Like when Mom and I went out to try on evening gowns (in preparation for real wedding dress shopping on another day) and came away with a sale rack, designer wedding dress needing no alteration in under 45 minutes.
Or when a friend was selling the exact dress our daughter wants to wear for our wedding for $8. And it fits.
Those are moments when everything clicks and I feel reassured that He is in it. And then there are the times when everything clicks but all I can say after is ‘ouch’.
You know the times. I just had one. My wonderful church lady recommended a blog for me to read and, first post, this quote smacked me in the face:
“We can not coast on grand visions or the need around us or people’s approval.”
Maybe you’re coasting on grand visions or people’s approval. (Or maybe you’re not coasting at all. Go you!)
Myself, I’m coasting on the the need around me.
I thought I was lacking discipline.
Lenny has just recently started working a night shift and, for some reason, I’m really struggling with the change in schedule. I shouldn’t be. It’s not me who has to labour all night and try to sleep through the day while we homeschool down the hall.
Still, we used to have a regular – and reasonable – bedtime of ten or so. Now, it’s not unusual for me to see the light of midnight. And still try to get up before six.
Similarly, we used to have a steady routine at the gym. Since he’s not around to lead the fitness charge? Don’t even ask when I was last there.
So, I pondered the change for a second and came up with discipline. (Notice that I didn’t say, “I brought the matter to the Lord in earnest prayer.”) Conclusion: Obviously, I’m not as disciplined as Lenny.
Get it together, Colleen. Work harder.
But, when I ran my struggle with lack of discipline by a trusted advisor (If you don’t have one, please get one!), she saw it very differently. In essence, she said what Jennie Allen is saying.
We can not coast on grand visions or the need around us or people’s approval.
Only, she pointed out that, maybe, I was coasting on the need around me.
And, she’s right.
I’m not lazy, staying home from the gym because I can’t make myself go. I like to go. I’m staying home because, unless Lenny’s need to do to the gym dictates my schedule, I will fill that time with someone else’s need.
My need and desire aren’t reasons enough to keep our gym routine. I have let my choices be based on the needs of others.
Here’s how bad it is
As I thought about it, an image of me at a restaurant came to mind. I’m looking at the menu trying to decide what to order. And, you know what? I can’t recall EVER deciding what to eat before the waitress was standing at our table, pen in hand, waiting for me.
My whole life, I’ve made my meal choices only to fulfill the need of the server. Yikes.
In the article quoted above, Jennie Allen is talking about how our public world (i.e. online presence) drains us and, if we’re not careful, can become an identity indicator or the way we try to gain fulfillment. But I’m struggling with a false identity that is even closer to home than my Twitter feed.
It’s a little embarrassing but the lie I’m buying is that, if I can fulfill the needs of others well enough, then I will have worth because I ‘did it right’.
I’m buying into this to such a degree that my fitness, my healthy sleep – even my meal preference – only have value if they earn me points on the Worthiness Chart.
Thankfully, the solution is the same for those social media fulfillment junkies and me.
Time. Time with Jesus actually helps our wild souls be still and remember the incredible story we are part of and causes our identities to feel very secure, to the point that no other identity is needed. We hear the subtle lies and remember they are lies.
So, I have a new me-time focus and everyone is welcome to join me.
Notice where I’m seeking to find my identity and challenge the truth of the source. Cause there is only one source of our true identities and He will never leave you wondering if you made the grade. He wants you to know that there is no grade. No exam. No F but nor is there an A+.
There is only grace. His.