“How am I going to do all this, I thought? How can I keep the priorities I know I should and accomplish this well over the week?”
This wasn’t the first time this thought had run through my mind before. I was still in the season where my children were still at home, at least part of the time. The family’s schedules were all over the place, and you didn’t want to miss some of those open spaces if you could help it.
Stress filled my insides as I struggled with the truth that I had said “yes” in too many places. I was continually stretching myself because EVERYTHING seemed to be “important” or a “priority.”
Can you relate to this?
Do you often find yourself in these difficult positions where you have said, “yes, to too many things or people, and now you are in a position where even if you do it all, you really won’t do it well?
In the end, though, even when I did them all, I was late to some things, not fully present at others, and I could easily have given the impression I was only doing these things because I had to, not because I loved them all that much.
I wasn’t able to be fully present with my husband and children. I couldn’t be fully present with those I was serving, and I did not give myself the rest I needed and lost my time with God in the middle of it all, which is the fuel; I needed to be there well.
Why do we think that if God provided everyone needed for it all, that somehow it can’t get done without us?
Why do we think if we say “no” once, they won’t ask again and might lose our chance to be needed?
Why, when these times of serving are to be about God, that it suddenly becomes about us?
Our identities get entangled up in it all. We begin to think we need this to be seen and known as the reliable one or the hero. We enjoy how people look at us and how they see us.
Does this sound familiar to you today?
How do we get there?
For me, disappointing people is one of my worst fears. The strange thing is, this comes from a place where disappointing people I love breaks my heart, and there is also a place where I am afraid to disappoint people because somewhere along the way, disappointing people got translated to who I was as a person.
It became personal. When I disappointed people, it was because I failed, and it brought rejection, which is one of my top fears in life.
So when I disappoint people, it does connect to my identity because it was usually translated that it was something I did or didn’t do that disappointed people I love. It usually resulted in some rejection. Sometimes that was really what happened, and other times that was just how it came across.
This is why we must be abiding in Christ. Our time with God is the one thing we must never say, “no” to, or compromise. That time will look different in each season. It is not a boxed look. We have to get creative in busy seasons, but we must keep it a priority.
“Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?” “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things. “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Here we see the reminder that our Heavenly Father knows everything that is needed. He knows what the person, ministry, church, and others need. He knows what you need.
He knows if you are the one who is needed in that situation. If you are, He will give you everything you need to do it. He will strengthen and equip you. He will help schedule your time in a way where you won’t feel overloaded. Sometimes that means He will ask you to let go of something else for the season. There will be joy in what you are doing.
If you are not the one for the situation, He can make that clear, if you pause and ask Him. He can provide the right person for it. There will be relief and joy in the, “no”.
It is hard to change our habits and thought processes after living this way for so long, but it is a necessary change.
I have begun this process and it takes baby steps. It is a renewing of the mind. We have to learn to recognize the enemy’s lies that have tormented us for many years and allow God to replace them with the truth.
We can do this together with God and with one another.
This week I want to challenge you to do three things:
- Practice seeking God first in your life. Putting Him first daily, even moment by moment. Pray, get in His Word, and journal if that is something that helps you.
- Ask God to help you recognize the lies from the enemy, and ask Him to replace those lies with His truth. Record those moments so you can go back to them.
- When you are asked to commit to something, practice the pause. Don’t answer or commit right away. Give God room to confirm the yes or no.
Just as we have been freed, we want others to be freed as well. This is why I share so deeply and transparently. God is continually freeing me from the chains of my past, and the places of bondage I find myself in life. This is why Jesus came. It is why Jesus died and rose again so that we might live in this freedom. Not just now but forever.
It is the most amazing gift ever, and it is a gift meant to be shared!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedom You have given us in Jesus. Please help us to recognize those roots in our hearts. Please renew our minds, expose the lies of the enemy and replace them with Your truth. May we have hearts that seek you first always. As we pause and include You in our decisions, bring confirmation and answers through Your Holy Spirit. Help us to be sensitive to Your Holy Spirit, and walk in places You have us, faithfully. In Jesus Name! Amen!