Monday, August 31, 2009

Second Thoughts...

Over the weekend I was struck my something a pastor said at a Church I visited in California. The words were simple, yet hit me to my core - "stop merely existing and start living!". I began to look back at my life and the patterns of the everyday, and the fear that so easily entangles my life. And I realized - I'm afraid of change, I'm afraid of risk, and I'm afraid of relationship with others. The sad part of all of this is that I often find myself sabatoging situations and opportunities before I even have the chance to see what they could be. I hover in the "safe zone" just to keep the peace, instead of acting on what I believe my heart is calling me to do. This, quite simply, is something I hate about myself.

People pleasers, like me, often do things that just don't seem to make sense. Many of these little issues have come up again and again in my life, and I've started to ask myself, "am I making my decisions for me or for everyone else in my life?" The question arises because I find that too often I listen too much to the advice, or rather, opinions of my friends and family members - instead of going to Jesus first and asking myself second, what may be best for my life. The fear of having someone disappointed in me paralyzes me from taking the risks that I KNOW in my heart that I need to take. Whether it's in relationships, job situations, or even just up and moving out of my house and on my own - the fear of disappointing those that disagree with me prevents me from living the life I'm called to live.

And recently, I've been bombarded by second thoughts. Thinking about the reality of the decisions I've made and how many of them have been total mistakes, based on what other people wanted me to do instead of staying true to myself. Now seeing the choices I've made I'm SO incredibly frustrated with myself, because I've been living in a state of Limbo for 24 years - always doing what I don't want to do. There's a verse in Romans 7 that speaks to this: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Why does it matter so much to me what other people think? Why do I feel 'stuck' all the time? Why can't I just speak up and be honest about things?


I've been absolutely convicted of my people pleasing self - to the point where I've had to come clean with people on stories and, in essence, exaggerations that I've said about circumstances in my life that I've lied about in order to "keep the peace". Seriously?!? I know I hate confrontation, but I'm really disappointed in myself for allowing it to get this bad. It's a humbling experience to go to your closest friends and family members and say, "okay, so about that story, yeah... here's how it really went down." But do you want to know the greatest part about coming clean? It's absolutely freeing and it shows that I'm imperfect - simply a sinful human. And by the Grace of the Lord and the love of my friends and family they're able to sit by me and and encourage me to be me, not anyone else.

So here I am... with second thoughts... and I have a choice to make. Do I own up, and face the choices/mistakes I've made or do I go back into my caccoon of comfort and let the old me take over - never confronting, never admitting my faults? I'll go with Option A. It's time for me to step up and allow God to work through the circumstances in the way He wants. That probably means disappointing people, but it also could mean new opportunities of relationship, adventure, and just living life to the fullest. And who knows, maybe I've got a lot more growing and "being called out" to go through. But if that's what it takes to make me into the person I'm supposed to be, then bring it on!

And hopefully, after all the second thoughts, all the regrets, and all the mistakes - there may be some second chances along the way :-)

A few verses that have come to mind lately:

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grown tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Is. 40:29-31

"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them." - Jer. 1:17

"Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you." - Acts 7:3

It's time. It's time for me... to go so that I may grow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quarter Life Crisis

Recently, I've come across a rather interesting article all about the apparent "Quarter Life Crisis" that many people in my generation face every day. From the struggle to "find ourselves" to the frustration of feeling inadequate in our chosen professions - life in our mid-twenties is not what we ever expected it to be. So often growing up many of us were told by our parents, in a desire to bless us, that we can "do anything you want", "the sky is the limit", "reach for the stars and land on the moon" - but why is it that now that we're adults all these encouragements seem to haunt us rather than bless us?

We've been living in an unrealistic fantasy for our entire lives - that's our problem. Yes, I'm all about motivation and encouragement (heck, look at my last blog post), but I believe that we've kind of hit a wall when it comes to living life when we can no longer function as humans because we have these ideas of what we "deserve" to have. Talk about entitlement! We expect everything to be laid in our laps immediately - the car, the job, the spouse, the house, the family, the money - everything. But the fact of the matter is that our parents worked their BUTTS off for years in order to be where they're at today. They went through the cycle of having the crappy jobs but waiting and working patiently as they strived for the promotion or better opportunity. In this generation of instant gratification, we could learn a lot about life and gain much wisdom from the generations before us. Gaining work ethic insight, encouragement on how to save wisely, and even just mentorship in daily living - all of which comes directly from the past generations. One of my favorite people in the world is my psuedo grandmother, who always reminds me of the days past and how to work diligently for the things I desire in life.

It's no wonder that we're the generation of unwavering debt. It's no wonder that we're the generation on anti-depressants. It's no wonder that we're the generation that goes from one relationship to the next, over and over, looking for the satisfaction that only commitment and working through the struggles can bring. And it's certainly no wonder that we're the generation of the disatisfied, the selfish, and the severly dillusioned. Ouch - that hurt - BAD! But do you ever feel that way? That you're never good enough? Often asking the question, "what the HECK am I here for?" or "life is not at all what I ever expected it to be". Welcome to the club my friend... because thousands of us are struggling with the same issues right now.

And after all this rambling.... I ask myself... What if that something big that I've always been told I'll do isn’t something I'll actually ever see? What if I’m just a stepping stone placed in the lives of those around me to influence the change? What if I’m one small piece of the ever changing mosaic of human history, and what I have to give to the painted portrait would cause complete destruction if I never was. There’s a process to everything under the sun – as the Bible describes in I Corinthians 12:14-31 - without the eye, how would the body see? Without the ear, how would it hear? For each part of the body is essential to the overall wellbeing of the whole. And that’s the way I choose to see the Christian history – without one person, without one influence, without one measure of hope given to another – people would be doomed to an eternity of misery and pain.

I leave you with this encouragement: Even though life seems so mundane and lacking of substance sometimes, take a look at the bigger picture that is being painted. Step back and away from the struggles of your everyday life and choose to see the incredible Mosaic that is being painted in and around you by your touch, your love, your encouragement, and your support in the life of another. For without you, the Mosaic would be incomplete – lacking in some way. Without you, the world would be different. Without you we are an incomplete picture.

Don't give up, but work hard, work diligently, love others, see opportunities to bless and utilize them. And above all, don't let the worry of what you don't have take over the life of blessing that you do have right now. For in everything there is something to be learned.


If you want to take a look at the article I read on the Quarter Life Crisis, check it out at: - It's worth the read. :-)