Questions to help you assess who you are right now
The New Year is here, and maybe you’re overwhelmed by all the looking back and dreaming forward. I wonder if, just for a minute, you and I could look at who we are right now. In 2018, on the blog, we’ll focus on three areas:
- Our GPS (where we are right now and WHO we are).
- Contentment with our gifts, calling, and body.
- Areas where we struggle.
So let’s start with: Who are you? A loaded question that leaves us scrambling for answers and grasping for the results of every personality test we’ve ever taken. So, in the spirit of common-sense grace, let’s answer this daunting question by looking at three areas: our beliefs, our feelings, and our actions.
Take some time to evaluate where you stand in each area, and then, determine if where you stand reflects who you want to be.
We hold certain beliefs about our worth. Many of us believe that productivity and helping others are the only way we’re valuable.
But God… whispers to our hearts that this isn’t right. He sees our worth as unquantifiable.
We hold certain beliefs about how to live. We believe that, if we could figure out the magical formula for how to be the best parent, wife, employee, or writer, then we could rest. In the words of Shauna Niequist, we believe that we must be, “…fast and efficient, sparkly and shiny, battle-ready and inexhaustible.”
But God… sees us, knows us, and loves us even when we’re not fast or sparkly or inexhaustible. We don’t have to be perfect to be loved because we’re loved for the beautiful mess that we are.
Our beliefs impact our relationships. We see people one of two ways: a means to an end (goal achievement anyone?) or an obstacle to the end (messy people with messy feelings distract us from goal achievement).
But God… values people a crazy amount, and He gives us the time and patience we need to love the people He’s gifted us.
1. What do you believe gives you worth? Is this in alignment with what God says about you?
2. Do you believe that you must be “…fast and efficient, sparkly and shiny, battle-ready and inexhaustible” to be loved? Is this what God says is true?
3. Do you see people as a means to an end or an obstacle to the end? Will you bring that belief to God today?
Our emotions seem secondary to all we need to do. Our time and place in history praises “doing.” We don’t think, we do. We don’t feel, we produce.
Ours is a generation on auto-pilot.
Our emotions scare us. We’re so scared of feeling anything that we numb them, suppress them, deny them, become them, invalidate them, or label them as “bad” because emotions only slow us down on our road to “doing.”
When we do slow down long enough to feel an emotion, we feel outwardly successful but inwardly defeated. Or isolated. Or Never Enough. Or miserable.
But God… created our emotions, and He isn’t afraid when we express them. He’s big enough to handle any feeling we have, and He loves it when we share our heart with Him.
1. What emotions do you need to feel in the presence of Jesus even if they seem scary or too much?
2. What would it look like to slow down long enough to feel?
We are fixers. Try-hard girls like to say “yes.” We plow ahead no matter how frustrated or emotionally exhausted we feel. We seek approval while chasing our self-created version of success. We focus on our imperfections because our inner critic never takes a break. Try-hard girls serve with madness, and we swing between trusting God and obsessing about our problems.
But God… says that His burden is easy and His yoke is light. God says that we don’t have to do All The Things but to focus on the One. God says to follow where He leads because He is gentle, loving, and kind. He knows what we can handle.
1. Are you always in motion? What would it look like to allow for failure, admit mistakes, and extend yourself grace?
2. What are All The Things you’ve been trying to do? What can you let go of?
Sweet try-hard girl, in this new year, let’s accept who we are right now and then offer up this prayer to God who loves us so.
We ask that You give us the power and desire to put down our performance and acknowledge that we have needs.
Help us to learn that, in Your presence, we don’t have to hold it all together.
Remind us that our value and Your love aren’t tied up in our performance.
Bring to mind that You fully know us and fully love us.
Help us to understand that Your unconditional love is without a single condition, and success, service, and performance aren’t a requirement for you to delight in us.
You are good. You are God. And You love us so.
We love you Jesus, and we’re excited to see what you have in store for us this new year. Amen.