Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! –Psalm 37:7
Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray. –Job 6:24
Being still is not something I have ever been good at. I was always the “go-getter” perfectionist that tried to get the best grades in school, strive to make my parents and employers proud, and was easily influenced by ANY motivational speaker or non-fiction personal growth book. If I failed or made a mistake, I often beat myself up, felt like a failure and would dwell on it for hours or even days. My success in my work and family life determined my identity. If I wasn’t good at something, I would often give up. I didn’t like to face the fact that the task in which I was assigned was simply not my God given gift.
When I first came to Christ back in 2008, I felt on fire! I was hungry for God’s word, hungry to disciple others, and just craving to be close to my heavenly Father. Since that time, I have had many ups and downs on my journey with Jesus to be like Jesus, but it wasn’t until I had kids that I hit a roadblock. As all parents know, kids are hard work! A parent barely has time to eat or use the bathroom without a little person needing care, and mothers, especially, can get overloaded by their to-do list, endless household responsibilities, work responsibilities, etc. I was a young mom trying to survive my new life while still providing for my family and succeeding in the workplace. I rarely prayed (except when my child was screaming at me at the top of her lungs), never read the Bible, and tried to avoid other adults at all costs. I didn’t have TIME for that! Meanwhile, I was also trying to run my own business which gave me a sense of pride, financial stability, and control. I spent many sleepless nights lying in bed thinking about how I could grow my business into a nationwide success, how I could provide for my family beyond our wildest dreams, how I…ME….could succeed at LIFE! I knew I still believed in and trusted God, so I was an “ok” Christian and being “ok” at that was good enough for me because this was all God’s plan right? Or was it?
As my business grew, my part-time job got busy, and my family members started deteriorating in health, the workload became too much to bear. I wouldn’t admit it to myself or others that I couldn’t handle it. I closed my eyes and assumed it would all get better someday and that I could persevere! God teaches us in the Bible to persevere right?
3 ½ years later, I kept getting HARD nudges from the Lord that it was time to close my business. I felt overwhelmed, sick physically, and heavily burdened. I ignored these feelings for 6 months or so in order to hold on to the one part of me that I felt I could control. I didn’t like the work….I didn’t like the time it took away from my life….yet I struggled to let go. Why? It had become my identity. Who was I if I wasn’t working? Who was I if I didn’t have my own business? What was my worth? Would it hurt my family financially? I am blessed that the Lord kept pushing me and made me aware of this unhealthy aspect in my life.
I officially closed my business on April 8, 2019. To say my life has changed in the short time since then would be an understatement! I feel FREE! I have time to breathe. I have time to be still, and boy have I heard Jesus speak! I am hungry again; Hungry to learn, hungry to listen, and am more connected to Jesus every day. I have met new people, grown in my relationships with those around me, and become a better daughter, wife, and mother. God has closed this chapter in my life so that I may start anew. So that I may become the person I was meant to be and to remember who I work for. My identity is in the Lord!
Do you have time to breathe? Are you doing or being involved in something that is unhealthy for your spiritual walk? Be still before the Lord so that he may speak! Maybe it’s time to reassess where your identity lies so that you may experience joy and freedom in Christ!
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. –1 Corinthians 6:19-20