It is very hard to do your own thing in a world that is constantly watching and waiting.. waiting for you to mess up or succeed or post a picture or update your status. It makes this whole life thing just a little bit harder.
I’ve really been struggling with being able to live my life without worrying about what everyone thinks. To be honest, I’ve always struggled with that. I thought it would get better with age, but it has actually gotten worse.
Of course, comparison has been enhanced with social media, but I’m not going to harp on that right now. Comparison is the thief of joy and always will be.
I recently quit my job as a TV news reporter and I’m currently the Marketing Director at an Ice Complex. Saying that sentence to people over and over again sounds more and more ridiculous every time I say it.
Lately, I have felt like I’m not the one living my own life. I feel like an outsider watching and I can’t believe it’s all happening.
I have to explain my decision to so many people all the time. It’s the first thing people ask when they haven’t seen me in a while or if they’ve heard about it from a friend.
Just the other day, a girl asked me, “Have you found a job yet?”
When I told her what I was doing, she laughed. She actually laughed. I’m not making that up or being dramatic. She laughed at me because it sounded stupid to her.
I have no idea what I said after that because I was totally stunned that someone would laugh at me for what I had decided to do with my life. I felt the need to explain the entire thing to her, but she barely knows me, so she wouldn’t understand.
She didn’t understand that God had called me to do it and it was part of His plan. I don’t even fully understand it, so how could I possibly lead her to understand it?
Are you in a place where you feel like you have to explain yourself to everyone around you?
Did you make a decision that didn’t make sense to anyone except God and maybe you?
We have all been there or are there right now. We find ourselves breaking up with that guy everyone thought was perfect or quitting that picture-perfect job or selling that house or moving cities or changing majors or leaving a group of friends behind because of lifestyle changes. And we feel so stupid and vulnerable in front of the world.
It’s like that dream where you show up to school naked. There is no one to help you and no way to find clothes. You just have to stand there, embarrassed beyond belief, in all your glory.
That’s how I have felt lately – like everyone else had their clothes on and had everything together while I stood there naked and embarrassed for everyone to stare at.
News flash to anyone reading this and myself writing this, NO ONE HAS THEIR CLOTHES ON.
We are all showing up to school naked on a daily basis, and for anyone pretending to be clothed, they are doing just that – pretending. If someone tries to make you feel like their life is together and yours isn’t, chances are, theirs isn’t either and they are overcompensating.
Instead of laughing at each other and expecting explanations, we have to start struggling alongside each other and helping each other. I don’t mean just doing that for your family or best friends, I mean for everyone.
Life will never be perfect. There will always be struggles. And we will always have to make tough decisions, some small, some large. And we do not owe anyone an explanation for those decisions, especially people who barely know us.
Stop explaining yourself, and start embracing yourself. Live uninterrupted.
That girl doesn’t know that I had prayed over my situation for a long time before I knew I wasn’t where God wanted me. She doesn’t know that I’m still praying because I feel that I’m still not permanently where He wants me, but I know I’m on my way. She doesn’t know that I have dreams and goals I’m fulfilling outside of the job I go to every day. She doesn’t know that a job isn’t the most important thing to me and that a life of serving Jesus and others is.
So why did I get so upset about someone who doesn’t know my heart laughing at me? Because we all want to be loved and accepted. But we have to remember that our love and our affirmation and our identity come from a greater power than the girls who laugh or the guys who tell us we’re stupid or the people who let us know that we’ve made the wrong choice. Our self-worth is found in Christ who tells us He loves us no matter what decision we make or where we work or where we live or what we choose to do to make money for the time being as long as we are whole-heartedly living a life that points to Him.
So, don’t feel like you have to explain yourself to everyone who asks and even those who don’t. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with what you think their lives are like.
You aren’t meant to be in the same season of life as everyone around you.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
There is a time for everything, but your time is not the same as the person’s next to you. Every life and every journey is unique on purpose. God didn’t make anyone the same, so why would He make anyone’s timing the same?
We can’t try to live in the same season as everyone around us while we work on walking in our current season. It just can’t play out like that.
So, walk through your season with grace and confidence knowing you are meant to, and don’t feel the pressure of explaining that to anyone. And if they do ask, and you do answer, pray for the words to speak so that your answer will reflect God and His perfect will.
You are you for a very good reason and you will walk through many valleys before you get to your mountaintops. If someone watches those valley journeys and laughs, they aren’t for you, but God is. Those who love you like God does will walk through those valleys with you and lift you up out of them. And then you will do the same for them.
It’s funny/surprising/refereshing that so many people who know my story and know what God is doing have been so proud of me and happy for me for leaving what the world sees as beautiful for something “not so cool.” They know I’m heeding to the call of my God and walking on the path He has specifically laid out for me. They know something greater lies ahead, and I don’t have to explain that to them.
Whatever you are walking through, something greater lies ahead for you, too. It’s not always easy to remember and you can’t always see it, but have faith, and keep walking because you will get there. The days will pass anyway, so you might as well keep walking.
Don’t ever feel like you aren’t good enough because you are. And you don’t have to convince anyone that you are because everyone around you can see it, I promise.
The moment someone makes you feel like you have to convince them of your worth is the moment you step back and remind yourself of your worth and them of their worth, because they might need it more than you.