"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (2:10)
These words seriously breathe new life into me each and every time that I read them. As someone who honestly struggles with self-worth and feeling "good enough" on a near daily basis, those words are like a balm to my soul. They are a reminder that no matter what anyone in this world says or does (or maybe even doesn't say), I am God's masterpiece. He made me exactly the way I am because it brought him joy to do so. He gave me this faithful, hope-filled heart. He was amused by my dry and sarcastic sense of humor. My love of chickens, unicorns, fantasy stories, coffee, books, crazy socks, and the color purple? Beautiful in his sight.
And not only that, but he created me anew in Christ Jesus! He wants to use me- the person who feels unimportant and insignificant much too often, the person who feels unqualified and like there are way more better people to carry out his plans (that phrase sounds so terrible, sorry). He has good things planned for me. He has things that he wants to accomplish through me. The reality of that is humbling and makes my heart feel happy, useful, and wanted.
The fact is that God gave each of us special gifts that are perfect for the jobs he has for us to do while we are here on this earth. In my reading this summer, I went through Holley Gerth's study You're Already Amazing and found that she describes our gifts as those things that just come naturally to us. They're the things that are easy for you. Are you good at decorating your home? What about finding grammatical errors in written work? Or maybe encouraging someone else when they are in need? Whatever your gifts, those are from God. He wants you to use them for his kingdom.
Take a moment now and think about the following questions:
1. What are some things that just come naturally to you?
2. Can you think of any gifts that you feel you possess from God?
3. What are some things that others have told you that you are good at?
4. What are some of your favorite things to do? Maybe your gifts are hiding in there. ;)
My prayer today is that we all take a moment to figure out where God is leading us. Are we doing what God has made us to do? Or have we settled because we felt like we had to or because we just stumbled there? Is there a dream that you've been hanging onto but are afraid to pursue? Pray about it. Maybe it's time.
I just finished reading Shauna Niequist's book Present Over Perfect. She talked a lot about where her life was heading just a few years ago. She is a writer, a mom, and a wife (though not in that order of course). Those are the things she loves, according to the pages of her book. But at one point, she started traveling to speak because she felt like she owed it to someone or like she was able so why wouldn't she? She drifted into doing something that wasn't truly her calling on her life and she was unhappy with it because it was taking away from the places in her life that she was truly called to be- a wife, a mom, and a writer.
And upon reading that, I realized that I was doing that too. There were places in my life that I was serving and things that I was doing because I was people pleasing (something that I'm prone to apparently). I thought they were the right things to do because I could so why not? But that's not a good enough reason to do something. It leads to being stretched too thin.
Can we really serve God well if we are stretching ourselves so thin that we aren't giving our best anymore? That was the question that kept circling through my head as I prayed and prayed about what to keep doing in my life and what to release. Was it better to do a lot of things but not give my best to each one or was it better to embrace the things I truly felt utilized my gifts from God well? After a lot of prayer and talking to other believers that I trust, I made the decision to stop some of the things that I was doing last year. And they weren't bad things, honestly. There's nothing wrong with homeschooling, but I am confident that God was calling my kids to public school this year. I released that one.
Are there things that you are doing that you need to release to God?
Are there places you are serving or participating that aren't your gift and that God isn't calling you to be right now?
I am not advocating for solely following your feelings. I firmly believe that Satan uses our feelings to lie to us often. Don't make decisions based on how you feel. Make them based on facts and an honest assessment with God. Read your Bible. What does it say about what you're considering? God will never call you to do something against his word. Please don't use this post as an excuse for a bad choice. That isn't my intention here.
I'll end this post with a prayer to Jesus that we can figure out what he is calling us to do and find the places that he is calling us away- even if just for a time. Be blessed today and remember to be a blessing to others too.