May 6, 2015

You Were Born An Original

"Their circumstances are not the same as mine. Their outcome will not be the same as mine. His path for them is not the same as His path for me. Focus on the gifts He has given specifically to me, and not the gifts I see others using in their lives."

This is the dialogue I have to repeat to myself, sometimes daily. Remembering that it takes all of us using all of our gifts to make up the body of Christ, this is necessary for God to fulfill His purposes. Don't try to run somebody else's race, yours will have enough hurdles and joys of its own.

One of my biggest flaws is comparing my lack of what I feel I'm doing in ministry or in life or in service to the depth of what I see and hear other people doing. But God gently nudges me and reminds me of some key things I seem to always sweep under the rug. "That person that you're trying to measure up to, that person that is doing all of the things that you think you want to do, remember--they do not work a full time job. They have a husband who provides and who is at home. They have no children, or their children are grown. You are trying to enter into the same depth of service and tasks in a season of life where you DO work full time, and often double shifts and extra hours each week. You are in a season where you ARE a single mother and you DON'T have that other partner to help you provide, help you around the house, help you raise the children. Your season of life entails three children who are still very young and have years of raising ahead of them. How can you compare your race to someone who has completely different circumstances? How can you try to serve in the exact ways that someone in a completely opposite season from you does? I made you YOU for a reason, don't try to mirror the service or path of others. I gave you your own gifts, your own path, your own timeline in which things will unveil themselves. Quit reaching and grasping to mirror something that's meant for someone else. I have special things in store for you, and you are doing exactly what you are meant to. When you look at others, remember that you are only seeing a small window into assumptions about their lives. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors, you don't know that you're not hugely blessed beyond measure compared to what you think you envy about someone else. You are in unique circumstances, and I put you there or have allowed it for specific purposes. Just trust in Me. It's okay to question it, but just trust in Me. Follow YOUR own calling, live YOUR own purpose. You are in ministry every single day in your own ways and they are not meant to look anything like anyone else's. Don't just try to do what others are, but instead do what I called you for and what I guide you to."

Follow YOUR own calling, and encourage others to follow THEIRS. It will continually creep up on you, just as it does with me. That's how the enemy works, by trying to repeatedly put something in our heads until we start believing it. Don't give him that power. It often comes back to me and I say, "But God...I'm not married. I'm not wealthy. I'm not serving in church as much as I see others are able to. I'm not a size 5 anymore. I'm not filling my days with the right priorities sometimes." And each time these insecurities and feelings of inferiority hit, God sweetly whispers, "Beautiful child, stop looking at all of the AREN'T issues. I only see the ARE blessings. What you are is a mother, a nurse, a business owner, someone who's finally comfortable with her curves. You are an encourager with an amazing testimony to share, and someone who has a passion for knowing Me and growing in faith. You give back every day in faithfulness, leadership, and love. You continually seek the teaching of My Word. Do you think those things are not enough for me? Are they not enough for you?"

Sweet friends, there are so many more ARE blessings to focus on in your life than AREN'T issues. We can all use the gifts, talents, and treasures that we were awarded freely by God (which we know we are undeserving of, but should remain extremely grateful for), and we as a church body of people can knit them together like the tightest woven tapestry and help bring God's beautiful Kingdom to fulfillment. You are YOU. You are unique. You DO have a path of your own. Don't ever question that, don't try to be who you're not, don't try to measure up. You are already enough in God's eyes, you are endlessly loved, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Believe in that, walk your OWN path to arrive at YOUR calling so that you can live out YOUR purpose. It won't look like anyone else's, and it's not supposed to. Isn't that comforting to know that your eyes need only be fixed on Jesus and where your own feet are heading?

"You saw me before I was born.The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began." (Psalm 139:16 GNT)

"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else." (Galatians 6:4 NIV)

"For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)." (1 Corinthians 12:12 AMP)

"God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 ERV)

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." (Psalm 139:14 ESV)

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