Declining opportunity is sometimes essential to living our personal and unique story.
I've had to do that recently. Twice. In the same day.
Opportunities to make a difference that appeared as why-not, therefore must-do, acts of service quickly became sour. They just didn't settle well on my heart even though I wanted them to.
Even though I knew what was best, I still lived with an uncomfortable and unsettled feeling. It took a long time for me to be readied for stepping aside, longer than my pride cares to admit, quite honestly.
I'm learning that not every thing is for every One.
Your mission does not need to be my mission. This is truth I must remember. Truth that reunites me with Peace.
Pizza is one way I am learning this. Though it's one of my favorite foods, pizza often makes my stomach do flips and leaves me feeling
Doesn't everyone get a belly ache from pizza?
I've have been readied to make choices that are more right for me.
So I have begun to pack my own lunch in anticipation for the possibility that there might be pizza served at an office lunch retreat since it's what is most frequently chosen.
I've decided that dieting and cleansing's aren't right for me, at least not at this stage in my life. These are important choices for me, though perhaps not for you. And that's okay.
Colleagues comment that I am "so disciplined," as they know that I live a life committed to overall health and wellness. Those suggestions make me feel embarrassed because they don't know the whole story.
They don't know how often I've eaten pizza and felt ill, yet done it anyway--
how I torture my body so often.
They don't know what I sometimes I eat in the comfort of my home--
how I overindulge and end up feeling full of regret.
They don't know the tendencies I have to abuse myself--
how I can easily become obsessed with food and workout and body.
I struggle to limit what I enjoy but that isn't particularly best for me.
A financial gain was offered to me for time I was giving to serve an organization that I love, by pioneering their presence on a social media network. I hadn't been particularly familiar with the specific network I was charged to explore and so dabbling in it for awhile and learning about it was fun.
Though I found the work enjoyable and understood its importance, I felt a gap in my daily rhythm.
step aside. But I stayed anyway, for two months. And every day I felt this nagging Knowing.
I prayed for clarity and understanding of why I would need to step aside and when I came up empty with answers, I kept on anyway. Time rubbed my heart like sandpaper. The more I did what didn't feel right for me, the more my days felt mislived.
But, *shouldn't* everyone step up where there's a need?
Obedience is sometimes a hard choosing. It always leads to freedom.
Where there are opportunities for me to personally connect with individuals one-on-one, to reach into hearts and share stories, my heart swells. I am pregnant with hope for His purposes. It's a strength of mine to develop people through encouragement and to connect people with the passions He gives them to live meaningful lives for Him.
What this looks like is varied and I don't always know the exact definition of what roles support my strengths. As I get into something, He gives me a knowing of what is most right for me.
The challenge He gives me is to be obedient to the knowing.
Sometimes it means stepping aside.
I felt compelled to work harder at something because I was getting paid when really, I was getting paid for the hard work I was already doing. When we're living in our strengths zone, hard work doesn't feel like Work. It just feels right. And this didn't.
I'm a writer. I have a lot of work to do yet to improve this craft, but at the core of who I am is a writer. I also have a passion to encourage people. If I were to get paid for what I feel called to do, it might be different. Though, I fear it might feel awkward and expectation-like. I don't write to meet deadlines and I don't follow the steps on self-marketing to increase an audience. I write because it's a must do for me. A living obedience. Writing is my worship.
The way I've been serving hasn't been allowing me to engage with a community in a more personal way. I've felt divided and almost sliced off from what matters most to my heart.
Was it wrong for me to step up and raise my hand for something without being confident it would stick?
Grace tells me All. Is. For. Purpose.
*Willingness* is worship.
I've been connected with people who I wouldn't have otherwise know and it pains me to give that up because I wonder what I might miss out on. I truly want to remain on the team of the organization I have been involved with. And by saying "no" to this might leave me standing in the corner, alone and with an empty inbox.
Fear of missing out can't be what propels me to keep on.
I have to step aside and trust that I honor Him most by saying, "It was good to serve you and I appreciated the opportunity, but this specific role isn't the right one for me. I'm going to step aside."
I need to use the time He gives me wisely.
I need to live my passions out loud and not hide behind obligation.
I need to choose courage to trust that I won't miss out.
I need to Wait upon the Lord for what He leads me to next.
I need to trust that He will use my gifts for His glory.
It honors Him when we know our time on a project is through and we've brought it as far as our role is meant to take it.
When we step out of the way and obey, we are living out worship.
I'm also learning that though this all sounds good, our obedience is based on his readying of us. Choosing grace for where we are Now is worship.
...trusting that He will complete what He has begun in us...
...remembering He is developing our faith, and...
...we will never *arrive* at perfect obedience this side of Heaven.
He's changing my heart from I want to make a difference, to trusting that He will make the difference He wants to make through me, just the way I am.
Anyone can do some thing. But there's a job for us each. A specific job designed to match the abilities He gives us each. Our passions. Our gifts. The ways we contribute are unique. Our living is art and it's not the same.
We aren't expected to do it all. We're gently invited to respond to His prompting.
These invitations to live obediently to His unique design for my life are radical shifts in my perspective.
They are the fault-line of where my will and His intersect.
He's readying my heart for a quaking.