Ever want to hum that old Michael W Smith song, "My Place in this World" in your head?
If you are a woman, my bets are on a big fat yes. John and Staci Eldridge hit the nail on the head in "Captivating" when they said that all women struggle with 2 main lies "I'm too much" and "I'm not enough".
What they failed to tell us is how we could struggle with both in the same day!
Yep, it's been one of those days for me. I know that most people who read this don't really know me. . .I have no clue what you really think of me, if you think I have it all together or are the most UNtogether person in the world. If you love me or hate me. Heck, if you think I'm "too much" or just "not enough" The truth is that today has been a struggle. I often feel like I'm not really fitting in anywhere lately. . .like I'm not really sure of my place.
You see. . .I'm not sure if I can classify myself as a "stay at home mom" anymore. The truth is that my volunteer hours probably take up as much as a regular job. . .they are just weird hours with conference calls stuck in during drives, nap times and running and "work" hours are 8-midnight.
With all of that, you can imagine that I pretty much never feel like I'm good at either. Tonight as I set off to run I felt so overwhelmed. With the Uganda stuff, I am doing things that are FAR outside my proficiency so I don't feel all that great about the job I'm doing (I mean like writing million $ grant proposals and development plans. . .amazing to be a part of, but not something I'm good at). . .add that to the pressure and burden I feel to see this succeed and to see these children get sponsors. . fast. Oh yeah, and doing it all while working with an amazing group of professionals (the HopeChest staff) that I'm pretty sure I'm not even qualified to be their assistants! (I'm a stay at home mom who didn't even finish college!) sigh
But, I LOVE it. I feel so alive and in the center of God's will when working in this ministry. I love the vision casting, the brainstorming, the sharing of the passion. so yeah, "not enough" comes up in this realm a lot.
Then the biggie. . parenting. Parenting 3 small children! As you moms know, there are great days and there are bang your head against a wall days. Today was the latter! A day when the kids were out of control, I was trying to get a project done all while trying to do all of the laundry, dishes and various housework of the day. I NEVER feel like I'm a good enough mom.
Oh yeah. . and the ever present feeling that I'm not so great on the friendship front. I'm pretty sure I'm not a fun friend. Who wants a girls night with a girl who only thinks about starving people? That added to the fact that my availability has been more limited because on top of the fact that my kids go to bed at 7-7:30 I'm also on conference calls during the days / evenings.
So that's me. . .a working/stay at home mom who never feels like she gives her kids what she should. a volunteer who's a little more committed than the average volunteer and yet struggles to know her place b/c I don't feel qualified to even be in the circle and it's not like I have any clue what role I'm supposed to be playing. . .and a 28 year old American girl who doesn't fit in here and knows she won't fit in there either. All while learning more from Jesus than I ever have before. Oh yeah and none of that even touches the fact that I recently stepped off of church staff ( a position I volunteered in for 7 years) to get more involved in HopeChest Uganda.
So there. . .if any one of you ever thought I had it all together, you don't now!
But what I realize in all of this is~ drumroll please ~ I'm always going to struggle with this!
Lovely thought, huh? It's true though. . anytime I take my eyes off of Jesus and start trying to figure out where I fit in all of this, I'm going to struggle. I'm thinking He actually wants it this way, it keeps me running to Him. and man did I run to Him tonight. I poured it all out and He reminded me once again that HE is where I find my value and my place. In HIM do I take refuge. I'm simply responsible for listening and obeying. I was reminded of the verses we are learning. "If you spend yourselves on behalf. . ." wait, that's how I feel. . . SPENT some days. And I imagine it to be a horrible thing. Maybe it's here in the struggle that I find Him. It doesn't make the struggle easy but at least I know where to go with it ~ straight into the arms of the Father.
How about you? Do you struggle with your place in this world? In friendships and parenting and marriage and ministry and work?