I would love to say that I’ve been on a writing hiatus because life is so incredibly busy and leave it at that…because it is. So that would be true. But it’s not the complete truth.
The truth is that life is incredibly busy…and Satan is incredibly smart.
It’s been 4 months since my last post. 4 months of busy, 4 months of excuses…and 4 months of self-doubt. And it all started when I let the little voices inside my head take over. No, I’m not crazy. I’m just human.
The nagging thoughts…“What is the point?” “Why are you wasting your time doing this?” “You have much more important things to do.” “You’re not selling anything but truth…and that’s free. So really…what.is.the.point?”
And so I listened. Believed. Fed the lies with my own insecurity and let them take root in my soul.
But thank God, He never lets it stop there. He doesn’t see our struggle and leave us to fight it alone. No, He meets us in our deepest valley and points us to the path that leads us home.
And that’s exactly what He did for me.
Through a series of devotionals and books He dropped in my lap over the summer, I began to see things from a different perspective. One that was less me and more Him. Less my glory and more His glory. Less what can He do for me and more what can I do for Him?
And before you think it was an instant revelation, let me be clear. It was an uphill battle that took every bit of 4 months to gain even the slightest bit of ground at all, and I’m still not there. But it started the journey…and there is power in the journey. There is strength in even the smallest victory. And it gives us the courage to keep going.
Have you ever felt like you really missed the boat somewhere? Like everyone is doing something really fantastic and important, and you are just sitting there doing your best to make sure your kids, pets, and plants are fed and live to see another day? For the first time in my life, I’ve successfully kept plants alive for an entire summer, and I’m fairly certain that’s award, if not HGTV, worthy. (I once had a rock garden, so believe me when I say that this is huge.)
Do you have to hide people on social media or quit it all together because you just can’t bear to see another success, award, or fabulous sunset that isn’t your own? ouch
And in the midst of my struggle, God reminded me that success doesn’t always come wrapped in the same sparkly package.
“Everyone should examine his own conduct; then he will be able to take measure of his own worth; no need to compare himself to others.” Galatians 6:4
Some people are destined for flashy and big. Some have the drive and fortitude it requires to be entrepreneurs, CEO’s, fitness guru’s, professional athletes, and best-selling authors. They were born for it. And that’s ok. Quite amazing, actually.
Some will drive fast cars, own big boats, and live in mansions. Some will be happy, fulfilled, and use their success to help others…
And some will not.
Others are destined for a more subtle life, one that most would consider “small”.
But whether big or small, it’s what we do with that life that matters.
My grandfather worked the same factory job all of his adult life (after serving for a time in the military). By the standards of many, he was not what one would call “successful.” He wasn’t flashy or big and lived in a small two-bedroom home with his wife of over 50 years and a yard the size of a postage stamp. No, he may not have had much in the bank, but I believe he was truly successful in ways that far surpass monetary value. He was faithful, honest, kind. He loved Jesus, led a service down at the mission, and cut the church grass every week. He had that old-fashioned work ethic and loyalty that so many of our grandparents possessed, and everybody loved him. In terms of my 9-year-old son, he was the “G.O.A.T.” (Greatest Of All Time), and I have no doubt God met him at the pearly gates and said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
So why do we feel like we don’t measure up unless we make more than 6 figures and/or the whole world knows our name?
Success doesn’t always come with a paycheck. Sometimes it doesn’t come with any earthly reward at all.
If we use the gifts that God has given to us for His glory, to bless others, and to further His Kingdom….then it doesn’t matter what we do for a living or how much money we do or do not make. No matter where we are in life, our goal each day should be to look around us and find a way to help others.
If only we could change our perspective and how we measure success, our sense of purpose would sky-rocket and there is no limit to what we could accomplish.
Satan would love to challenge us on that. Make us feel inferior to those around us. Stop us from doing all that he knows we can do.
But he’s wrong…
And we don’t have to listen to him.
Here are a few things that help me when Satan has me feeling like crap and hiding from the world:
- Listen to worship music…lots of it. It feeds my mind, heart, and soul with constant reminders of God’s goodness and grace.
- Get in the Word. Satan shrinks when we fight him with Scripture. His lies have no power when we use the Word as a sword & shield.
- Pray. Talk to Jesus. He’s better than a BFF, because He’s always available and ready to listen. He doesn’t have dinner to make or errands to run. He’s just waiting on us.
- Read good books. There are so many books that have helped me fight insecurity. Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick, Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst, Unashamed by Christine Caine, Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
- Surround myself with encouraging people. Those people that speak truth and encouragement into my life, cheer on my victories, and pick me up when I fall.
- Look for ways to serve. Volunteer at church, lead a small group, feed a family going through a tough time, babysit for a friend who needs a break…nothing is too small.
- Keep fighting the lies. Always. Don’t give up. He may not ever stop trying, but it will become easier with time and practice…and it will be worth it.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie