This is part 5 of The TRUE me: A new approach to goal setting. While each piece can be enjoyed individually, please check out the earlier parts for a complete picture!
It was a beautiful winter morning when I sat down to write my mission statement. Jon and I had plans the night before and had managed to secure overnight babysitting (Yay for grandparents!), so I woke up to a quiet house. I decided to let him sleep in and just enjoy the quiet. I lit a candle in my office, grabbed my Bible (well, the Bible app on my phone), and sat to think and pray. Who am I really? What do I want people to see in me?
You know the story. You know the document that came out of that morning.
What you don’t know is how hard I struggled against the fourth statement on it. I jotted down words like “intentional” and “encourager” with ease. But then God whispered another word to me. “You are capable.”
I’m not so sure about that, I thought. I don’t feel capable. I feel inferior, inadequate. In fact, many days I feel like an outright failure.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Over and over, I talk to women who are struggling. Struggling with their worth, their parenting, their work, their relationships. Again and again I hear words like “struggling” and “drowning” and “failing.” My friends, don’t buy it. Those words don’t define you. And they don’t define me. Let me instead give you a new word to tell yourself.
You are capable.
You don’t have to do it all!
Why do we get so discouraged? Why do we convince ourselves we are failures?
The world lies to us, that’s why. The world tells us that we can have it all and do it all—and if we don’t, we have failed. But, my friends, that is crazy town. Trying to have, do, and be everything just makes for some exhausted and frazzled women. It isn’t realistic or healthy.
Being capable doesn’t mean being Superwoman.Being capable doesn't mean being Superwoman.Click To Tweet
But, you say, doesn’t the Bible say all things are possible with God? Doesn’t it say I can do all things through Christ?
Yes, it does. It says these things. But, my dear ones, we must take these verses in their context. In fact, I think we can all take a lesson from Larry the Cucumber, who read Matthew 19:26 in “Dave and the Giant Pickle” and said, “Oh great! Because I have always wanted to be a chicken! Do you think God would turn me into a chicken?”
No, Larry. God is not going to turn you into a chicken. That is not the intent of this verse. Neither is it intended to be a burden, shaming us into thinking we must have superhuman strength, energy, and endurance.
Verses like Matthew 19:26 and Philippians 4:13 are there to encourage us. They remind us that yes, life is hard. And yes, our own strength will fail us sometimes. But if God gives us a task to do, He will also provide us with His strength to accomplish whatever He puts in front of us. We need only to let Him.
You are capable of letting go of unrealistic expectations.
You were made for this!
We are so quick to talk ourselves out of our effectiveness. Our accomplishments aren’t big enough, our gifts aren’t good enough, our lives aren’t important enough.
But I have big news for you. You were created—purposefully and intentionally—by God. In His image. Just as you are.
Did you catch that? We aren’t just something He threw together. We are His masterpiece! He made you exactly as you are, on purpose and for a purpose. And He has given you whatever He has put in front of you on purpose and for a purpose. Some days that might be putting one foot in front of the other and surviving life with little ones. Other days it might mean being an advocate for your child, your spouse, or yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Or maybe it means being in the right place at the right time with the right word for someone who needs to hear it at that moment.God made you exactly as you are, on purpose and for a purpose.Click To Tweet
You are capable of accomplishing what God puts in front of you because you were made for this.
So what should you do?
In Christian circles, we talk a lot about the idea of a calling. What is my calling? What is God calling me to do? We treat it like we are searching through the wardrobe, certain it will lead to Narnia. If only I keep knocking on this panel, surely a whole new world of adventure is waiting!
Do you know what the Bible says about our calling? Very little, actually—at least, not in the way we talk about it today. Instead, the Bible tells us that we are called to faithfully follow Jesus and persevere in our faith.
The Apostle Paul also tells the Romans, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG).
This is what we are called to do, friends. Step out of the wardrobe and look around. You don’t have to go on an extraordinary adventure or accomplish Big Important Things. You need only to place your everyday, ordinary life before God as an offering.
You are capable of loving God with your life.
You don’t have to do it alone.
Remember those verse we talked about earlier—and Larry the Cucumber’s dream of being a chicken? Let’s go back there for a minute. “[That verse] means,” Bob the Tomato wisely explains, “that whatever God wants you to do, you can do!” So true, Bob, but let’s take it even a step further: Whatever God wants you to do, He can do through you.
In other words, you are not alone in this. When you set out to follow God and do what He asks, you have the power of God behind you.
This is why I love Paul’s boasting of his weaknesses in 2 Corinthians 12:
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (9b-10)
For when I am weak, then I am strong. That doesn’t even make sense! Except that it makes perfect sense—because when we are at our weakest, we are finally willing to admit we can’t do it all ourselves. That is when we lean on God and rely on His strength. And His strength is far greater than anything we have to offer.
You are capable when you rely on God’s strength.
You are capable. A simple statement, and yet so rich. Whatever God has put in front of you today, big or small, easy or hard… embrace it. Rely on His strength. And place it before Him as an offering.