Wow. When did August happen and where did July go? I’ve kind of left this place abandoned this last month. I could blame weddings and traveling and full-time nannying on top of freelance work, but if I’m honest I think it was fear that kept me away from writing much lately.
Fear of disappointment. Fear of stretching myself too thin. Fear of not having the capacity to be church planter/writer/wife/sister/friend/(and one day) mom. Fear of not knowing how to properly navigate my dreams and God’s will.
Fear of inadequacy, really. And an unbelief that God could actually be big enough to carry it all.
It seems silly when I think of it that way. That the same God that holds all of creation would not be able to hold my measly little life together. It seems arrogant, actually. It holds a mirror up to my pride, and it’s kind of gross.
If I could choose one word that marked the month of July this summer, it would probably be “meltdown.” It was like God pushed down on the gas pedal and I was moving faster than I could count the cost. So I did what felt natural and I cried a lot.
It all became real, this whole “let’s go plant a church somewhere” thing, and I started thinking about the reality of willingly going into the desert with God, and leaving my family in Texas, which meant bringing babies into the world one day a whole lot of miles away from my mom.
And what about my other dreams, the ones that involve stories I believe in and lives I dream of seeing changed? Or the dream that one day I do want to have kids, and that seems like a full time job alone. Like the kind you have to give everything else up for.
Just like the kindness of God always is, doors have been opening in so many directions. There’s an encouragement from Him to go for it, and a lie in the back of my mind that I’ll never be good enough. But what is good enough? What is it that we’re really measuring ourselves with? Accomplishments? A name? A number? A paycheck? A relationship? I’ve been asking myself a lot of hard questions lately on where I’m getting my validation.
Is it worth it to venture off to another land on a quest that seems way too big for my shoes?
Is it worth it to take risks with writing and hand over my heart to somebody I don’t even know, never knowing what might happen to it?
Of course it is. The King of the universe invited me to. When did I stop valuing an invitation from God above everything else, and how on earth did I grow the audacity to say, “what’s in it for me?”
Somehow we get caught in the mundane and we get bitter, and we want somebody to pat us on the back and tell us we’re doing a good job, or, best case scenario, put our name in lights.
I was thinking about the life of Jesus the other day, and how what we read in the gospels really leaves a pretty big gap. Terrible journalism from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Come on, guys.
But seriously, we know about his birth, and we know a few minor childhood details, but then everything picks back up at his baptism and his ministry. We’re told mostly about the three years that capture the essence of what Jesus was sent to this earth to do. What about those other 30 years, though?
I don’t know any better than you do what Jesus was doing during that time besides being a carpenter. But I’d be willing to bet He was really faithful in that. I bet he did his job well. I bet he had a great attitude. I bet he lived every day knowing that God would call his name when it was time, and until then he did exactly what was in front of him.
And I bet it was worth it, too. Because an invitation from the King means being in His presence.
So yesterday, I brought myself back to His presence. And when I did that, I left my fears behind, because fear and Jesus can’t live in the same place. And I left my pride, too, because pride is ugly and nobody wants to be ugly.
After all of that, a fearful July and (so far) an uncertain August, here’s what I’m sure of: God has given me the keys to new territory with Him in this season. He wouldn’t give me the keys if He didn’t intend for me to unlock something new.
What’s in it for me? The same thing that was in it for Jesus: more of Him. For all of us.
I’ll take the mundane, the insignificant, the uncertain and the scary if the exchange is more of God. Even if I endure 95 percent of a mundane life for 5 percent of “this is what He made me for.”
95 percent grit and 5 percent glory and even then, Jesus never did it for his glory, he did it for his Father’s. I wonder what would happen if we stopped rejecting invitations into the mundane, glorious adventure of every day life and started being faithful to what’s in front of us. I wonder if eventually, we’d find those few years of “this is what I was made for.”
And maybe those few years don’t happen all at once, but in fleeting moments throughout our lives. Tiny glimpses of eternity, of the otherness we were made for. So then maybe our desires for our lives should be other, too. Less about what’s in it for us and more about the invitation to use a gift God has given us, no matter the outcome on this side of Heaven.
I bet it would be worth it.