"What consumes my thinking will be the making or breaking of my identity." -Lysa TerKeurst
2017 has been the most refining year I've ever experienced -- as usual, the Lord is wrecking my life and my plans and is putting it all back together far more beautifully than I could have ever dreamed. It's a paradox that I'm still trying to wrap my head around -- how could I possibly be more in love with God today than I was months ago, even though I've walked through the fire of refinement for the past 11 months that at times seems like it's never going to end?
I've discovered that there's intimacy to be found with Jesus that can only be found when you're in the middle of trying circumstances. This year, He has been stripping me of all that I have found my identity in and each time it happens I find that He is the very best thing - the truest thing. He can be trusted even when I don't know what He is trying to show me. He is good.
I never thought of myself as being an insecure person until I got to graduate school and then for some reason, I began praying big, scary prayers. Be careful what you pray for because God ANSWERS THEM. I prayed that I would be so "wildly secure" in Him that I would have no room to worry, no room to strive, no need to question anything about the way He designed me. Ha!!! I don't think any of us will ever be fully rid of our insecurities because that's part of being human. I have a long way to go before He's done, but Jesus has done some unbelievable things in my heart and life over the past year.
I've learned to not be distracted by those moving forward. His timing is perfect and He is trustworthy. I think about this a lot with the job industry that I'm getting ready to enter. I'm surrounded by the most talented, most driven, most successful people I've ever known. I am honored and excited to work with them. I fully plan on being inspired by them and letting them sharpen me. But I can't let the goal of progressing in my career stunt the things that God will teach me day in and day out, if I let Him, through the process of discipline. I must be faithful with little if I want to be entrusted with much. If I scratch and claw my way into something before I'm ready, it will only lead to insecurity. Even if what I want is something that is good for me and I have the right skills and/or the right motivations! Trying to operate in the gift on your life without the character to uphold the calling and its weight will leave you empty and insecure. I've found over and over that the Lord will strip things away from me until I am ready to find, once more, that my security is in Him alone. If I hadn't been placed in situation after situation where I allowed God to deal with my insecurity I would walk into St. David's HealthCare in January and immediately be striving in this incredibly humbling calling that God has put on my life. If I hang on to the identity of "Administrative Resident"/"Future Healthcare Executive" God will not be able to achieve above and beyond in my life.
I never want to pray prayers that ask "What is going to make me better/more successful/happier?", but rather, "Whatever lines up with extending Your kingdom here on earth... that's what I want." I want to be secure enough to not devote negative attention towards other people's blessings that I want but be obsessed with what He is doing in my own life, trusting that anything good that happens to me is an overflow of His goodness. And His goodness is everywhere.
Y'all... insecurity is a thief and will rob you of your joy, because you're too focused on the opportunities that other people are seizing. It turns into jealousy that you can't handle. It's empty and robs you of your true identity. It is the breeding ground of offense. I know because I let it do all of these things at one point or another this year. It will rob you of your future if you are not careful. It's not worth it because all it is, is lies. God will consistently put us in situations that are beyond our capacity and we will be tempted to be insecure. Sometimes I still let my insecurity get the best of me and I wonder how in the world I will be able to do the job that God is calling me to... but then I remember, when has anything that I've ever done been about me? It's always been about Him and what He can do THROUGH me. (THANK. GOODNESS.)
I can now say with certainty that I don't necessarily need the gifts that Jesus can give me, as wonderful as they are. All I need is Him. All I want is Him. Whenever, however, whatever way He wants to show up - I want everything that happens in my life to be done His way. I will trust Him, hold on to Him and let Him be God in my life, knowing that He is not just good, but He is good TO ME.