You have a will that God respects. But when God says no to your will, it is because the plans He has for your life are much better.
For those of you who have been following my work for some time now, you’ve seen that I’ve been inconsistent with when I post and what I post about.
Maybe you haven’t noticed. Maybe you’ve just found my work. Allow me to give some context.
I officially launched my blog in 2015. As someone who was not privy to blogs prior to then, I researched other blogs that brought a lot of traffic to learn from the best. I decided to mimic their approach.
This led to my content looking like a cooking blog and a sewing blog even though it was intended to be a self-help blog.
In the midst of that, I was wrestling with the idea of not making my writing seem “too Godly.”
What would people think?
Would I turn people off?
Both of those questions were continuously wrapped in my thoughts. It made me question each post that I wrote and continuously feel like something was missing.
This ultimately got me to where I am now – unsure of my intended audience and my original purpose. Consequently, I haven’t written a single thing in months.
The other day, I cried out to God.
“Lord, I feel so unsettled. Why can’t I simply write? What is holding me back from what I know I’m supposed to be doing? My burden is heavy right now. I’m seeking your guidance. Amen.”
It was then that I heard His response. He told me that I was running from acknowledging Him. And He was right!
Rather than trying to be who God called me to be and write what God has placed in my heart, I was trying to appeal to a culture and a comfort that I wasn’t meant to satisfy.
That’s why I’ve been unsettled. That’s why it got heavy. That’s why I haven’t been confident in my work.
Now, I immediately wanted to feel like so much time has been wasted because of my avoidance, but I had to realize that God’s timing is perfect. When I consider other things happening in my life right now, this really is the perfect time for me to adjust course in my writing.
The only thing I can satisfy is my authenticity. That may show up in my writing in ways that will be uncomfortable and raw even for me, but that’s what I KNOW I’m supposed to write about. That’s what will set me free from the heavy burdens I’ve created for myself.
Maybe you’re also at a place where you’re feeling unsettled and stagnant. God will speak to you in unexpected ways, just as He did for me. When He does, it will change your entire trajectory.
Here’s to a new season of writing and a new season of submitting to God’s will. I pray that He will use this blog as a vehicle for speaking in your life!
The definition of self-love in today’s society is an illusion.
The idea that love for yourself is fundamentally measured by the amount of likes on your filtered selfie should be a crime within itself!
The notion that you are somehow incomplete if you don’t have another person to love you back brings tears to me eyes (mainly because I once believed that notion).
Speaking of incomplete,
I can’t help but to think about the number of times that my worth was tied to my level of success or the weight of someone else’s approval.
Frankly, it feels like a never-ending magic show.
Loving yourself takes effort. That’s the part we don’t like to admit. In a culture where instant results equal instant gratification, we struggle. I struggle.
Just give me the quick how-to methods to love myself more, right?
Wrong! Loving yourself is a part of God’s design.
In it’s simplest form, loving yourself means to give yourself grace, to choose peace, and to continuously pursue wholeness.
Want proof? Allow me to reference a Bible passage that has now become a mainstream way of thinking about how to love others:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
While it is automatic to look at these verses and assume it’s talking about how to love others, consider this: What if the Apostle Paul was also teaching us to love ourselves?
Let me explain.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
These first few lines are probably the most profound because they force us to ask ourselves some important questions:
- How patient are you with yourself? How kind are you when you make mistakes or don’t meet your own measure of satisfaction?
- How envious are you of others, and what does that say about how much you appreciate who you are for who you are?
- Do you pump yourself up to because the real you is not “enough”?
Let’s look some more:
“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
When we dishonor others, we are not loving them. If the way we love outward is a reflection of how we love ourselves inwardly, then the above words matter.
For example, if we dishonor others, we also have the potential to dishonor ourselves. If we anger easily towards others, we likely get mad at ourselves easily as well.
Essentially, we must give ourselves the same level of grace and respect that we know we should give to others.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Again, these words directly correlate to how we treat each ourselves. Here are some other questions I had to ask myself when reading this passage, which helped to put this all into perspective for me:
- How honest are you with yourself? How many stories do you tell yourself?
- Are you protective of your time, your values, and your heart?
- Even in the most difficult circumstances, do you maintain optimism?
The key message of all is that love never fails. Regardless of who you are or what you’ve done, loving yourself will never fail and will always bear the fruit of a happier, healthier life.
I encourage you to take some time today to reflect on how you love yourself. That’s the first step to change for the better.