If you’ve been paying attention to my posts lately, you might have noticed that my blog has become a place that I come to formulate words about what God is teaching me. I’ve been viewing it as more of a spiritual discipline or exercise as opposed to a means of becoming famous or the next Jen Hatmaker. I’m at peace with this. I still publish my posts publicly because I’ve been told that people like to read my thoughts and I love to encourage others, but my days of seeking validation from this platform are over. At the beginning of this year, I made it a goal to post two times a month to my blog. I wanted to start giving myself deadlines and pushing myself to create more content. So far this year, I’ve stuck to my plan. However, it is now March 29th and this is my first blog of the month. I’ve got some work to do. I’m currently reading a book by Rachel Hollis called Girl, Wash Your Face. I’m only five chapters in, but I’m loving her writing style. Chapter two is titled The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorrow and she talks about this idea that we cancel appointments with ourselves all the time. Whether is working out, going to bed early, reading a book, baking or writing, why are we so quick to cancel the things we’ve set out to do? I was challenged to sit down and write this blog because I made a choice at the beginning of this year to make my writing a priority. I’m not going to cancel now.
After some reflection, I’m realizing the reason I was so inconsistent in my writing before this year, is because I was worried I wouldn’t have anything new to say. I would go months and months without sitting down to write because I was scared of being irrelevant. What if I write something that makes me sound dumb? What if someone thinks my writing sucks? What if nobody cares? I was putting so much pressure on myself to perform, I was taking all of the value out of doing this in the first place. With a fresh perspective, I’m deciding to trust God with this platform. This is a place for me to find Him even more than for you, as a reader. I am growing in my relationship with Christ by taking the time to sit, think and reflect on what He is revealing to me. What a gift. Have you considered blogging? Maybe you don’t want to go public with your writing, that’s okay. Journaling could be a great place to start.
I was recently listening to a sermon by Judah Smith, my celebrity pastor crush. (If that’s a thing) Anywayyyyys, he was talking about our relationship with Jesus and living a christian lifestyle, as most pastors do, and he said something that I’m sure I’ve heard before, but it was like a daggar to my soul this time.
Being precedes doing.
In other words, being with God comes before doing things for God.
We cannot healthily maintain a lifestyle of ‘doing’ for God if we refuse to learn how to BE with Him.
Somehow, I’m 24 years old and I am contimplating this concept like it is the craziest thing I have ever heard. How could I have missed this? How did I get so good at ‘doing’ things for God and still feel like ‘being’ with God is a struggle? Why is it my tendency to perform over recieveing what God has for me? Guys, this is so hard for me. Just now, when I sat down to write this post, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I should write about before spending even two minutes in quiet reflection listening for God. Sheesh.
You know, looking back at my teen years, so much focus was placed on performance. Don’t drink, don’t have sex before marriage, don’t lie, be kind, lead by example, serve others, pray, read your Bible. While all of that is good and Biblical, I wonder how my experience would have been different If I would have learned how to truly be with God before I was expected to perform for Him. Sure, I was encouraged to pray and read my Bible, but there is so much more to ‘being’ with God than those two things. In an effort to teach young people to do the right thing, I think we’re glossing over the importance of learning to be with Jesus. The overflow of that relationship will produce the good fruit we are looking for. Easier said than done, I’m sure, but food for thought anyways.
As a Christ-follower, when doing precedes being, fear, shame, guilt and lies creep in. Just like for me in my writing.
When you refuse to go to the source of all that is good, you will never be at peace with who you are.
Stop trying to be good all by yourself. Be with Jesus! Let His goodness flow from you. We all need to loosen up on the reigns a bit and let Jesus be the Savior. Get to know Him. If you’re going to ‘do’ something, figure out what you need to ‘do’ to be with Him. Read about the character of Jesus in the gospels. Spend time talking to Him about what you’re afraid of. When you feel a nudge to be brave, say yes knowing fully that God is leading you first. Give thanks to Him for every good thing throughout your day. Find a worship song that you love and listen to it on repeat for an hour (may I suggest this one). Go on a walk, take a deep breath and aknowledge that He gave you that breath. Tell somone you’re close to what you think God loves about you (there are lots things, btw). Listen to a sermon this week and grow in your knowledge of who He is and how he speaks.
There’s a general list to get you started, but don’t spend this week doing without being. Prioritize being with Jesus. Life’s just so much better with Him.
Be encouraged, friends.