Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - Being Me

I've been absent for a while and I've missed you all. The holidays swept in and overwhelmed me. To be absolutely frank I've been exhausted. Anyone else worn out? I'm pretty sure part of the reason I'm so tired is because I've been trying to fill someone else's shoes - a pair that doesn't fit me.

Christmas wasn't just about work. I had a lot of fun too. However, I took on too much responsibility, a habit I've gotten into in recent years. The Lord has been speaking to me about my need to just be me - it really is okay. 

I've been reading a book called Becoming Myself. It's thought provoking to say the least. And the portion I was reading today went right along with the devotion I read as well. And then a scripture verse told me the same thing. I've learned that when I hear something three times from three different sources I'd best pay attention.

The devotion I read was from Streams in the Desert. It included a poignant story about a king and his garden. The garden is withered and dying. When questioned, each plant had given up on life because they weren't just like another plant. The oak tree wanted to stand tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine tree was distraught because it couldn't bear fruit like the grapevine. And the geranium was fretting because it didn't have the fragrance of the lilac.

The king came upon a small violet. It was vibrant and alive and when the king asked why it wasn't disheartened like the rest of the garden the little flower responded, "I know I'm small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or even a lilac you would have planted one. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I'm determined to be the best little violet I can be." 

I envision that little violet dressed in its vivid colors and wearing a big smile as it stands up straight and bright, being everything it can be for the king. The violet has found joy and contentment in being just what it was intended to be.

I want to be like that, but I struggle. I sometimes find myself longing to be like someone else. I'd love to be tall and willowy, bending easily in the wind. Instead, I'm more like an oak. I'm broad, heavy-limbed and weathered. My limbs don't bend easily because I've had to stand my ground and strain against life's storms. 

Can I be content as an oak?

I'm confident God knew what He was doing when He created me. I'm also certain that he intends for me to grow and mature and even change, but I need to embrace the core of who I am; only then can I fulfill His purposes for me. 

I'm on a journey, searching for clarity and hoping to discover who me is. I will likely find things I don't like as well as some nice surprises. In the end I pray I am able to throw aside unreal expectations, guilt over false failures and be thankful that God created me to be an oak. 

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. This really spoke to me.

    In the space of a few years I've had to go from being a successful academic to being a struggling writer and metalworker, taking care of our dog sanctuary, and seeing my wife become the primary breadwinner, along with dealing with a very painful illness that is doing its best to kill me.

    Being OK with that has been hard, I admit, but when I look at some of the wonderful things that have happened...my wife's blossoming in a challenging career she loves, and the arrival of Bella the Wheelchair Dog, Denali the Happy Husky, Labby the Labrador, and Dukee the Really Big Pitbull...I would not change it.

    Yeah. I'm OK.


  2. Andrew, I'm sorry to hear about your struggle, but I know nothing touches us that God does not allow. His purpose may not be clearly understood . . . yet, but it still exists.

    I'm so glad to hear about the wonders in your life and thank you so much for sharing.

    God is full of grace, and I pray showers of mercy and joy will rain down on you.