Coming home from sunny California to the grey cloudy days we know so well in the Pacific Northwest has stopped me in my tracks. It has sent me into a tail spin of walking around in a daze of just how to jump back into my life. When Summer transitions to Autumn, I’ve noticed each year that I go into a kind of depressive, hard to get motivated moody confusion. I don’t like myself when it happens and I am trying to sort out the pattern. I start obsessively evaluating my life, whether or not I am accomplishing what I believe God is asking of me. Or… whether I am enough, even though I know in my head, that yes, God says I am enough, because He is enough. I make myself crazy overthinking and am trying to learn how to breathe and hand over those confusing emotions.
This is the conclusion I’ve come to in my overthinking today. I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing in my home the past few months and have stumbled on old journals, pictures, and cards. This has triggered these thoughts and feelings of asking God to help me focus on the most important parts of my life for the days ahead. And so, I found this journal entry (below) and it reminded me of what my life is really about…
Loving well, my friends, my family and those in my sphere of influence.
Offering a smile often.
Practicing kindness, generosity and compassionate mercy.
These are the things in life that matter compared to my list of “accomplishments.” Here are the words written in my journal several years ago of another time I was obsessively reflective and the conclusion I came to.
I stood on the cold cement floor barefoot and waved goodbye to my son and my brand- new daughter-in-law as they drove away to start their life together. It was early dawn and all I could think of is how did this happen so fast? When did my little boy grow up to be a man? Why doesn’t life just stay the same? These questions and others plagued my tired brain. Now don’t get me wrong, I joyously entered into the marriage celebration of our son to his beautiful wife just a week earlier. But once again life seemed to be dictating more changes, a windfall of emotions to tramp through and a whole new set of rules to live by as a mother.
Days beforehand, I found myself in a similar mood waking up to the feeling like I was watching my life move too quickly on the big screen. I have been accused at times of being over reflective, well today was one of those days. I found myself talking to God about all the “stuff” and so called “accomplishments” I had contributed through the years specifically in the roles that I had served as a leader. In the process of mental sorting, an arrow of pessimism slammed into the core of my soul. Have I managed through all these years of serving God to produce any lasting fruit? Have I really influenced others and been a catalyst for godly transformation?
As I padded around the house in my morning routine, grabbing a cup of tea and my Bible, I sensed God leading me to encourage my wilting spirits. I walked into my office and went to the bottom shelf of the bookcase and pulled out a decorated photo box full of cards I had saved through the years. I had assured my partners in leadership many times that they would need to keep a box of cards for days like today.
Since I had no pressing appointments, I grabbed my now semi-warm cup of tea, crawled back into my rumpled unmade bed and began to read. Soon I was reaching for something to wipe my tears as my heart began to take in words and scriptures inscribed with ink on the several gracious notes I had received. Some spoke in well-versed sentences of how I had ministered through writing and speaking. Others ministered thoughtful comments expressing gratitude to serve together in leadership. I found myself being pulled up out of the pit I had fallen into that morning as I lingered over the words of each card and page. God gently moved me in the direction of realizing that “yes” I was bearing fruit for His kingdom but more than that I saw that I had been faithful. My soul began to soar and dance with anticipation as I recognized the many wonderful opportunities that God had spread out before me. My feelings of inadequacy, feeling overwhelmed and emotional tiredness began to dissipate.
You see I had been doing a lot of reflecting lately and in my own contemplation of closing the chapter of being a hands-on full-time mom, ministry opportunities, it has caused me to do a lot of thinking…and as I was mulling over the words of this verse from John 15:16.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last!
You see, if we believe what God’s Word says, then we are destined to live a life beyond belief.
This verse says it all.
We don’t choose our destiny or God’s favor, our assignments or even deciding whether our accomplishments are worthy.
It is in our everyday faithfulness to Him and His word that determines whether we bear fruit that will last. Not what we choose, but what he chooses for us as we are obedient and it erases my doubts of whether I think I am enough. Now just to chase those confusing emotions away!
I’ve packaged them up tonight and decided to not pay too much attention to them. It’s been a busy few weeks and too much thinking isn’t good for my soul. Besides, I am a little sleep deprived as well. Here’s to confessing I am enough because God is enough and I just need to rest in God’s extravagant love for me and trust He will lead me as I lean in and listen.
How about you? What do you need to confess in order to believe that you are enough in Christ?
(picture from webpage-http://iheartinspiration.com/quotes/note-to-self-i-am-enough/)