As I was exercising out on our property yesterday, I found myself daydreaming of many things but mostly of warmer weather (my old sports injuries have a tendency of acting up in colder weather!)
And daydreaming of warmer weather brought my mind to summertime with weather in the 90s and laying out by the pool. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Date Night, the majority of my thoughts are scattered, kind of like those pinball video games that I used to play as a child. So, with my thoughts “pinging” to summer, I started to think about past summers.
As memories flitted past, I found myself in Jekyll Island, chaperoning a trip to a Christian youth camp called SuperWOW. Yes… I volunteered to take five middle school girls to a Christian youth camp for a week… crazy, right?
I say that jokingly, though. Other than a severe lack of sleep throughout that week, we had the best time. We grew together as a group. We had so many laughs and played card games late into the night. We ate so much food, played softball and extreme frisbee on the beach, and swam in the pool. It was such a fun time.
So, where is the lesson? What great spiritual insight came?
It came several months later… as I’m walking around our pond trying to meet my cardio goal for the day…
You see, I remembered a specific moment on that trip that differs from the ones I just mentioned. This memory wasn’t fun or heartwarming.
We were sitting in the chairs waiting on worship to start. It was our turn to be toward the front of the auditorium. So, we had a front row view of the worship team. They were gearing up to sing some of my favorite contemporary songs.
As worship began, the girl on the worship team took the lead for a certain song. I can’t even remember what song it was. I just remember staring at the girl as she sang, with such a look of joy on her face, and all I could think was,
“Why can’t I be more like her? She’s got it all together. She doesn’t look like she’s struggling in her Christian walk.”
When I looked at her, I saw all that I wanted to obtain… a strong Christian walk… utmost devotion to God… joy… no struggle.
You don’t have to tell me these thoughts were and are irrational. I know that you can’t determine the strength of someone’s faith or their devotion to God by the fact that they take a stage and sing well… not even if they say some fancy and “deep” words before they sing the song. (Please hear me, I’m not judging her walk with God at all. I’m judging my irrational thoughts about her in general.)
At that point in my life, Summer 2017, I was struggling. I was struggling because I felt like I was in a season of drought… I felt distant from God, and it was entirely my fault. I had not been reading God’s Word daily. I had not been praying and talking with Him daily. I had distanced myself from my Godly friends when they wanted to talk about spiritual things. I secluded myself… for reasons that I could mention and reasons that are unknown to me.
Maybe you’ve been there, too.
Regardless, I was struggling.
Even on my best days, I compare myself to others in an unhealthy way. You can only imagine what it’s like on my worst days… those days when I’m struggling.
Yesterday, I was struggling, too. This time, it was not a lack of being in God’s Word or going to Him in prayer or surrounding myself with Godly friends. Sometimes, the common problems of life cause us to struggle. Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us because we allow them to do so, and as a result, we find ourselves in a low place.
So, as I’m struggling in the present, I remember my struggle from the recent past. I thought of that girl again, and I found those same old thoughts creeping in… Why can’t I be more like her? I felt myself falling into the trap of comparison yet again for the millionth time that day. I felt defeat wash over me, and then I felt something else.
I’m not kidding when I say that I feel like I felt the Lord’s righteous anger at these thoughts tangibly… I felt the heat of that anger brush my cheeks.
How dare you?
Sometimes, God has to give us a reality check. He has to “be real” with us and confront us. Well… I was confronted.
In a loving way.
In a stern way.
I felt like God was saying, “Stop this thought pattern right now! How dare you think about yourself this way? I DIED for you. My thoughts about you are ones filled with LOVE. How dare you think this way towards My creation?”
Wow. Talk about a reality check. Talk about real. Talk about confrontation.
The comparison stopped right then. Tears fell. Verses permeated my mind and my heart.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
Song of Solomon 4:7
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
And the one that is sent to me as a reminder at 10 a.m. every morning:
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
I know the struggle is not in vain. I know some other person needs to hear this message with me:
God loves you just the way you are. He doesn’t want you to be anyone else but you. You are worthy. You are chosen. You are beautiful. You are enough.
Say that with me, “I. AM. ENOUGH.”
Don’t be more like her. Be more like YOU.
IF THIS MESSAGE SPOKE TO YOU, PLEASE SHOW SOME LOVE AND LIKE, COMMENT, AND SHARE 🙂
PICTURE IS NOT MINE