A month ago, I made a promise to myself.
It’s Autism Awareness Month. This is my time to “shine” and share all I want about our life and Jackson’s journey. I am going to write one new blog post a week. I am going to send my stuff to The Mighty to become a possible contributor.
You see where this is going … it didn’t happen. All the words of wisdom, gems of hope and encouragement that I desperately wanted to share with other newly christened special needs mom didn’t really happen. I wrote one piece about it. It was supposed to be my starting off point … and then other things took precedence. Things like vacation preparation, actual vacation and then the recovery from vacation.
All these little goals that I set for myself turned out to be bigger than I anticipated — because, well, life happened. But don’t we always do that? We have the best intentions for ourselves and for others but we set the goals too high, or at least I do anyway.
My expectations for myself are incredibly higher than for anyone else in my life. It’s almost as if I’m in competition with myself, like I need to prove to myself that I can do all these things off my to-do list and still have time to do something else. A lot of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Go to work — check, run a mile under 11 minutes — check, pick up a nutritious dinner from Taco Hell … I mean, Bell — check. Pick up the kids and drive them to our oldest son’s karate class, while asking all three of our kids to stuff their tiny faces with tacos in about seven minutes — check. Drop off H at karate, wait in the car or go to a park for about 40 minutes with our other two kids to pass the time — check. Pick up H, go home and begin the routine of bath time, picking up the house in general and going over the kid’s homework — check. Get distracted by my to-do list for the house only to realize its time to put the munchkins to bed — check. And while I put them to sleep, I’m writing checks and preparing bills to be sent off the next morning because it’s the first of the month. As they drift off to sleep, it’s time to lay out their clothes for the next morning, make sure backpacks are ready for the next school day and maybe one more load of laundry — check, check, checkity, check. Dang it, I wanted to write that blog I’ve been thinking about. Can’t check that off my crazy to-do list.
My question to myself the next morning, as I rub the remaining mascara from my eyes to the palms of my hands is why. Why? Did I honestly think I would have the energy and time to put together this witty, on-point blog about my life from my WordPress phone app (which is how I normally type most my blogs). I swore to myself I would write on vacation (you can laugh at that, it’s okay) since we would be on the road a total of four days (two days there, two days back) going to and from our sunny destination of Panama City Beach, Florida. I would time to write in the car, right? Well, turns out writing in the car makes me queasy, as does reading now. It’s apparent to me that I’m not as great of a traveler as I used to be. C’est la vie
But what do you honestly do when God puts something in your heart and then every chance you get to reach closer to that dream falls to the sideline? Life seems to get in the way. Maybe I misunderstood God? Maybe I’m not suppose to write that novel or finish that project or start a women’s bible study group, etc. That’s just my anxiety talking, my frenemy. Well, I’m giving up those doubts and my needs for perfectionism, which is basically control in disguise.
I hereby give up the following and give them to my Creator, my Healer, my Redeemer, The Big Cheese (yes, I call him that) My Lord and Savior.
I give up my need for any sort of perfectionism. The day I called His name, he made me flawless. I am his masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made.
I give up my need for control. He is always two steps before me and one behind me. He has surrounded me with angels and will fight my battles for me.
I give up my need to please others. Self care is vital to being the person I want to be and the kind of love I want to give my loved ones and others. My feelings, my opinions matter.
I give up feeling displaced, as if I missed my calling, my opportunity to do God’s work. He gives me all that I need to complete everything he has set before me. Where I am at this moment in my life is exactly where I need to be for it is preparing me for the dreams He has placed in me. If He led me to it, He will lead me through it.
I give up feeling like I am not enough. I am more than enough. I am worthy of everything I desire in this life. I am worthy, I am priceless. I am worthy of happiness and inner peace.
I give up trying. I give up trying to be everything for everyone at once. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me but nowhere in the Bible does it says that I need to do all he has called me to do at once. God is in control, I will do what I can do and leave the rest to Him. It is in my weakness that God’s strength shines through me.
I would like to point out that just because I said these things, doesn’t mean that suddenly I’m walking on sunshine. This is a process, a daily battle, a journey — nothing is ever a sprint, unless it’s to the bathroom because of an emergency. I know, I know, TMI — just trying to lighten the mood.
The point is that self-growth is a continual thing, and the more layers of myself I pull back, the more walls I see I have put up. Or maybe I started to tear down one wall, only to put another one up to protect my heart. Self-awareness is complicated, ya’ll. None of this is easy but is it necessary for the kind of inner peace I’m striving for daily. Sometimes we have to do hard things in order to grow but we have to remember that we are worth doing hard things for. We are worth it.
God made me a writer, for what reason specifically? I have no clue. I think it’s to help others but it might be much more than that; I just have to trust his timing. Whoever needs to read my posts will because God is using me to reach out to others. So on the days I want to write but can’t, maybe the message he wants me to share isn’t ready yet. We get what we need at the exact moment we need it, and the I believe that applies to everything.
If you are like me and feel like some days you are in a rat race, I encourage you to slow down or at least try to slow down. Step back, talk to God and let him stand in front of you again and lead. We are impatient creatures, we want to get to the finish line, the happy ending, but ya know, the happy ending at the end of the story wouldn’t mean as much if the struggle, the perseverance through adversity didn’t happen. Think about it, we all love a underdog story. So be the underdog, hold onto those dreams He has put into your head and give up what’s holding you back, because you’re comeback is coming.