I’m almost certain I’m not alone in feeling that I learn the same lessons on repeat. As a follower of Christ, I am well aware of my duty to continually pursue a life that models the example given by Jesus, but I often turn that duty into an overwhelming, pressure-filled task that absorbs my thoughts and actions. As I divert this process into a “task”, I have authorized myself to pursue it alone.
I have encountered a season of life that has allowed me the flexibility to grow my leadership skills and focus on personal growth. Having been reminded over and over of the potential of this season, I knew to work my hardest, so I sat down with my computer and began to dream of who I could become with all of this opportunity before me. I knew the only way to see improvement was to work towards it. I began to take notes of areas where I needed to improve and sketched out solutions to each area. After making this grand plan, I only had one thing left to do – fix myself. I was able to start with full confidence that this task was, in fact, achievable.
At night I would lay my head on my pillow and evaluate my actions coaching myself on how to do better the next day. I was able to continue this cycle for a few weeks, but my performance mostly declined and my motivation decided to join it. At this point, I was entangled in frustration and disappointment. Why can’t I have it all together?
This feeling of being burnt out from pushing too hard to meet my own expectations occurs far too often. It comes from a genuine desire to be like Jesus, but the biggest issue is that I leave Him out of the picture. I get caught up in who I want to see myself become because of the examples around me. I acknowledge their aspirations and actions toward them, so I begin to fight for the things that they have going well for them. I try to adapt into their passions when God has given me passions and dreams of my own. But I have yet to invite Jesus on this journey and discover just exactly what He is calling out of me.
After experiencing loads of defeat, all He wanted me to know is that I am enough. I am enough just the way I am without fixing the long list of imperfections.
This journey is one God longs to take me on, not one to venture on alone to return presentable before Him. He has continued to pour His love and grace on me expressing just what I mean to Him. He has imparted His vision and dreams for my life and has allowed me to take those dreams to the next level.
I am beyond excited to continue this journey of growth with the reminder of how He views me. I am sure to start my day with simple words that express my desire for His company. I long for His encouragement and assurance that we are in this together.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well” (Psalms 139:14).
Even as I began to type this blog, I had to pause for a moment and ask God to be loud and clear because I felt obligated to provide the most awe-inspiring message and prove my abilities as a writer. It was in this moment I felt “The pressure is off”. There’s no one to impress. I have the comfort of knowing I am accepted and loved by God who is more than excited to cheer me on in my own passions, and as our relationship grows I will continue to resemble Him more and more. But I will always be enough, every step of the way.
– Alyssa Reed