I fully believe I have the greatest job on the planet. I have the opportunity to travel to universities all across the country to help women develop into strong leaders. These exciting, new places and faces fill me with great joy, and have helped me grow and develop immensely.
But sometimes…I don’t get to travel for a few weeks.
Sometimes…there are weeks where I am in the same place, not meeting anyone new, and not having much to do.
And that has been my past few weeks. I’ve been home. With familiar faces. With comfortable spaces. With super normal life.
And to be real? It is super hard for me.
When my life is fast-paced, flying from state-to-state, making new friends every week, taking cool pictures of what I see, I feel fulfilled, known, and purposeful. I feel like I am using my time to the full and that I am truly making a difference. But sometimes life slows down, and does that mean I am any less purposeful? Any less difference-making? Any less fulfilled?
It should not mean that, but to be honest, I feel that way sometimes.
I can feel empty and alone and purposeless.
Because when I am alone in the silence, I see my worth for what it is: founded in my work, in my travel, in my relationships. So when there is little work, travel, and relationships, I feel a hollowness.
And I am convicted, once again, that my value was being placed in this world’s beautiful creation and not the Creator.
But I am learning to not be as afraid of the stillness, of silence, of little-to-do-ness:
I used to be afraid that I was hollow somehow, that I only existed if someone could see me and hear me, like a toddler playing peek-a-boo. My whole life was an elaborate attempt at never having to be alone with myself. But the invitations kept coming, grace upon grace, to leave things behind, shed old skins, release long-held brokenness, and when I finally walked away from all those things, there I was, alone with myself, and what I found astounded me: I wasn’t afraid at all. More than that, instead of being afraid, or hollow, or nothing at all, what I found was strength. I found an unshakeable core of love and passion and desire to make the world better. I found focus and a sense of power I’d never known.
~Shauna Niequist, Present over Perfect
It is so easy for me to zoom from place to place, never taking a second to slow down and find stillness while on the road. Never cracking open my Bible to root myself.
See I have zero daily rhythms with my job, since each month, week, and day looks so different. But, there is one rhythm that I can be fighting for, and will be fighting for this year: To ground myself and find my worth in Jesus alone, and not in where I am or who I am with.
I want to feel as fulfilled in the crazy, new experiences, as I do in the mundane, ordinary days.
I want to offer each day to Him, trusting Him to make each ordinary day extraordinary.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity. God bring the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2, The Message
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Well, alright, God. Each day you give me breath, you have given me a home, you have given me purpose in just knowing you more. Apart from you, I can do nothing, God. I trust you in the timing of my travel and the people you introduce into my life. I trust you with keeping me home for a while so I could see all of this clearly. So I could see you more clearly. You will never let me down, even when my circumstances or relationships do. I will breathe in grace and breathe out peace each day. Peace with wherever I am or whatever I am doing because you are with me.
Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
~Philippians 4:14, The Message