Do you ever scare yourself?
Do you ever scare yourself? yes, no, maybe? Lol I hope you're all better than me then... Last week the pastor of the church where I worship came to our campus to fellowship with us. Since we’re all women at my college, and the church pastor is very kind, we had an intimate discussion on love. He taught us about the kinds of love and encouraged us to be young women who love God and worship Him truly. He also shared some experience about the kinds of people that He likes to work with in ministry.
For instance, he said, many people approach him all the time asking for posts in the church. They’d say to him “I can be a much better choir director than the one you have currently, appoint me!” He said that this always annoys him and once a person speaks like that, he rarely gives them the chance to actually prove themselves because they're clearly looking down on the person in that current position and because they're operating in pride.
This story made me think about myself a little critically. I sometimes worry about my reputation and whether my actions always match my intentions. For instance, I’ve never struggled with nervousness and shyness. I mean, I get scared about meeting people or addressing large audiences once in awhile, but because of the way my parents raised me, (and God’s gifts to me haha) I generally don’t fear people. Wake me up from sleep and I can address a large crowd or hold a conversation with someone I've never met before (even if they're famous haha).
I’m also very eager and ambitious. When I love something, I pursue it with my whole heart and I work hard at it. I’m also think I’m resilient.
All of this is to say that when I want something, I pursue it.
But does it always come off that way? Does it sometime seem like I want the spotlight or that I think I can do a better job than the person next to me? I’m not actually asking for your answer, those are just some of the things that I’ve been thinking about.
On the flip side, I’m very sensitive and I care very much about people and their feelings and emotions. I try to not be abrasive, offensive, and to prevent conflict. Like the qualities I listed above, this is also a product of having the parents that I have. They raised me to be kind and conscientious, and although I’ve grown older and wished for certain things to be different, I can never doubt that I have kind and loving parents.
Either way, with this rare combination of gifts, I sometimes find myself buried a little too deeply in my thoughts.
When I was choosing my major in college, I asked myself what I wanted to be known for. I decided it was writing. I want people to think of Alheri and think, wow, that girl can write.
In my daily life, I ask myself what I want to be known for. It’s kindness. I want people to think of me and say wow that girl is kind!
Well, I also want to be known for Jesus. I want people to think of me and think of Jesus. But I'd like that to be manifested through kindness. I want to be one of those people you meet that have a kind and loving aura. Whatever that thing is, I want it.
Does that even exist or make sense?
I walk around daily wondering if I’m being kind and loving and welcoming. I wonder if the people around me know that I genuinely care about them and spend days praying and fasting for their own wellbeing as I pray for mine. I wonder if having me as a friend has made my friends love themselves a little more. I wonder if it's pointed them to Jesus and made them experience His overwhelming love.
I confess that I’ve been going about this the wrong way. I’ve been fixated on my and my friends’ thoughts and behaviors that my focus has shifted towards me and towards them and it’s bringing pressure.
Last night, as I journaled, I asked the Lord to show me why I was treading down this path and an analogy came to my mind.
The cleanest vessels in the house are those that get the most use. If I want to be kind and generous, I have to think about serving others more, rather than sitting on my bed in my college dorm room wondering if I’m kind and generous.
No one gets good at anything by sitting and wishing for it. We grow by doing, we grow by actively looking for opportunities, where we can be groomed and sharpened.
This realization took the thought of my reputation and my work off my mind and helped me to refocus on Jesus. My prayer now is “Lord, show me how you want to use me. Actually, you don’t need to show me. Just use me how you want to use me and please grant me your grace to be obedient.”
Someone said yesterday (in some youth christian fellowship I watched on YouTube) that God is the boss who asks you to do something then proceeds to help you do it.
I’m banking on that.
I’m also banking on Proverbs 16:7, which says: “When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone's way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” (NIV)
Have a wonderful week everyone. My more recent blog posts have been a little intimate haha. I love it. As long as God’s leading, I’ll gladly follow!
All featured images from giphy.