You know…that thing. YOUR thing. That little (or maybe it’s big) sin that you can’t let go of. The one thing that you feel like keeps your from God and from really and truly sensing His presence in your life. Because we all have one. Every single one of us. For some it’s vanity. For some it’s lying…being afraid to admit the truth to yourself or to others for fear of what might happen if you do. Maybe it’s food…maybe you can’t kick the junk food habit and it’s starting to become evident that you’re struggling with it. Maybe you’re in deep with the bigger things. Maybe you’re a woman who struggles with pornography and you feel isolated because “society” makes out like porn is a man’s problem…so you hide it. Maybe you’ve had or are in the midst of an affair…either emotional or physical. Maybe it’s something else completely.
I’d love to sit back and tell you that I didn’t have one of those issues. That yes, I sin. No, I’m not perfect, but that I didn’t have a “big” thing in my life that held me back. Oh, how I would LOVE to be able to say that.
But, I can’t.
I’ve promised myself and God that I would be transparent on this site. That if I was ever going to really impact anyone or if God was really going to use me and whatever it is He calls me to write here, that I had to open up and shed light on my fears, my secrets and my struggles. Stepping out and actually writing down the darker parts of my testimony was tough, but the support, the encouragement and the feedback have been remarkable.
So, now it’s time for another confession.
It’s something that I have been aware of for years. My husband points it out occasionally, but I realize it in myself almost daily.
I struggle with success envy.
Now…let me elaborate. I am almost 30 years old and the greatest thing I have ever done was give birth to two children. I consider that God’s absolute BEST gift and blessing in my life. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m about to say. But, there are days…a lot of days…where I wish there was more.
I see friends I graduated from High School with who have thriving, successful careers and there is a part of me that envies that a little bit. I wouldn’t give up my boys for that, but there’s a big part of me that wants both. A successful career and a happy family. And my desire for these things, leads to my other struggle of exaggeration…my tendency to make things that happen sound a little bigger, a little better, a little more dramatic than they really were.
I read blogs and websites by some of my favorite authors; some of the most inspiring women I have ever ‘met’ (via social media) and my sin nature thinks, “I want that…I wish I had that…” When in actuality those amazing ladies who have those things didn’t sit back and wish for them.
They made them happen.
They didn’t sit back for week or months or years and wait for the work to get done for them. They didn’t sit around and make excuses for why they couldn’t…or shouldn’t…or weren’t capable. They did something about it.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the man by the pool in John 5. This man had been an invalid for 38 years waiting to make it into that pool. Do you hear that?! THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS! That’s a long time to sit around on a mat and feel sorry for yourself. I’m sure that during those years, he found every reason in the world to feel sorry for himself. And I’m sure for good reason. He was an invalid, which meant he couldn’t walk and didn’t have anyone to help him.
But notice what Jesus says when he comes to him:
“Do you want to be healed?”
He didn’t criticize him. He didn’t ridicule him…though I’m quite positive that this man had been ridiculed and harassed for a long time. Jesus simply asked him if he wanted it. Do you want to get in the pool? Do you want to be healed? THEN DO IT.
I always go back to that story and am reminded that things don’t come freely in life. Things don’t come easily. They come to those who want it. Those who work for it.
Bill Gates. Donald Trump. Steve Jobs. Mark Pentecost. Heather Whitestone. King David. Noah. Moses.
The list of those who have overcome odds and fought for things they wanted is unending. It’s just a matter of deciding you want it bad enough.
So instead of feeling like I can’t for whatever lame reason I come up with…
It’s time to throw the excuses out. Throw the “I’m not good enough/capable enough/qualified enough/whatever” out and do it.
What are you holding back from?
What’s the thing that you struggle with just letting go and DOING?
What are you so afraid of?