Hey there! I want to start off by thanking you guys for the unbelievable amount of love and support you showered me with over the last week. So many of you could relate to my personal journey to motherhood, which both breaks my heart and at the same time fills me with hope. This might sound so weird after having such a positive reaction to my first blog post but I didn’t FEEL like writing today.. it’s not like I am short on words but full disclosure I do battle with discipline, can I get an amen sister?
In the spirit of complete honesty it’s not even just my frequent decision to lean on my feelings when it comes to discipline but also the comparison that sneaks up and whispers “sure that last blog wasn’t bad but good luck writing something else half decent.” I am laughing now because yes, I realize that I am intimidated by my own writing and I am stacking myself up against myself and somehow feeling like I am coming up short. Now that you too are thinking about how dorky that sounds can’t you also relate? I hear women say the following statements almost every day..
“I use to be much leaner before my second baby.” ” When I worked out before I could lift way more.” ” I ran before I had kids and now I can barely do a mile.” ” I use to be really good about meal prepping but now I just barely get by.” Those comparisons may seem insignificant but they chew away at your self confidence and leave you feeling like a second rate version of you. So how do we put a stop to the negative self talk and instead run the race set before us?
I have a theory.. but it might not go over well at first. Remember the old nursery rhyme ” We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”?
“We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!”
I’ve attempted to go over and under a lot of hard stuff in my life as if it would get any easier if I could somehow get out of facing the issue head on. Just this last week I was driving home listening to some worship music and it was like the lyrics (that I have heard a million times before) were washing over me for the first time..
” Take my life and let it be
set on fire for all to see
break me down, build me up again
Don’t leave me the way I’ve been
Take my heart into your hands
Come and finish what you began”
As I sang the words I heard God say to me ” You’ve been running from the hard parts of your story, trying to pretty them up but what if instead of putting out fires I want you to set a fire so big people come from all over to watch it burn.” For me, that is what this blog is, my story on fire.. my hard parts of life up in flames. I believe that we were designed to crave ” me too” moments.. the moment right after you share the hard thing you’ve been going through and instead of being judged you hear “you too? I thought I was the only one.” Sharing my mess before I feel ready is my way of saying I don’t have it all figured out either but I’ll go first if it means someone else doesn’t have to go it alone!
I think the root of all this comparison junk boils down to one word: worth. If you remember from last weeks post I mentioned that it made me nervous to write publicly because I have zero idea how to use proper punctuation. Truth be told, I have always loved writing and until senior year of high school I was pretty confident in my ability. I took an English class for college credit and I was sure I was going to crush it! Every single paper I got back was littered with comments like “was this entire paper one big long run on sentence?” and “beautiful voice, learn how to use punctuation.” What she meant as constructive criticism I heard like this “You are not a good enough writer,” “You could never write on a large scale.”
Truth is I may not be a qualified writer or even know what the heck to do with a semi colon (or how my dear friend Bre calls them “dot commas”) but I do know how to be obedient to the Lord. So maybe you’re in a similar place
” I’m not ready.”
“I can’t do it like her.”
“I’m just not made that way.”
“I’m not good enough”
and I don’t know about you but when I don’t feel ready to do something I’m a ” dig my heels in- ain’t no way” kind of girl. I have a good friend who I like to call when I can feel myself being nudged to do something uncomfortable because she’s not afraid to give it to me straight. (if you don’t have a friend like that, get one, you’ll need her!) Whenever I call her with all the very valid reasons I can’t do something she always responds the same. ” so you feel scared?… that’s okay just do it scared.” Just like that I remember that feeling ready or qualified or brave isn’t really a requirement to start and feelings are really not a fair indicator of what we should or shouldn’t be doing.
Consider this, Albert Einstein said:
“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Is it possible that you too have been judging your worth by comparing your gifts to the gifts of other women or even a you from a previous season of life? You might have once worn smaller jeans and maybe you will again very soon but right now that’s not who you are. Maybe you use to have career dreams that didn’t pan out so now when someone asks you what you do, you say ” well I wanted to..” What if we just fully embraced our stories and instead of trying to hide the ugly places and dodge the hard parts we just set them ablaze? Is that crazy talk? I’m not sure but I can tell you that cleaning out that junk drawer feels good…like real good.
Could you imagine how freeing it would be if instead of spending your time dressing up the messy places in your heart you just fully embraced your story. I’m not even talking about the huge stuff I’m talking about even the seemingly insignificant parts too. For example I talk fast.. sometimes faster than my tongue can keep up with. My entire life my teachers, my parents and my grandparents would tell me to slow down, complain that I spoke too quickly and that I needed to correct it. So I spent my entire life trying to change something about myself instead of embracing it. All week God pressed this verse on my heart ” For when I am weak, then I am strong” .. to me speed talking is a weakness its something about myself I have always wished I could change but this week I saw this ” flaw” as a blessing. You know what kind of people don’t have a difficult time writing? Those who have a billion words floating in their brain every single day!
The point is, you have gifts and talents and things unique trapped up in you.. the hard part is they might be wrapped in a package that looks unfit to present to the world.. do it anyways. So those hard places in your life that seem to have control over you…there’s only one way to find freedom. You won’t be able to go over it or under it, you’re going to have to look it right in the face and toss a match and watch it burn. Light it up friends, like a city on a hill.