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Ripping off the Bandaid

August 24, 2018

It’s been quiet around here. 2018 has, so far, brought a whirlwind of changes for our family. We bid farewell to North Carolina and made the very long 3,000 mile drive cross country to California. After a couple of nonstop weeks, we finally got unpacked, settled down, and are falling into a new rhythm.

I’m not sure what prompted me to write today. Maybe it was the discussion I had with my friend Erica a few days ago about stepping off the stage and out of the limelight…you know, getting back to the words and the writing and the things that brought you all here in the first place. Maybe it’s the newness of our location and the need to put word to paper screen. Maybe it is me looking to find someone to talk to as we have just recently joined a church and I’m still digging for my “tribe” here in sunny NorCal.

Whatever that reason may be, I am.

Writing, that is.

I have spent the better part of my life trying to mold myself into someone I’m not.

There. I said it.

That felt kind of like ripping off a bandaid.

I felt like I needed to just kind of blurt that out like you would in a face-to-face conversation you’re having with a girlfriend. Blurt it out when she’s mid-sentence so as to truly shock her and cause her to pause and backtrack and ask you, “huh?”

During my time away from the never ending feeds of Facebook and Instagram, I spent a lot of hours in the car riding shotgun with my husband with our daughter in the backseat (don’t worry…our boys were in the car in front of us with Grandma). We covered a lot of ground and put a lot of miles down on the road. We also had a lot of conversations. A lot of the really deep, thought provoking kind that leave you asking more questions and grasping for answers that you simply can’t find. Something in me started to change somewhere between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

I started to wrestle with the realization that, despite my best intentions, I have tried harder to be accepted by the world than embraced by grace.

Striving to do what others that I admire are doing (whether it be in work, in school, in business or in hobby). Attempting to recreate myself in the sense of who I think I am supposed to be rather than who I was created to be. As silly as it sounds, it was the unfollowing by someone on Instagram that kind of sent me into a subconscious curiosity of whether I was not enough. (Social media is grand, right?) A now well-known speaker and blogger/author once followed me on social media and then at some point stopped. No real clue why. But, that tiny little “unfollow” left me wondering what I did and why she did it.

Why doesn’t she like me anymore?
Did I say something that offended her?
Am I not “christian” enough for her?
Is she too holy now that she has all these
Is she better than I am?

During my time “off” I have learned three things that have completely changed the way that I look at and live life. Things you may read and say, “well…duh. Of course!” and then roll your eyes and click away from the site to go about your day. I get it. I do that, too. But, it’s three things that, although obvious in so many ways, we tend to ignore and intentionally forget,

  1. God is so much BIGGER and so much BETTER than anything in this world you will ever accomplish, purchase or desire.

    I know that so. many. people. say that same thing, over and over and over again. But, friends, it is so true. I wish that I could get you to understand that striving to fill a void that was only ever meant to be filled by Jesus himself will never make you happy. No matter how much money you spend. No matter how much time you devote into growing your following or your numbers or building your platform. Jesus was and is better. Period.

  2. You were created for a purpose that only YOU can fulfill.

    Again, probably cliche and something you have heard countless times in your life, but true nonetheless. I think back to the episode of F•R•I•E•N•D•S (and any true fan will appreciate my spelling it out like that) in which Ross insists that Die Hard was his idea and that he has the napkin to prove it. God has planted something inside of you that He wants to grow…to cultivate…to bring to life. Yet, being a microwave generation, we tend to want what we want, when we want it–which is typically right this moment. Instead of waiting on God’s timing and trusting that He will bring to fruition all that is intended in His time, we throw in the towel and say forget it. I’ve had a countless number of ideas in my life that I have sat on and done nothing about, only to find that they are later executed by someone else. Typically someone I don’t know and have never met. My point being…when God plants something in your heart, follow through with it. DO IT. My I have never met her but thing she’s fabulous friend, Ruth, has the motto, “Do It Scared.” There is going to be fear. And doubt. And struggle. You do it anyway.

  3. You are 100% authentically and genuinely fabulous JUST LIKE YOU ARE.

    I know that is not always easy to hear or to believe. Trust me. I have battled with this thought pattern for well over a decade. It is exhausting and it is stressful. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, no matter how far you run from it, you are going to be who God created you to be or you are going to be miserable. In my own life, I have struggled with trying to be like someone else for a long time. I
    wanted to create things like someone else, shoot images like someone else, write like someone else. In all of my longing to be someone else, I allowed myself to diminish who it is that God created ME to be. I lost sight of what my passion is, what my style is, and what my voice sounds like. It’s okay to want to grow and I think it’s even okay to imitate in some ways (note: this is not me giving you permission to blatantly steal or copy something from someone else), but never to replicate. You are beautifully whole just as you are. Don’t ever change that.

Life and work and business is changing (and has changed) here in our new little spot on the west coast. God is moving and working and I’m just excited to be along for the ride. Maybe that will mean I start blogging again more frequently. I remember that I used to really dig that…

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