Monday, November 16, 2015

When You're Feeling Dissatisfied

Weight and appearance is something I have struggled with for years.

It all happened innocently enough. I wanted to start taking care of myself to be an example to my family, and to honour God. And for awhile that exactly was my motivation.

Somewhere along away, though, I got distracted. I started worrying over every single calorie, every single pound, every single exercise minute. The goal of being an example and honouring God wasn't enough if I didn't weigh x amount of pounds. I felt like a failure and I was sure everyone around me thought I was, too.

I spent three years in a dark pit of despair and dissatisfaction, dug by my own hands and my own need for approval and worth from the outside. I couldn't see God, I couldn't hear God, I couldn't seek God. I thought I would never get out.

God miraculously got my attention one day and over the next several months, I clawed my way out of that pit. As I did, I intentionally sought Him each day and my love for Him and His Word grew more and more.

But I was still dissatisfied.

You see, even though I was out of the pit, I was still clinging to the stronghold of approval. I still needed to weigh just the right amount, be just the right size for people to like me, for God to be happy with me.

When we're dissatisfied, it's more often than not because we are seeking whatever it is we think will satisfy us from anything and anyone but the only One who can actually satisfy us. It's so easy to buy into the world's belief that new clothes or a new house or losing weight or being successful will be all we need.

But I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that none of those things do.

The truth finally started to sink in several months ago as I got tired of crying out to God to help me get over this need to diet and lose weight. It occurred to me that even though I really wanted to be done, I was still just asking Him to melt the extra pounds off with a snap of His fingers so I could be on my merry way.

But you know what? That didn't happen. Instead, He started talking to me about His power. About my motivation. About seeking first His righteousness. About demolishing strongholds with prayer and thanksgiving, not so I could be glorified but so He could be glorified.

And suddenly, that need to look perfect, that need to be approved and admired by others, fell away as I began to experience real satisfaction in knowing simply I am His.

Sweet friend, that thing you are pursuing, hoping it will finally fill you up - while it may look good and seem good on the outside - it just isn't going to cut it. You may feel satisfied for a little while, but it will be temporary. And when the feeling subsides, you will be left feeling emptier than ever before.

To find real satisfaction, real fullness, you only need to do one thing:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:28-29

The weight won't melt off. Your house won't get bigger and your closet won't be full of brand new clothes.

But none of that will matter because your soul will be filled with the sweetest, most satisfying thing of all:


Monday, November 9, 2015

When You're Feeling Insignificant

This past weekend, I attended a women's conference.

Here's the deal. If you're fine with how your life is going and you don't want God to interrupt you, you should stay very, very, very far away from these types of conferences. Because let me tell you, God interrupted me.

Oh sure, on the surface it looked innocent enough - over a thousand women worshiping together and learning what God has to say about restoration. About our fear and worry. About our identity.

Also there were brownies. Caramel cheesecake brownies. I'm pretty sure if manna tasted like those delectable pieces of heaven, the Israelites would have never complained.

Besides, God didn't even interrupt me in the big stuff. It was in a small, insignificant little comment my dear friends made to encourage me that I sweetly laughed off as them being too generous.

But God wouldn't let it go.

So here I am, writing a small, insignificant little post, while being distracted by my kids, the dog, and thoughts of ooey gooey caramely goodness..... sorry, let me wipe the drool off my keyboard. Where was I?

Oh right. Insignificance.

I've struggled with insignificance for practically ever. I could blame it on a whole host of things in my childhood, in my adulthood, but truly the real cause is pride. I feel insignificant because I want to be significant and I am not.

But He is.

I've struggled with wanting His glory, His acclaim, all for myself. I want to be noticed for being a good mom, a good wife, a good teacher, a good writer. I want to be applauded and lifted up and told I am worthy.

Here's the thing. I am. I am worthy. Because God has made me so. Not because of what I have done or am doing or will do. But because of Jesus.

Have you ever heard the song Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin? The chorus goes:

You're a good good Father.
It's who You are, it's who You are,
It's who You are.
And I am loved by You.
It's who I am, it's who I am,
It's who I am.

As I sang that song on the weekend, with tears streaming down my face, it finally sunk in that I will never be good enough, talented enough, thin enough, anything enough to feel significant enough.

But I am enough. Because I am loved by the King of Kings, the God Most High. I am His beloved daughter - it's who I am.

And beloved sister, it's who you are.

I think, I know we all struggle with feeling insignificant in some way. And as we seek that worth in all the worthless things of the world, that feeling only grows until it becomes unbearable.

Our good Father is waiting for us to believe He is enough for us. And sweet sister, do you want to know the most amazing, incredible thing that happens when we do?

Suddenly, we feel like we can conquer the world. The things that seem so little and so unimportant are suddenly big enough because we see them through the eyes of the Father who loves us and we realize the significance, the worth, the value of what He has given us to do this day.

Just being who we are.

Friday, October 16, 2015

FMF: Green

These past few weeks as I've been concentrating on showing my precious little ones the bright, beautiful, bold colours that make up the world around us, yellow, red, orange, blue, and green (to name a few), I've been struck by how hard it can sometimes be to get it. I can show the kids a dozen different yellow things, help them go on a yellow scavenger hunt, read books about yellow, and still when I ask them out of the blue what colour something is, they tell me it's green.

Being a preschool teacher is sometimes a lesson in patience, y'all.*

But then I think how much am I like that? How often does God show me His truth over and over again, and I believe it until out of nowhere He asks me to trust Him and I say "green."

(Okay, so maybe not literally. That would be weird. I'm going for poetic here.)

I've struggled for years with the same strongholds. I've learned for years the only way to demolish them is through prayer and embracing, living God's truth. And yet when it comes right down to it, I try to tear those massive walls down with my own little hands.

His hands bled red for me, for us, for our victory. Not just over strongholds. Over all of it. And I forget and I say green because I don't know what else to say.

Linking up for Five Minute Friday. 

*I know. I'm Canadian. I shouldn't say y'all. I couldn't help it. It just needed to be said!