I want to convey some truths that I wish someone would have told me two decades ago. Imagine that I have grasped your shoulders hard, and there is urgency in the way I look into your eyes. If I can tell you nothing else, then this is what I want most for you to know:
Be Self-Aware. Spend time with yourself; examine your emotions, your fears. Ask yourself questions.
Why do I feel afraid? Why am I angry? Is this reaction based on this situation or some past experience? How does my soul refuel? (Knowing if you are an introvert or an extrovert is crucial to your sustainability.) What are my strengths and weaknesses?
“This is actually my life, and it doesn’t matter a bit if it would be lovely for someone else to live. What does matter: does it feel congruent with how God made me and called me? (102)…I was longing for a life that felt light, right-sized for my strengths and limitations.” (149) Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect
If you want a life that is right-sized for you, then you must be bravely self-aware.
Your Self-Worth is God Given not earned! God can never love you more than He does right now. If you never produce another thing His love for you will not change. No it won’t, I promise. And when you know that you know that God loves you, well then you can do anything. And no matter what you do or don’t do, or what others have done to you God will always love you, so you will always have value.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No…For I am convinced that…[nothing]…in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35- 39 NIV
Seek to obey, not to succeed. Be faithful to who you are and to what God has asked of you and no matter how much you accomplish in a day or a decade you will be satisfied.
“How many people do you know who are effective at being themselves and letting God use that?” Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms, Arranging our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
“As I listen to the Holy Spirit, He coaches me on what is too much, or not enough, to take on…I’ve been learning to say these words: What I’ve done is enough for now.” Jodi Detrick, The Jesus-Hearted Woman, 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence (254)
Search God’s Word to Know Him, not to learn about Him. Let Him introduce Himself to you.
The Lord passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the Lord. The Lord is a God who shows mercy, who is kind, who doesn’t become angry quickly, who has great love and faithfulness… Exodus 34:6
Quickly now… I recommend the books I quoted, especially that last one (wink)! I urge you to practice Self-Examen, Silence & Solitude, and Sabbath. Most of all, I want you to know that I am cheering you on.
“May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.” Psalm 20:5