Guest post by Jamie Swenka, LeadHer Local Chapter Member and LeadHer Board Member
—- What do you do? Ugh, I am not a fan of this question right now. A year and a half ago, I would have proudly stated what I did. Now, I dread the topic, and I try to avoid situations where I might be asked this… or asked anything about my personal life really. I just don’t like to talk about it. I usually don’t like how my day went or how I feel that day or what tomorrow will bring.
You know what I wish people asked instead? Something along the lines of: What do you dream of? What are you capable of? And then I would answer…
I want to make an impact. I want to make a difference. And I know that I can. I know that I have the capacity, the skills and the personality to be a difference-maker. A leader. An influencer.
For God’s Kingdom, of course (you know, just to justify my self-promotion and confidence)! That really isn’t so bad, is it? This is a good thing!
LeadHer challenges women to grow in their faith, leadership, and relationships. This message, along with each message I hear, does just that for me! After reflecting and praying through the message, I realized I had to change my focus. I recognized that although I was desiring to make an impact for Christ, I was so focused on myself, on my gifts, my talents, my desires, my knowledge, that I wasn’t allowing Him to work in my life right now. Today. Tomorrow. And the next day, week, month, year. I have been so focused on knowing what I can do, that I had forgotten what God can do. And what God wants to do.
So What Do I Do?
I don’t know where I got the idea that staying at home with my 3 little loves wasn’t as great as being a working mom. I don’t know where I got the idea that staying at home wasn’t making an impact in the world around me. Or that I am not using my “gifts and talents” the way God has designed me. I know that God gave me a peace about staying home, so I have told myself over and over that I am doing what He wants me to do.
But that hasn’t made it any easier for me. Oops. Me. There is the problem. Do you see where I am messing up? Do you see where I need to refocus? What is this all about? ME. I have been trying to do it on my own. I have been so focused on me.
My timing is I want it right now. But He has a greater plan and a greater timing, and I need to focus on following Him so that He can shape me and prepare me for the place He wants to take me.
My Performance Is Not My Worth
Jesus loves me in all of my mess. My mess that I think I can handle, that I think I know better than the path He has lead me on. That I think I can change the world without Him. Jesus loves me no matter what. I can be a mess, and He still loves me.
I have to remember that my performance is NOT my worth. I do not need to make a HUGE impact in this city, in this state, in this world – to be a follower of Jesus. I do believe that God has given me this strong desire to do so because He has plans for me. BUT, I do not need to sit in self-pity that I am at home, dreading the day because I have nothing to do… I do not need to cry silently inside because my day will be filled with 3 children who all need my help in dressing, changing diapers/potty breaks or fighting the nap time struggle. I do not need to stress that my talents are being wasted as I take care of these munchkins.
I am loved by Jesus. And that is enough. I am enough. Jesus is enough. And I have to allow Him to lead me. This is a time for me to focus on allowing God to lead my life. I need to follow Him in my everyday events.
Change My Focus, Change My Life
When I turn my focus on Him, my life changes. My selfish focus of me, me, me and what God wants to use ME for – is tossed out the window. Torn from my flesh. God will use me when the time is right. God will guide me each day. God will help me get through the days that I don’t think I can make another meal, change another diaper or play with another princess doll. God will use me today, tomorrow and the next day. God is using me now, and I have to focus on following Him so that He can use me as the leader, the difference-maker that He has designed me to be – when His Timing is right.
So what about you? Are you in the same boat? Do you feel that you have a lot to give but you are stuck somewhere you did not plan on being?
Let’s take this moment, this day, this week, to really focus on following God. To step away from the thoughts that have been leading your life. And allow God’s timing, God’s leadership to take over your life. Because every time we allow Him to do this, the results are too amazing! He always has such a cool story for us, and He loves to show off 🙂 Let’s let Him!
“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:7