This week I have the honor of setting aside my random thoughts and contemplations and instead, I get to introduce you to one of my dearest friends – Meagan! After much persuasion and a bit of patience (good writing, like wine, takes time and a bit of squeezing), she’s finally graced us with a guest blog post! I’m thrilled.
She has written articles for several well-known publications, has traveled to one or two corners of the Earth, is a wife to a pretty decent dude, lives in them there mountains, is the friend of a fox or two AND is provider of sugary nectar for several hummingbirds. But as cool as all that stuff is, those things are merely indicators of the large heart and vibrant spirit this woman envelops – not who she actually is. She is a woman who has the humility to merely seek the Father, vigilantly deal with her personal healing, love those around her, and enjoy life as best as she humanly can.
Meagan has been a major force in my life over the time I have known her, and I am excited for you to meet her and get to know her heart too. Also, when you’re done reading, leave a comment for her!
It’s so easy to look at others — and I do it all the time — and see what we don’t have or who we aren’t. “She’s written a book,” “she has a nice house,” “he’s smarter and more capable than me,” “he’s traveled the world, “she has an amazing job,” “she overcame cancer and is a doctor now,” and, my personal favorite, “They all have purpose and I don’t have anything that is special about me.”
The fact is, looking around at everyone else denies and detracts from what God made you. It’s kind of an insult. Yeah, I may not have those things or talents or experiences that the people I look up to have, but we’ve got to learn that those external things are not what give us value. What gives me value is the unique person God made me, simply because he loves me. I have worth, because I belong to the God of the universe. My identity is as His — not as the things I accomplish or the talents or stuff I have.
How could he have made me and not love me? Would he have spent so much time making me that he knows every hair on my head, and not given me a unique purpose in this world to live out? Would he let me miss out on that– if I’m really seeking His will? Certainly not — he’s not a petty, ruthless God out to show you how bad you suck compared to him and everyone else. Instead, he is your champion and cheerleader. Embrace what he gave you, learn to love what he made you.
So stop looking around at everybody else, stop looking down at the potholes in your life — your inadequacies, your circumstances that look to ensnare you in an endless pit of discontent — and look forward to Christ alone.
A wise lady, my counselor of 15 years, told me: If you are running from a monster, and you look back at it, all of your energy is consumed by focusing on it instead of the path of escape. If you are running a race, and looking around at your competitors, they will overtake you.
Keep your eyes focused on the one thing that can keep you going forward, in the right direction. Christ alone.
So that I don’t leave you without any idea of what that means, here are some ways to get your eyes off yourself and others, and on to the place they belong.
- Instead of waking up and thinking about the day in front of you, pray this prayer FIRST thing: “God, what do you have for me today?” Wait and listen. Tell him your thoughts, feelings and fears and listen. Keep talking to him, keep listening. This will be very difficult to do at first, so don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying. If your mind strays, come back to talking to him.
- Then, as you are eating your brekkie, or before you leave for school or work, read a Psalm every morning – pick an encouraging one, not a sad one or the ones that have ancient Israeli history that you can’t relate to. As you read, focus on God’s promises and his greatness.
- Think of what promises he’s kept to you and WRITE THEM DOWN. In a journal, on a notepad, wherever. It will help you remember them. Think of the scripture you read throughout the day.
- As you go throughout your day and good things happen, or you are encouraged by something, WRITE IT DOWN on that notepad, thank God for it OUT LOUD (even if you work in a cubicle, do it as a whisper). Praising God audibly discourages the enemy’s attacks.
That’s a start. We’ll do more next post. There’s lots of help to be had. Keep up hope.