Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nothing To Prove


"Is it possible to be a believer in Christ in this day in age, where everything is centered around the image that you project much more than the substance of the life you live"
-Steven Furtick-


I deleted my personal facebook page a little over 2 years ago. The reasons why are pretty irrelevant at this point since my heart has totally changed since I made the decision. Basically I can now fully admit that it came from a very condescending -holier than thou- place. 

Until God totally slapped me upside the head one day and I realized that just because I deleted my facebook, the heart issues that were there...

were still there....
Womp Womp.

And I needed to deal with them. 
Womp Womp Womp.

That took me a while to realize. For a long time if anyone mentioned facebook I would sort of turn my nose up and be all like "oh facebook, yeah I don't have one" in a very "aren't I so high and mighty" sort of way. 

Ugh. It hurts my heart to even write that out. Makes me sad. To realize how totally blinded I was to my own sin. I suppose it was the plank in my eye. I mean. Yeah it probably was...

I just felt like facebook became a really ugly place of competition and comparing and one upping. 
And it did. 
But sadly what I was seeing as really ugly, was also a reflection of myself staring right back at me.

Yeah. that was hard to swallow. 
And I kinda choked on it for a long time. 

I have found that what you are quick to point out in someone else, what you think is like this huge sin of theirs and oh my gosh I can't stand this about that person? Um yeah...its usually your own issue. 

That's hard huh?

But what I think is so awesome about God is how he reveals things to us. Always in steps and processes. He shows us what He knows we can take in and then he stops there. Until we're ready to take another step forward.  

It took me a long time between steps.
I think it was just hard to admit that I had it so very wrong. 
My heart, even being in a somewhat right place with my intentions, was in a very wrong place. While I was seeking separation and pruning and change, my heart just wasn't right.

I couldn't keep up with the competition and so instead I was going to bow out gracefully. 
Commit the ultimate one-up. 
"I'm better than facebook. I'm better than you."
Boom. Delete.

I mean it's pretty comical really. 

Because no amount of deleting was going to change that ugliness in me. I had to recognize it first. 
And that was the hardest part.  



I think many of us can relate on some level of this....in the form of any social media. 
We fast from it {done that} we delete accounts {been there} we get frustrated and jealous and frustrated again because our life doesn't look like that person we are following. Our recipe does not look like the picture on pinterest, our kids do not behave like theirs, etc etc etc. 

Or maybe you feel like your life does look like that and so that spirit of competition rises up in you. You get this compelling need to make sure everyone knows your life is great.

And then we get really discouraged and really unmotivated. And really tired because competition is exhausting in any realm. 

Then we just get angry and we try to "x" it all out. 
Walk away from it. 

Maybe it works for a little bit.
But until we recognize what is really going on in our hearts, nothing changes. 
The cycle continues. 

The truth is, this heart issue of mine was never about facebook.
Facebook was just a tool the enemy used to stir all of this ugliness up in me. And when I didn't like what I saw, I thought that shutting it down and walking away was my answer. But that didn't deal with the real issue.

I pushed all of this down so far deep for a long time. And I kinda got away with having to deal with it completely. Until earlier this year, when I began to really seek God for my identity. 
For who He says I am. 
Not other people. Not what they say or think of me. Not how many followers I have or likes I get. Not a brand or an image. Not even what my own friends and family think of me. 

I wanted to be the person He says I am. 
I wanted to know who that was and I wanted to be firm and strong in it for good.

But that meant that all of the ugly things I had stuffed way down deep? They had to come up. 
Here's the thing though! Once I was ready, it was so easy to face! So easy to repent. 
It's like why on earth did I not just stare that thing in the face a long time ago?

Here's why. Because as long as we don't deal with our sin, we hide it, bury it or we push it down...
It has power over us. 

And the enemy knows that. 
He uses those ugly things to keep us where we are... 

They haunt us in our thoughts. In our heart. 
They nudge at us each time we feel like we take steps forward. 
They tell us we will never change. We will never become that person God wants us to be. 
We will never be enough or do enough. 
We take one step forward and two back. 
Because it's still there. 
That thing we won't recognize or face. 
The sin we keep stumbling over. 

Here is the thing that finally freed me. 
A simple statement that broke that tired spirit of mine. 
Are you ready? cause it's rather profound...

I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

The only person I have to prove anything to is God and the greatest thing is? He's already approved of me! 

I mean how much freedom is there in that knowledge?!!
Does it sound just like, so simple? Like "duh!"
Well let me tell you, until I completely took that on and truly realized I don't have to prove a darn thing to anyone else....everything changed.  
Because God knows I'm a good wife. 
He knows I'm an amazing mom. 
He knows I have a heart after His. 
He knows where I sin and where I fall and how I stumble. 
He knows how deep I hurt and how hard I love. 

He knows. 

No amount of outside affirmation can even touch the knowledge of walking in that freedom. 

At the end of the day, when no one else sees the piles of laundry I folded, or the many times I picked up a pair of shoes, or the time I spent in the word, or the muffins I timed perfectly to get out of the oven just when Asher was getting home from school, or the sweet word I said to a stranger or the extra tip I gave to the waiter, or the dark circles under my eyes from being kicked by a 7 year old all night in my own bed, or the many times I climbed the stairs to give my needy toddler another snack...

God sees it all!!!
I don't have to make sure other people see it! Or that other people know. Or that other people approve of or like me. 
Cause it doesn't matter!

You are an amazing person. 
You are beautiful and smart and gifted in all you do.  
You have a calling that is unique and your own. 

How do I know?
Because God says so. 
And it's really that simple.  

Let's all just rest in that shall we?
Let's high-five that mom who seems to have it all together. 
Let's clap for the person who ran that stinken full marathon. 
Let's cry tears of happiness with that girl who just got engaged, or jump up and down with the one who found out she's pregnant.

And lets be real about it ok? 
Let's be so rooted in Christ that we have a holy confidence that is not borrowed from the opinions of others. 

Who you are is a really cool person. A person with her own calling. Own gifts, own talents. 
Taking hold of that knowledge brings so much freedom and so much joy. 


You don't have to prove anything to anyone.
You have already been approved by an almighty God.

Isn't that great to know?!
It's pretty freeing really. 
  

33 comments:

  1. Why is it that it feels so good to get those accolades? Sometimes it 'feels' so good to get that... no matter how many times we scrubbed the toilets. As a woman, I 'need' that at times. But, I seek that pat on the back from the wrong place many times. I need to turn to The Lord and find my contentment in him. Great post!

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  2. love this post!
    it's so hard to have fear of man rooted so deep within our hearts.
    i need to let fear of God dictate my every action, reaction and feeling.
    God is my all in all...
    it's only His approval i need to seek.
    thanks for this reminder.
    xo

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  3. Thanks so much for writing this! The revelation that GOD himself approves of me is so amazing! It's something I should already know but I guess I needed a reminder. :)

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  4. This is such a wonderful post and very much what I needed to read this morning. Thank you xo

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  5. Wonderful thoughts! I really enjoyed this, Laura! :)

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  6. Amen, sister! I lead a MOPS group in my town, and this is my primary message to them. Be confident in who YOU are and in who God MADE you to be. But it's such a difficult lesson to learn. BUT...once you learn it, oh the freedom! Sure, we'll waiver here and there, but it's so freeing and makes us so much more productive for the kingdom of God. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I agree, 100%! :) It was my flute - teacher who told me that almost 10 years ago. And I am so thankful for that. Be yourself. If people love you the way you are, even better. But if not,... Well, you still have friends. True friends, with God in between. :)

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  8. Love! Love! Love! I'm new here. And happy to know you just.as.you.are!

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  9. Beautifully said! Such a blessing to read.

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  10. I love this post. Thank you for this reminder!

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  11. You Go Girl! Great stuff. THANKS!

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  12. Such a great reminder! Loved this!

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  13. What an amazing post! It is so easy to get caught up in all the worldly stuff and lose focus on what is really important which is why God put you here and what is it you are to do? Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. God lead me to this tonight!

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  14. Oh Laura, your words are so true. I found myself nodding as I read your post. Every point you hit was right on. I used to be like that... and I thought I was "above" the fray but I was passing harsh judgment myself by excluding myself from FB and the attitude I had about it sucked. I gave in, like you and had to just accept that it's not important to me to compete with the numbers of followers other people had, because it can get ugly... Instead I focus on followers that feel like they can relate to me and my blog and those are the ones I cherish.

    Great post!!

    I'm a new follower of your blog! Found you through Casey Wiegand's blog!

    I'd like to invite you and your followers to come link up with the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you want!! We have a new April team and we'd love to have ya'!

    Have a wonderful and lovely weekend!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

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  15. [I've never left a comment, but I bought a ring from you - rather convinced my sister that it would make a good Christmas present for me so she bought it for me while I was there - at CBC in December.]

    This is so good. God has been working in my heart about my identity & being confident in who HE made me to be. I have been feeling so lame as a mom lately - I have two kids & one is a 6-month old who wakes up every 3 hours at night STILL so I've been a walking zombie forever it seems. I feel we barely make it through some days, so comparing myself to these Pinterest moms who craft life-size Noah's arks (or whatever) make me feel like I have very little to offer & my kids are going to have a horribly boring childhood & why do I not put more effort into their days? & that's when you stop looking at the fairly thick layer of dust covering the flat surfaces in our house. There is GRACE. If I keep my mind stayed on Him, He will keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), He will be the stability of my times (Isaiah 33:6). I have so far to go but have taken baby steps in the right direction. I'm so thankful for His refinement in my life - not my effort, but the effort of the Holy Spirit when I surrender to Him. Thank you for being honest. We need so much more transparency in the church today, because if we were all honest with each other, then we wouldn't feel so lame because we'd realize everyone else was in the same place we were in one way or the other & we could just band together & encourage & pray for one another.

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    1. I love how God will confirm things to us from places we never thought.
      And yes I totally agree about just being honest and real! People need to know they aren't alone!

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  16. love this! thanks for sharing your heart :)

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  17. "Let's be so rooted in Christ that we have a holy confidence that is not borrowed from the opinions of others."

    Wow - I love that so much.

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  18. Love this post. Needed that this am. Thanks girl.

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  19. Spot on girl. Totally love this post and I can so relate!! Thank you!! XO!

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  20. Love this - rooted in Christ is a great place to be!

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  21. Tears rolling down my cheeks as I read your post. Struggling with this in my own life and needed to read these words that God placed on your heart today. Thank you for being a blessing through Him!

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    1. It's a daily struggle but being rooted in our identity with Him and it gets easier!
      xo Paige.

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  22. I haven't read many of your posts yet as I'm pretty new here, but this was amazing. So glad that God is working in your life. So thankful for candid sharing of your heart on here. I love the idea that I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I especially want to apply that to my job this week. I love how the simplest truths are so life changing :) www.heyjudedylan.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. it really does seem so simple huh?
      thanks for your sweet words!

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  23. ooooo girl. so so good. this might be one of the best posts you have written...and i love all of them! spoke such bold truth. thanks for sharing and being real. love you!!!!!!

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  24. God led me to your post (Was looking for ideas for 1st you are my sunshine party) and this post was exactly what I needed to read. For the first time in my life, I am comparing myself to others by measuring wordly things (and this was not like me at all before). Thank you for this. I needed this and I just know that God led me to this on purpose. Thank you for being so open.

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