There are some pretty amazing women in my life. I really have no reason to complain. In all of God’s glory He knew that my head and my heart needed strong women to help me grow and become who I am. This week I think I needed one of those strong women to knock me on the side of my head and tell me to “Cut it Out!”
I have this really bad habit of pushing myself, and trying to prove to people that I can do it. I can take on anything that is in front of me and accomplish it. I pride myself in thinking ahead, in trying to see what is next. Am I ready? Is the area around me ready? Have I done all I can do? And then there is this little voice in my head (and heart, actually) that whispers “will they notice?” Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I am doing, whether at work, at home, and at play, and I don’t need the validation of the world, no it seems that the validation I crave is of those around me. When it comes from the people I admire, then I know it means something right?
I can wholeheartedly say no! Though it feels good to get an “atta girl” or a “ I respect you highly”, they end up still being words in my parched heart. The women that have said these things to me, mean what they say, and I say them right back to them, but they move on to other things and I feel as if I have to prove myself all over again just to get that response again. A couple of nights ago I was helping my doctor with an emergency surgery at work. We worked in fluid motion, I knew my part and she knew hers. As we were finishing up, I was thinking ahead as to what this patient would need for the following day and into the next few weeks to be comfortable after surgery, literally thinking five steps ahead. The doctor had lied down to rest (since the emergency was in the middle of the night), and I was finishing up the bill, so that I could head home. I was tired of course, but the next morning the first thing I talked to my hubby about was how the surgery went, to say the patient was doing well, and how I did well at thinking ahead and man I hope the doctor approves. “What?!? Really?!?” I cringe as I write this out. I needed validation that badly?
Yeah, I think I really did. Ya all know that I am a Christian and I know that my worth is found in the fact that I am a child of God. It is hard sometimes to remember that though, when it is so much easier to get instant validation and praise from people around you, even better when it is from people you admire and respect. Once again cringe as I write that. The one person I should admire and respect above all others is the one that I tend to look to last for validation and praise. I know that comes from a selfish desire to be seen, even when I say I don’t want to be seen. Colossians 3: 23 says: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”.
It’s a strange and tiring thing when you want to elevate yourself, even just a little, and try to become the center of the world you have created. It is so much easier to take the gifts you have been given, ask God’s blessings on them so that they may be used to help others. Validation is great but it is like those dandelion poofs that once placed in the wind quickly blow away. The praise feels good in the moment, but then once it’s said and gone, the thrill of the chase begins. My lovely husband thankfully stepped in and reminded me that my worth doesn’t come from getting praised. My worth comes from knowing that I am who I am. I am loved no matter what, and I know that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. The cliché saying is true: My worth comes from knowing I am loved and a child of God.
When I sit back and slow down, I realize that the times when I feel I need to be “seen and heard” by the people around me, those are during times when I am the busiest. They are found in the times when I haven’t made time for myself. I haven’t made time to read my Bible, to pray, to just sit and listen. I start my weeks off in a sprint fashion just to make it to the end of the week exhausted, telling myself I have accomplished so much. I did my job well, I exercised, I studied, I mommy-ed well, I was there for my husband, on and on. Nowhere in there did I rest well, pray more, or talk to God first. I think, no I know if I would have put God first and all of the other things after I would have a peace, I would have done all of the things I do, not for myself or others but for Christ. So I will try this week, to put God first, me second, and I will focus on what is ahead and not what is going on around me. Until next time:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT