I have to be transparent here, folks. I’m struggling with my pride…
Merriam-Webster defines ‘pride‘ as: a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people, a feeling that you are more important or better than other people.
It pains me to say this to you. It is uncomfortable to give voice to these feelings – because if I put them out there, if I share them with you, then it makes them real…it means that I really AM self-centered or self-involved.
And that’s the LAST thing I want to be, or that I should be, as a Christian.
I’m struggling with an inflated ego…I’m struggling with feeling like my husband, my kids, my friends, should all get on board with ‘Team Michelle.’
My husband, the wonderful man that he is, continues to tell me that I should ‘do something for myself.’ Yes, I agree that I shouldn’t be dead last when it comes to who I have been given to care for. At the same time, I feel like a self-involved, first-world-problems-focused, kinda gal. And that’s not me, at my core.
I recently read “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller. This is basically his story and a collection of his friends’ stories on Christianity and religion and other life matters – money, love, etc. In it, he realizes that he struggles with intimacy because he is an introvert and enjoys his own company. He recognizes that he is not the being that others orbit around. The world doesn’t revolve around him. He has a plan for his life and how his days should go, and he gets annoyed with others don’t play their part in his script. He takes everything personally.
Up until about 3 months ago, I worked full-time. I was in a very customer-service oriented position. People were emailing me, calling me, and appearing in my office door all the live-long day. Everyone needed something. I used to get so agitated. I would think, ‘If these people would only leave me alone, I could get some work done.’
I realize now, that their needs WERE my work.
Now that I’m a full-time stay at home mom (for all intents and purposes because I only work about 10 hours a week), I’m realizing that those little people, my husband, those in my sphere of influence – their needs are my work.
Whatever I can do to make their lives smoother…that is my ‘job.’ And it’s certainly a full-time one, at that.
We were not made to do life alone. We were made to be in relationship with others…to go through life with our tribe by our side.
My outlook needs to change. The landscape in my life and in the lives of those around me is changing.
I’ve never been one to welcome an interruption, particularly when I’m eyeball deep in thought or task. However, I can learn from Jesus the proper response to interruptions.
In Matthew 14, we learn that John the Baptist was beheaded. When Jesus learns of this news, ‘he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.’
Jesus wanted to get away.
He left. On a boat. To a remote area. To be alone.
All of these phrases indicate that he didn’t want to be bothered.
And yet, we read in the next verse, ‘Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.’
He had compassion on them.
And healed their sick.
You know what’s coming next, right? This is the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. He just learned that the head of his BFF was delivered on a silver platter to a snotty little girl who wanted it as a birthday wish. Seriously?
This news was delivered to Him and He wanted to mourn. Alone. On a boat.
But He saw the people and He knew His mourning would have to wait. His needs would take a back-seat to those He had compassion on.
This is the example I am to follow.
Will I succeed every time? No.
Will I screw it up royally on occasion? You betcha.
Will I have to apologize and ask for forgiveness from those closest to me? Absolutely.
Will my family and friends remember that I gave them my very best? Yes and no.
Will I feel better knowing that I poured myself and my life into my loved ones? Without a doubt.