absolutely a disaster when we moved in so getting it fixed up as quickly as we did was quite the accomplishment! (Note: we still have a long way to go!)
4) We hosted our first ever POP-UP shop at our new home (that we have only been in for a month) and it was a huge success! We took our garage and turned it into a store front, we were able to really take care of the vendors that came and bless them with a platform to collaborate with other creative business owners.
so guys... not to be too arrogant but those things felt GOOD to be able to say wow, we did those things! They were crazy, but we did them... and then we sat back and waited for the people around us to start telling us how amazing we were...
You know when you’re a kid and you decided ‘I’m going to draw a pretty picture for my mom’ so you pull out your crayon and see a blank spot on the wall and you muster your inner Picasso and decide to create art. You focus and you focus, you work so hard to create your master piece, take a step back and go ‘yeahhh, this is it!” So you go to grab mom and show her how talented you are. You say “mommy... look what I made for you” with a big smile you step back and await her applause, and instead you hear “What did you do!?!? You don’t color on the wall!!! You should have asked me for paper first!”
I kinda felt like that kid... like I worked so hard at these big scary things, was so excited about the chance to bless others even if it set me back a little bit, was so excited that we took something old and dingy and made it beautiful and then I waited for the applause and instead heard “What did you do!?” “How could you put yourself in this position!?” “Why didn’t you ask me first!?”
I was crushed.
Enter my downward spiral of the ‘woah is me syndrome’ ...in come my deepest insecurities... ‘no one appreciates what I do’, ‘what’s the point of it anyways?’, ‘no one gets me’, ‘I’m not qualified to live this life’, ‘I should just give it up’... and on and on it went...
again, if I’m being honest, it went on and on until about 15 minutes ago when I decided to sit down and write a post about what I was feeling.
And now I’m realizing I’ve been doing the same thing to God...
And I’m now realizing my downfall was due to a few things...
1) I didn’t accomplish those things... Deuteronomy 31:8 says “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you”
Did you catch that? He goes before us... He prepares the way for us... He’s already ‘been there, done that’ so to speak. I’m sitting here going “hey hey, look at me! Look at what I did” and He’s like “ummm.. hello? Been there! Did that for you... I mowed down the tall grass so it was just weeds by the time you got to it”
I was trying to take credit for something God had already seen to fruition. God knew those things were going to happen wayyy before I ever dreamt of doing them.
2) I forgot my role...
When you read a Novel there are always two people that play important roles of the story... the Protagonist and the Supporting Role.
If you google these terms this is what you will find...
Protagonist: Ancient Greek meaning ‘player of the first part’, chief actor, main character. The protagonist is at the center of the story, makes the key decisions, and experiences the consequences of those decisions. They are the primary agent propelling the story forward. The are often the character who faces the most obstacles.
Supporting Role: Person who performs a role below that of the leading actor. Being a fairly important but not leading part.
Guys... I forgot my place. I am not the protagonist of my story. I made a decision a long time ago to take the back seat in the story of my life. I chose to step out of the limelight and become a Supporting Role.
The day I vowed to give Christ my life was the day I decided I no longer wanted the responsibility of making the decisions for my life.
It sounds lame to be just the “Supporting Role” but did you read those descriptions?? yeah, the main character propels the story forward... but read the next line... ‘They are often the character who faces the most obstacles’... that doesn’t sound fun!!
It’s hard to put ourselves on the back burner of our own lives, but just look at what happens when you do... all of a sudden those big scary things you’re staring at.. they’ve already been taken care of! The path has already been laid, all we have to do is follow the main character’s lead!
And guys, I forgot that! I was so consumed with what “I did” I was trying to take the credit for propelling may story forward that I forgot I’m not the one who faced the obstacles to get it there!
3) I lost focus on who’s words of Affirmation I should be listening too...
I’ve said this before and I’ll Probably say it 5000x again... with everything in me, I believe every human has a calling on their life. I also believe many... if not most people miss their calling.
and this is where I might get some pushback with this post...
Guys, 99% of the time, the people looking at your calling saying “I don’t understand it” are the ones that missed their own.
I’m not going to lie, I’m holding my breath as I type those words... my wish is not to offend anyone, but I also think those words need spoken (or typed)... because, as much as they sting.. they’re also true.
I have been focusing on the words of those who don’t get it, and there’s a reason they don’t get it... and if I’m being real with myself, they probably never will get it.
Getting caught up in that.. in trying to explain to people who don’t have the capacity to understand... guys, it’s a trap.
You know how before you have kids and you’re like “I’ll never do that as a mom” and “I’m gonna be such a cool parent” and Bla bla bla and then you have a kid and within like 3 years all of those things you swore you’d never do go out the window. All of a sudden lititle Jimmy is walking around with 2 mismatched shoes, wearing a pajama shirt he slept in last night with his bathing suit bottoms on in the dead of winter that have mud stains because it’s the only thing he would put on. And now you’re the mom the other women are looking at going “Oh, heck no I’ll never let my kid leave the house like that”
That’s kind of what it’s like when you grab on to your calling and roll with it... all of a sudden people who missed their chance at their calling are looking at yours with all its stains, and mismatched-ness, its confusion and they’re going ‘what the heck?’ because it truly just doesn’t make sense to them...
I’m gonna tell you the honest truth... if you’re on the brink of grabbing on to your calling and not sure which way you want to go. I’m gonna be really honest... because if you grab on to your calling it’s gonna be ugly, it’s not going to make sense and it’s going to leave all sorts of spaghetti stains on the carpet, so to speak...
But listen, there’s an upside too...
The mom who’s kid is a wreck, while all the non-moms are looking at the mess he is, little Jimmy’s mom is looking at him going “Holy crap, I love him so much I could burst! I’m so stinking proud of him... I know it doesn’t match but I’m so proud of him for getting his clothes and shoes on by himself for the first time”
God is looking at our mess the same way. He’s saying “It isn’t pretty but you did it! I’m so proud of you for doing this thing, I’m proud of you for taking the next step and trusting me! I love you so much, not only could I burst but I’m sending my son to die for you, thats how freaking much I love you”
... ok I don’t know if God says ‘freaking’ but you get the idea!
The same way Jimmy lights up when his mom tells him how proud she is, is the same way we should respond when God looks at us that way.
As a result of Jimmy only listening to his moms words of encouragement, he’s rocking that look like it’s 1990 and he’s owning the catwalk! Can you imagine what would happen if he focused on the other non-moms? (PS, totally not bashing non-moms... I was one for 23 years 😉)
The same thing happens when we hear God’s words, all of a sudden we are wearing our mud stains proudly, our mismatched shoes are comfy and we like them. Suddenly, we are able to go into the world with the peace that passes all understanding because we know even though it’s messy... we did it, and our Father is stinking proud of us!
It isn’t always going to be pretty guys... and most people won’t get it... but don’t be listening for the affirming words of people who don’t understand, look for the affirming words from the one who has gone before you. He knows what’s ahead and He’s proud of you for the accomplishments you’ve made so far.
Listen for His words, and if you stay in tuned with that, there is no reason you should ever enter the downward spiral of the ‘woah is me syndrome’ again.
He loves you... and that really is all that matters.
Now, I’m gonna go get my calling a little muddy...
Blessings to you all!