My shopping routine looks a bit like this: I need a special dress. So I go to all the stores that could potentially have the dress I need. I purchase as I go, collecting several options. I keep the tags on everything I buy, of course, until there are no more stores to explore. Then I go home, try on the dresses again, mix with various accessories, and hang them in my closet until a few days have passed and I can be sure I’m choosing the right one.
Next year it will be the 75th anniversary of the death of a young girl who penned her experience living a life independent of her circumstances. In The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne shared how she stayed strong even while in hiding from the Nazis during WWII. She wrote,
I’m not good enough.
It’s a phrase I’ve played in my mind thousands of times since I was a child. It’s been my Achilles heel. And for so long, I’ve tirelessly toiled away to prove these words aren’t true about me. That I am good enough.
During a difficult season of our marriage, my husband and I began the deep work of healing which involved a significant investment in our mental health. Recently in one of our sessions with our therapist, we did as we always do: We checked in with how we were feeling.
When Paul wrote to the church in Rome, he began his letter by saying that he was “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle.” The word called in this verse carries a sense of purpose, intent, and direction. When Paul heard God’s divine call on the road to Damascus, he was flooded with a powerful sense of destiny.
There are a variety of human responses to pain. Some people, when faced with suffering, soar. But for others—maybe even for you—suffering can drive our faith into the ground. It deeply impacts our walk with God, and not always in a positive way.
It took me a little while to accept that I am a leader. Our pastor and director of Jesus Culture,
Banning Liebscher, would call me into his office and challenge me to grow in certain areas. I
would complain and push back, upset that I felt like more was being required of me than others
on our team. He would say, “Yes! More is required of you because of your leadership calling!”
I would concede and push and stretch myself towards growth.
So much of our social media frenzy is fed by filtered pictures and half-truths, meant to arouse envy, provoke anger, or inspire greed. Looking back on my own social media history, I wince at how self-focused, prideful, and image-obsessed my posts were, prior to God’s searing conviction to use any influence He gave me for His glory.