The question I’ve been asking myself lately is, what if I was as young as everyone who meets me thinks I am . . . what if I’m not actually Behind Schedule or Running Out Of Time . . . would I be as frustrated with myself? Would I be more humble, not feeling like my current circumstances are somehow beneath me, or I should “have it all together” by now?

So often expectations have been the standard I use to measure outcomes; the reason for intense disappointments in myself and feelings of failure. When pressure intensifies and wind howls louder I tend to fall back into comparing and competing . . . clinging to what my flesh has decided is supposed to give me worth. When I was younger, superiority was often the comforting antidote to rejection . . . some peers may not have liked me, but I was smarter than them and definitely going further in life. But to look at me, I haven’t. And I probably can’t get much further until my heart is purged of arrogance and narcissism.

Even when God sets people apart for something, He is not setting them above. I am late in learning this, and I am learning it still. But the way of the Kingdom is dying to self. Becoming small. Serving.

The way to the Kingdom is wilderness and desert; narrow roads and giving up everything . . . in love and in faith for what is worth what small grandeur {our bodies and free will} we have to offer.

As a teenager, I asked God to only ever let me find my identity in Him. There have been distinct junctures in which I have had that memory waft across my mind as everything around me feels like it it’s crumbling into chaos. It’s one thing to not be the heralded best and another all together to be outright and repeatedly rejected, and to find yourself at the mercy of other humans for help.

It is good for me to get there, and to count it all joy when I arrive.

. . . and all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever! Amen.

1 Peter 5:5b-11

take heart,
R.

3 responses to “desert & decades”

  1. I was similarly reflecting the other day. I was asked by a guy I was dating why I didn’t reach out to my former best friend who’d stopped talking to me years ago. The answer I gave him was that too much time had gone by and she still lives in another state and what’s the point of reconnecting just to have a digital friendship. But, upon reflection, the truth is I feel I have nothing to show for all the smarts I had in high school and college. I was always the smart quiet girl who was going to be successful because she could do anything. I often feel my former teachers and peers would shake their heads at where I’ve landed… but not quite /landed/ because I never really took flight. I’m constantly reminding myself that God’s timing is the only timing that matters, no matter how inept it makes me feel. He’s working on me still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I was talking to my siblings about this and how some of the other kids we grew up with were allowed to be themselves and make mistakes and they seem so well-adjusted now with “something to show for themselves.” But you are right; God’s timing is the only timing that matters. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t that crazy? The effort of parents to shield and protect so often results in somewhat stunted adults. I’m grateful for the protection, but the freedom to make mistakes would’ve probably made me a more well-rounded person.

    Liked by 1 person

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