Two Lies I Believe
It took getting hit by a car to realize I believed two lies about my life.
My friend Jennifer and I were training for a half-marathon because I am an idiot, and Jennifer is just really nice. On one of our training runs, we came to an apartment-complex driveway. We stopped as we saw the SUV approach. We thought the driver saw us so we ran across the driveway. Then she hit us…with her car.
As I was being hoisted up onto the car’s hood, I thought, “This is how people break their legs or die. Are there any cars coming? Because when I get thrown off of here, I don’t want to be hit again.”
After we talked to the exceptionally distraught woman and prayed with her, we told her to go to work. And then we kept running. Y’all, my hip was b-r-u-i-s-e-d, and I had just been hit by a c-a-r! And I still ran six more miles.
Why did I do that? Because I am an Achiever. I like to think that I am not limited by being hit by a car. No challenge can stop me, not even a moving vehicle hitting my hip. What is hard for me to accept is that my ideas aren’t true.
There are two lies I have believed:
- I can be anything I want to be. I grew up in the ’80s when I was told by my school and TV shows that the sky was the limit and that I could do whatever I wanted in life!
- I can do anything I want to do. As a woman who entered the work force in the late 1990s and is raising children in the 2000s, I have been told that I can and should have a perfect family, imperfectly-perfect home, toned body, highly-fulfilling career, vibrant friendships, stimulating extracurricular activities, and a side business in addition to providing from-scratch meals (including birthday cakes!) and serving in at least two volunteer positions, one in leadership.
And in the being it all and in doing it all, I find myself so, so tired.
But here’s what I’ve learned about those lies:
- I cannot be anything I want to be. For example, I will never, ever, ever make it into the NBA because I am a girl, and I lack mad basketball skills. There is a limit on the jobs I can have.
- I cannot have it all. This one is really hard for me to accept because I really want everything listed above. Why can’t I do it all if it’s all good and if I have the ability to do it? There is one factor I just can’t escape: time. For example, if I get up early for my quiet time, it means I’m not working out. The bottom line is that I simply run out of time to do all of the things. I must be selective in how I spend my time because there is a limit to what I can have and do.
These truths aren’t as bad as they seem.
Wow, Jill. Thank you for making me give up my dreams of playing in the NBA and that utopian life I was creating. This is the best blog post ever.
As a kid, I sang the Bill Gaither Trio song, “I am a promise.” One line strikes me as I sing it to my children today, “I can be anything God wants me to be.” The key is the line “God wants me to be.” God created you to do things to grow His kingdom, grow your faith, and give you good.
As someone who is learning to live in the light of her limits, I find myself not confined, but free. Free to do what He has asked of me. Free to say “yes” to opportunities I would miss if I was tied up in the busyness of keeping up. Free to relax in knowing He has a plan and my job is to obey.
Let’s be clear: His plan for you is not you doing it all. That’s His job.
Your job is to take what He has given you to do and then actually do it. Then He’ll give you something else, and you’ll do that too. This real life with Jesus doesn’t mean running with a bruised hip; it means walking right next to Him.
Let us remember that much of the beauty that will arise from our life will come from the struggle we have with our limitations. You have the ability to create, build, and plan amazingly beautiful things within the limits that God hand-chose for you.
You were not created to be limitless. You don’t have to run after you’ve been hit by a car, instead, accept the grace He has given, and do only what He’s called you to do.