I have struggled with the lie of grace avoidance. It’s a lie that says I am beyond God’s grace. And it’s an odd struggle in some ways, because from an early age, I could recite the passage in Ephesians 2:8 that says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” But I was missing the heart behind this truth.
Escalating thoughts, replaying conversations over and over again in my head, ruminating on others and their opinions of me, and desperately wanting to be seen for what I do. The performance trap haunted me for a very long time and lead to emotional and spiritual exhaustion. I thought I was seeking godliness, when in reality I was trying to be perfect.
It happened again. Even as I sat down to write this blog post, that all too familiar, discouraging voice started shouting within me:
“Why did you sign up for this?”
“You don’t have anything good to write about”
“Other people are better writers”
“You always procrastinate like this, you’ll never finish it in time”
This is the voice that accompanies me all the time, especially when I’m working on something difficult and important. This voice has led me to avoid, delay or flat out refuse to do things God was calling me to do because I questioned whether or not I really had what it takes.
For many Christian women, a prolonged season of singleness becomes a holding place, while waiting for that desire to be a wife. It can feel unfair if there is a desire/design from God to be that helper yet He has not given you the season of marriage to live that out. But it can be in the context of your life now, for those around you and not something on hold, passively waiting as time and lives pass you by.
A few months ago, I was attending a friend’s fall party and met a fantastic couple. While in conversation about life and filling them in on my oh-so-deprived relationship status, the man asked me a profound question, “So are you an independent woman, or just a woman?” Trying not to make the astonishment that was in my head evident on my face, I replied…
Do you ever look around and wonder if what we see on the outside of others is truly who they are? We walk around and see smiles plastered on faces that are so used to answering the question of “How are you?” with “I’m good/fine, how are you?”
I sometimes wonder if anyone every really answers that question honestly anymore. Myself included.
Mothers of multiple children, do you remember juggling an infant, toddler, and perhaps a preschooler into various car seats, wondering why you ever thought caring for one baby was hard? Are you a mother of three? Don’t talk to the mom who has six, because you can hear them roll their eyes at your measly, three-kid hassle. That’s nothing!
We Pinterest together making magic of mason jars and some burlap. We leave our blessed husbands home to brave whatever a diaper may hold so we can enjoy a glass of wine in peace and quiet (which is not at all what happens when a group of women get together). We bare our feet together in solidarity to beautify our most vulnerable parts (a true friend would never judge your toes after all). We swap the nitty-gritty of our birth narratives. We pass the hours with our stroller derby friends over some latte therapy. We care for and nurture each other by swapping dressing room pictures in hopes of an affirmation made from multiple exclamation points all caps #hotmama. And yet we feel so…