Updated: Nov 4, 2019
As the new year approaches, I've been talking to my husband about my goals. As a wife, working mother, daughter, blogger, Christian, I have so many things I ideally want to accomplish. I have what feels like a billion interests and I want to dabble in them all. However, until now, I've wasted a lot of energy on things that don't help me move closer toward achieving my goals. I practice habits that only bring disatisfaction and regret. Much of this I created of the course of the past 25 years as a response to my situations and experiences. I've become someone I'm not as happy with as I want to be. I want to be a new person in every sense of the word. I want to recreate myself. Sure, the basics of the personality God gave me should remain, but sometimes, I don't even know what that is. Sure I want to be a Proverbs 31 lady that grows into a Titus 2 woman, but that is so broad. It only covers so much. I want to start the journey of choosing who I want to be. I want to redesign what makes me different from the next fabulous Black woman you see walking down the street. So here are some of the firsts things I'm letting go of in search of me:
I didn't start this blog because I thought I was a good writer. I didn't do it because I thought I had something useful to say to the world. I don't believe either of those things are true. I started it because I wanted a safe space to express my own original thoughts. I wanted to share with the world the reality of who I am. But my self-doubt took over and turned to fear and anxiety. Despite the overwhelming encouragement from those of you who actually read this stuff, I felt defeated and worthless. I still feel this way. If I want a safe space to write my raw thoughts, I could easily journal and save the internet space. In order to be committed, to anything, I have to believe in my own ability to do it. This doubt rears its ugly head in practically every other space in my life, from my fitness goals to my own sanctification. I am bombarded with the idea that it is impossible for me, or that I don't deserve to have these things, but it's not true.
2. Laziness Proverbs 13:4 says, "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat." In light of my desire to do the things I enjoy and experience life at it's fullest, I gotta get up off my behind and do the things I'm being called to do. I don't believe I, or anyone for that matter, am naturally lazy. I firmly believe we are all born with a bent toward sin and some sins are more prominent in us based on how we are raised. There are some who overwork and make productivity a god. I crave rest. I glorify slumber and unproductivity,even in the name of self care. God calls for a healthy balance of work and rest. Less time carelessly cruisingg social media, less time making excuses for what I haven't done, and (watch this!) giving myself a bedtime and sticking to it. No use in trying to be productive if I'm tired because I was up all night doing nothing, which leads me to my next enemy. 3. Gluttony To say I'm a consumer is an understatement. And I'm not just talking about shopping, but that's number 1 on the list. Food, useless information, predatory media. All of it threatens to steal my joy and suck me into a world of laziness, self-doubt, and poverty of both money and soul. Most of the things I go looking for to soothe boredom and dissatisfaction only dig me deeper into the hole of perpetual doom. Nothing is wrong with shopping, watching YouTube videos and tv shows, or enjoying a good meal, but in my quest to do everything as into the Lord, I find the need to limit my intake. I want to start asking myself the questions to make me consider why I am overdoing whatever I'm consuming, be honest, and take those things to Him. Psalm 63 is my absolute all time favorite passage in the Bible because it equates being satisfied in God to eating your favorite meal, prepared to perfection, to its completion. I don't need a 20 piece lemon pepper to myself when I'm satisfied in God. I don't need to swipe a credit card for things I won't even want in a week when I have been filled by the Lord with everything I need. 4. Need for control There are two ends of the spectrum for control freaks. There are those who are domineering and aggressive, nitpicky and tyrannical. They feel as if everything must be done their way and leave nothing to chance, no room for surprise or flexibility. There are others who pose a nonchalant attitude, feeling as if they should have no hand in things they can't completely control. They are apathetic and callus, wanting no responsibility for any of the bad that may come out of a situation they believe they weren't in control of. While I definitely can fall on either side of the spectrum, I tend to fall on the latter end, walking away from things and people I cannot control. I usually want everything to go exactly how I envision it. Everything should be done perfectly. Now that I am saving to buy a home, I think meticulously about everything, down to the outlets and baseboards. When it comes to any holiday where I may receive a gift, while I allow people to give gifts to me, I often ask for gift cards or secretly splurge on myself because in my mind, no one will get me the exact thing I want the way I want it. To avoid the displeasure of finding my kitchen haphazardly reorganized after I spend hours putting every item exactly where I want it to go, I avoid washing dishes and putting away groceries altogether. Then I step back and ask myself,
"If these things aren't done your way for the rest of your life, is it wrong? If you never get the 'perfection' you are seeking, is God still good and just, or will you be in ya feelings all the time?"
Saved me says, "to God be the glory," but major parts of my heart are burdened by the fact that things do not, and certainly may not, go my way all the time. My examples may seem trivial to most, but to me, they mean the world. The problem is, it shouldn't. 5. Hopelessness
When self-doubt causes me to question God's purpose for me, and laziness causes me to avoid God's purpose for me, and gluttony causes me to create new idols and dethrone God, and need for control causes me to enthrone myself in God's place, I end up in a place of despair. I look around and all my expectations have been denied and I am stuck with a vision of reality I don't like. I look to God and blame Him, thinking if He allowed all my desires and dreams and even my purpose to fall through, surely this is how my life is to be-- dreary and dead. Moments like this, my marriage and parenting suffer greatly. This blog is mountain I don't have the wherewithal to climb. I sink into myself and find nothing but deadness and pain.
I don't want to be this way anymore. I want a new start. So here I am.