The Burden and The Blessing of IT
May I be honest with you? That is one thing that is extremely difficult for the church to do and to be - honest. Being honest about insecurities, weaknesses, and uncertainties not only make one vulnerable, but it attracts those who will prey on you instead of praying for you. I request your permission because I know the scrutiny of my discovery and declaration may come with a barrage of inquisition and imposition, but IT is certainly my truth! The truth is there are days when I wonder if IT is worth IT! The value of IT often hides behind the drain of my day, the scorn of my schedule, the needs of my nights and the moans coming from my aching joints around midnight. Is… IT… worth… IT?
When I take the time, which I have very little of, to contemplate the demand of the call from God on my life, I am simultaneously in awe and wonder. I am awed God chose me. She who has made so many mistakes they cannot be numbered or measured. She who has openly declared knowing the will of God, moved on that assertion only to have the proverbial cracked egg on my face. She who was destined to repeat the generational curses of her family; namely divorce and low self-esteem. She who clearly heard the hallowed whispers of God, ignored them, and chose rather to respond to the loud, reverberating hissing of naysayers. She who wanted to be loved so badly said yes, when she knew she should have said no and she ended up in the courtroom of it is over and good-bye. She who wanted to be the woman of Proverbs 31, but was actually more reflective of the woman of Proverbs 9:13. Let me save you the trouble of researching. The Amplified Bible declares ‘The foolish woman is restless and noisy; She is naive and easily misled and thoughtless, and knows nothing at all [of eternal value].”
I have repeatedly wondered how I am expected to carry the weight of the mantle of which I know I am not truly qualified. Yes! I know your churchy answer that God calls the unqualified and then qualifies or justifies them, but when it is all said and done, I do ponder the question “why me.” It seems as if my life is filled with whys and I am not confident in the answers that I privately rehearse.
Why would God choose me? Why me? I have never thought I was the prettiest. I am not the smartest. I am not the friendliest. I am not the most confident. I am not the best speaker. I am not the most studious Bible student. I am not the one who gets up in the wee hours of the morning to pray for hours on end. I am not the one who is patient or kind. I could go on and on with my am nots, but Holy Spirit generally does not allow me. My list would be longer than this blog would allow, but Holy Spirit arrested me and told me the one thing He tells me over and over again. I did not get to choose the response to my “yes, Lord.” My yes, meant giving Him full control of IT all.
Giving Him my all, meant I no longer had to deal with the IT alone. The IT in my life has caused me much pain and much sorrow, but IT has also given me times of joy and happiness, however temporary. Ladies, I am not talking about when I first accepted my call to preach the gospel. I am referring to balancing IT all!
I have a strong desire to be Christ-like in all things. I want to represent and re-present Him well as a Christian woman, a Christian wife, a Christian mother, a Christian leader, a Christian business woman, a Christian neighbor, a Christian sister, a Christian daughter, and every other hat I wear. I have a longing to be pleasing to my Savior and the encumbrance of all of those roles tend to, at times, overwhelm me. Yet, I know I said yes, so I do my best to balance them all. The problem I finally discovered is I was trying to balance them all without ever asking Holy Spirit to carry the weight for me, illuminate my path and block the burdens associated with the ‘much’ of life. It was not until I asked Him to trim the fat and to tunnel my vision to only divine assignments, that I no longer feel guilty about saying no, stepping back, or diminishing my presence all together. I unapologetically admit I earnestly strive to serve God in excellence. Although that is a buzz phrase of the church, it is a way of life for me. I spend much of my time, resources and energy trying to enhance my skills, increase my gifting, and exercise my knowledge in the hopes of perfecting those things that concern my entire life’s assignment.
Now, I would not be exercising due diligence if I failed to insert a warning here. When people know you give and you will give your all to their assignments as well, beware and be warned. People will use your gifts, as long it does not cost them their time, their energy or their resources. People will fill your plate with their ITS without consideration for yours. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) indicates that relationships should be beneficial to all parties involved. If you are the only one sharpening and are never being sharpened, I contend the relationship is not a part of your predestined purpose. That is what I learned most in trying to handle IT all. I was giving of myself and was rarely getting in return. The burden of IT was not demonic but rather divine. I just had to tap into the spiritual will of God and be released from all of the ITs that bared too much weight on my life and too little in my purpose.
Is IT worth it? IT was worth every lesson I learned and every tear I cried. I am stronger, I am better and I am wiser. Now that I am free from IT, I want you to learn from my experiences and not allow the ITs to attach themselves to you, but rather exercise the wisdom of Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” The ITS, especially other peoples, will cause your race to be marathon when the destination only required a sprint.