sharing the struggle 2: nothing’s good enough

“If you want to guarantee that your life becomes a tragedy – become the hero of your own story” G.K. Chesterton

My life recently was becoming a tragedy. Everything was less than expected, sad, wrong, or imperfect. At first it just looked like I was disappointed with a thing or two each day. Then each day seemed to be full of let-downs. Life began to seem lack luster. I couldn’t be generally as happy as I used to be. Why? Why did little things like the dishes not getting done, or not having time to complete a craft destroy my mood for the rest day? Nothing was ever good enough anymore. I couldn’t enjoy the good things in my life because I let the little things bother me so much. And even after I saw that and pulled up my bootstraps and ‘decided’ to let go of the little things, I couldn’t. I didn’t change. I couldn’t change myself. Was I doomed to consider life miserable despite how blessed I truly was?

YES! I was relying on my standard and expectations to measure what was good and bad. But who am I?? I don’t have the whole world in my hand. I don’t have control over the universe. Yet I acted like I did by thinking that my plans HAD to work or else everything else was out of order and unfair. Thinking like this doomed me to be dissatisfied for the rest of my life. Not only that but it made God and his plan very very small.

“Oh, how much larger your life would be that you would become smaller in it” Pastor Tullian Tchividjian

I was essentially saying to God “I know you are the all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves me and designed me from the beginning of time with a plan for all my days, BUT i have a plan and if it doesn’t happen that way, I’m going to through a little temper tantrum about it” How’s that for a thank you to God for loving and creating me? God knows what I need better than I do and yet I get upset when I don’t get what I want.

It was only a couple weeks ago that I confessed this to God, repented and asked him to change my heart to seek his plan and be content knowing it’s better than my own. But already my view on life has improved dramatically. I am so much more resilient to changes in my day. I still make plans and lists, but I know that they are only a guide as God has the reigns. Which actually is a huge burden lifted off of me.

I once heard a friend tell me a bit about dog psychiatry (thanks T ;). She said that dogs need an Alfa dog in their pack to feel certain of what to do, where to go, and that they are taken care of. If the humans in their house do not demonstrate that they are the Alfa dog, then the dog feels the need to take control. But how can a dog take control in a human world? It’s very confusing and stressful for the dog. Have you seen those dogs that try to control their masters, are high strung and full of anxiety? That was me. I was running around frantically trying to make plans, trying to do things, and trying to be in control of a world I am most definitely not in control of, and God was still going about his plan! How wonderful it is to NOT be the Alfa dog and know that the Alfa dog has control, knows what I need, and it taking care of me!

I am still not prefect and I still try to act like the Alfa dog sometimes, but God is working on me everyday!

Can you relate?

 

sharing the struggle: the beginning

I once heard Katy Perry on the Ellen Show promoting her video documentary. She said that she sensed this would be a significant year of her life that would be full of big changes so she wanted it all documented. Well I’ve had that feeling since I was first introduced to the idea of becoming a missionary midwife a few years ago. I started blogging about it and then started a whole new blog just for this aspect of my life. 3 blogs, 2 twitter accounts and 1 Facebook re-activation later, I have still failed to share the real story. Why have I held back?

Look around you. Everywhere you look you see people telling you via tv, blogs, facebook, instagram, pinterest, and tumblr how wonderful their lives are, how creative they are, how much fun they are having, the great food they’re eating, the amazing places they’ve seen and the ways you can be/do the same. That’s what sells and that’s what people think they want to read about and see. But all it does is make you compare yourself to someone else’s life. Not even their actual life, but the sugar coated version they choose to share with you through a filter. I don’t know about you, but this has only made me feel like my life is lack luster and not as good as it could be. What I had hoped would inspire me has actually made me feel like a failure. Not all the time, but more than it should. Am I alone in this?

My husband has watched me struggle with this. I started with an honorable hope to inspire and educate others with what I am learning through this journey to become a missionary midwife but I have felt so intimidated by everyone else’s “life” that I have filtered mine until it was not the complete story. I started trying to people please, writing only what I thought people wanted to hear. This left me weighed down and uninspired. I have to go back to my roots and be true to why I am doing this.

God has this amazing story. And He has been gracious enough to make me a small part of it. God is doing amazing things in my life to complete His story and I want to share that with others. This means that my life is hard. I struggle. And this struggle can be burdensome, frustrating, and overwhelming if I look at it the wrong way. When I remember how much God loves me and that I struggle because He is pursuing me and developing me into a better person for His story, I truly feel blessed. He is not watching me struggle alone or forgetting about me. He is my Father, holding onto the back of my seat while I struggle to ride my bike without the training wheels. He won’t let go until I’m ready, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like He is holding on. But He is! And how wonderful it is to look beside me when I feel scared, anxious and uncertain and see Him stabilizing my life and smiling at me with encouragement! I want everyone to know that feeling. I want you to hear about my struggles and watch me forget God is there and then remember again. And I want you to be able to reflect on your own struggles (because we all have them) and be reminded to look beside you at the Comforter, the Father, the amazing personal God, guiding and loving us all. I hope you will join me on this series as I repent of the self centered use of my blog to get adoration and approval from people and let God redeem it to help others.