“Do you write anymore?”, someone asked me. The truth is that I’ve hit the breaks on a lot of my hobbies because I was greatly convicted of being prideful by the Holy Spirit. I didn’t just want to write, I wanted to be a famous author. I didn’t just want to be creative, I wanted to be a successful artist. I didn’t just want to be an educator, I wanted to be Jaime Escalante or Erin Gruwell. I didn’t just want to volunteer or lead a nonprofit, I wanted to win awards so everyone could see how self-sacrificial and kind I was (oh the irony). I wanted to do something I enjoyed, only if the reward was fame, money, or national praise. I was grossly self-absorbed even though not many noticed, and it’s amazing to look back at this false narrative that is taught to our younger generations with the toxic #SelfLove #LoveYourself #BossBabe #PutYourselfFirst mentality.
The mindset has dissolved over the years, as my heart has switched to #Luke10:27 #John3:30 #Galatians2:20-21 #1Corinthians15:31 #Galatians 5:24-25 #Ephesians4:22-24 #Colossians3:10 #2Corinthians5:17 (if you have a moment, these are really good verses to read and save).
Do I write still? Yes, clearly, as I’m writing now. Yes, I still create though only the people in my home see. Yes, I volunteer but I won’t boast about what I do or how often. Yes, I hold a part-time job, but it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I stay hesitant to share anything out of fear pride will sneak back in, I’m much more content with where my heart and time is spent now. These things I valued so highly are incomparable now to the roles I hold now, confidently proclaiming my current job as a wife and mom (and sister).
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not elevating this one role as wife/mom/sister, I’m lifting up whatever main role God places us in. You see, it was easy to fall into pride and envy over the jobs other people had that I wanted. I was blessed with being a wife and mom early in life and did I find contentment in it right away? Absolutely not, because I was self-seeking and self-serving and wanted that #BossBabe life because I valued what people thought of me over everything. Being a wife/mom/sister/friend is self-sacrificing and humbling; When I introduce myself as a stay-at-home parent, the reaction is far different than when I said I was a published writer. I couldn’t possibly find contentment in “just being” a wife and mother while I was still self-serving. Ephesians 6:7 was a verse I referenced a lot then because I knew I had great difficulty serving others and myself more than God.
I don’t know what really produced this big change of heart, this complete 180 of what I want out of life in the past six years. I guess I can say it’s from becoming older and wiser, and God softening my heart on these topics and refining me as I continue to pursue Him. As I often ponder these things, I occasionally think of my mother’s friend Carrie. Carrie passed away a few years ago after a long battle with cancer. I couldn’t tell you what her job was, where she graduated college, I vaguely remember her hobbies (hiking and reading?), I didn’t know know her cat’s name, I don’t know her family, or what books inspired her, or where all her stuff went when she died. All I remember of her is her kindness, her faith, and her servants heart. And when all who knew her pass away too, the smaller details about who she was will die with them, and what’s left of Carrie’s memory will be on an ancestry website. In 200 years, no one will know who Carrie was while she walked on this Earth and no one will care. It won’t matter what book she read last, what her last meal was, how much money she donated to a humane society, or whether or not she was a #BossBabe. There is only one thing about her that will live eternally, and that’s her faith in Jesus. The most important part of her life is when she accepted Christ as her Savior, and the most exciting part of her life, I assume, is walking into His arms. Everything else in her life will pass away.
When my body is buried, I know that my job title and hobbies and bank account balance won’t be on my headstone. It’s my hope that those partaking in my celebration of life one day come to know the Lord because they have witnessed how God has worked in my life and how I’ve dedicated my life to serving Him. And more importantly, when my soul is raised up, and I’m standing at Heaven’s gates, it’s my hope that the words I am greeted with are from Matthew 25, “well done my good and faithful servant” because that’s a far better phrase than the “125 Self-Love Quotes to Make You Realize You’re as Flawless as Beyonce” article that pops up when you Google search #SelfLove.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” -John 3:30
How do you want to be remembered? What matters most to you in life? How can you find contentment where God has placed you today? How can you be the salt and light today where you are?