Yesterday, I had morning coffee with my ‘Breakfast & Bible’ girls.
After we talk through our reading for the week and whatever other topics come up, we discuss prayer requests. Those are personal and I won’t share them there, but I will say this about each of our requests:
ANXIETY was the word of the day.
As humans, we all struggle with some worry in life. We worry about what the next day brings or what the next big life event brings. We worry about how we will get ‘all the things’ done in a day/week/month. We worry about our relationships and if they are good.
As a woman, I think that anxiety is increased. For whatever reason, we put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything and to do it perfectly. We want to have the careers, the babies, the husbands, the homes AND the social life that is vibrant and worthy of societal praise.
During Jessica Thompson’s session at the Influence conference, she asked us to think of what words we would use to describe ourselves at our darkest moments.
Words like: anxious, insecure, tired, scared, lonely and dependent.
She said the world is constantly telling us what we SHOULD be:
How we should dress.
How we should act.
How we should entertain.
How we should love our spouse, raise our children, decorate our front door.
Personally, I find it exhausting.
Then she said something that really struck a chord with me:
The fight of the Christian faith is to believe what God has ALREADY SAID ABOUT YOU.
After I left the coffee shop yesterday morning, my girl’s prayer requests on my mind, I was reminded of this. We don’t need to keep praying for reassurance that we can do all the things.
We need to start BELIEVING that God can do all the things and we don’t have to.
He has told us that we are special and we are His. (1 Peter 2:9 anyone?)
It is so easy for me to get caught up in the idea that I’m forging through this life alone. To tell myself I don’t need the help of a spouse. I don’t need my family’s help. I don’t need my friends’ help. To tell myself I don’t want to inconvenience people or rely on people to get it all done.
I got this.
I find myself praying to God for strength and energy to accomplish all these things that I think I need to do.
When what I really need to be praying for is clarity in my heart to put my trust fully in him.
Pray that I quit believing the lie that I have to be perfect in the eyes of society to be worthy of something in this world.
Pray that I learn to be open to others who want to help me when there are actual things I need help with.
Pray to learn to just rest in God’s love.
Jess said, if we keep doing things for God’s approval, we are saying Jesus’ death on the cross isn't enough.
It hurt to hear that, but it was also really illuminating. Jesus already paid the debt for us. We are free. We need to be thankful and grateful for the abundance of love we have through God and the sacrifice of his Son.
What would our lives look like if we lived rooted in that truth?
It certainly wouldn’t look like desperate prayers of worry and anxiety. And it definitely wouldn’t look like the over-worked and over-stressed women that we are.
For me, it looks like skipping a gym workout for a good walk and talk with a friend.
It looks like saying ‘no’ to extra things in my schedule that would take away from time with spent in my community.
It looks like 6 day dirty hair and no makeup to head out to hang out with friends because sometimes being with people you care about is more important than squeaky clean hair and flawless looks.
It looks like a night of inviting my friends over when there aren’t enough seats and I still have things in boxes.
Because love isn’t found in a perfectly styled living room or everyone having a chair (sorry guys).
It’s found in community and fellowship and mutual appreciation for the wonderful lives we’ve been blessed with.
So this week, I’m going to pray for the requests my girls asked for.
But I’m also going to pray that we can learn to trust that God has our back and we don’t have to struggle all the time. I’m going to pray that we can find our worth in something far greater than anything this earth can offer.