Do you ever feel that you are failing? That you aren’t enough? I know I do, and I get these kinds of thoughts often as a person who suffers from anxiety. But I don’t think living in fear is God’s plan for me or anyone else. Remember the man by the pool?
John 5:8 Then Jesus told him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Jesus was talking to the man by the pool, who would see all the other people getting water in the pool, and he was paralyzed by his thoughts and beliefs about who he was. Jesus saw him wallowing in his pity and told him to get up!
We all have lies we believe about ourselves that come from the devil himself. They may sound like:
- I’m not pretty enough
- I’m not naturally (insert virtue here)
- I’m not good enough
- I’m not enough
- I’m not capable
- I don’t have anything to give
- I don’t have time
- I’m too fat
- I’m too thin
- My kids aren’t well behaved enough
- I’m not doing enough for my kids
- I should work outside the home
- I should be a stay-at-home mom
- I should certain life milestones done by now
- Too many people are already doing it
- No one is interested in this
- I’m not pretty enough
- I need to wait until (…)
- I don’t have the right tools yet.
Some of us need to hear this message, some of us don’t. Some of us are Marthas, some of us are Marys. And at different times we need different things. But I think we can both agree that if you have been venting about the same thing for years and years, and you can change it, but you are afraid, it’s time to “get up”! We need not be capable, only willing, Remember Mary’s fiat?
I certainly have all of these limiting thoughts going through my head from time to time, especially when I’M TIRED. I put off creating this blog for some time because I was waiting for the perfect circumstances to arrive. I was believing the lie of “you can’t blog until you have 2 + hours a day of completely uninterrupted time and have a regular baby sitter in place”. I was comparing myself to other moms online who had regular childcare, and while that would be great, it isn’t possible in my current circumstance. Thankfully, I found a mom who inspired me to write when my kids were asleep, and another mom who would just write for 15 minutes at a time. From these two women’s separate circumstances, I was able to tailor my writing to a schedule that works for my life. It doesn’t matter that my life doesn’t look like someone else’s.
You see what I want to tell you is you can do it. You can get up. You can change your life. You can’t change everything but the good Lord has given you many gifts and talents, and please don’t bury them in the ground. And when you don’t use them, you must know that you are not only short-changing yourself, but also those closest to you. For example, Jennifer Fulwiler said that she dedicated her first book to her grandfather, who died shortly thereafter. Had she not got up, and got writing, she would have denied her grandfather that beautiful gift.
So specifically, what can you do?
Before you give up completely that you can ever be happy with you life, try to get the basics in, then see how you feel. Then you can REALLY determine if certain things are unchangeable. Do things like:
- Go to confession
- Seek spiritual direction
- Read spiritual books
- Read the Bible
- Watch spiritual videos
- Eat properly and regularly
- Attend to any anger issues you may have
- See a friend regularly for coffee, set a recurring date
- Take time for your personal interests even if it’s 10-15 minutes
- Practice gratitude
These things will all help you get in touch with who God created you to be, and see your life in a different way. You will gain the clarity you need to start changing what needs changing. You will realize you might have everything you need to do what you need to do, you just need to do it. So get up, please. Stop saying I can’t, and say with God, I can.
I think we can all be such perfectionists about the call to use our time, talents, and treasure to build up the kingdom of God. We get an all or nothing mentality. So, we do nothing. We waste away staring our phones,the TV, or computer.
I just had a revelation though.
What if we just did SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to discover what exact talent you should be using, just do something. And keep doing somethings. And do as many somethings as you can. Maybe you will discover your blue flame, maybe you won’t, or maybe your blue flame is a bunch of little somethings. Like Saint Therese. But please, do something!