by Sarah Van Diest
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
|We've all been both leader and follower.|
I’ve been a leader and a follower, or maybe the way I’m currently thinking about it, I’ve been an active participant and a responder. And as I think on the idea of being either of those two, I recognize that I place a value judgment on them. I don’t mean to, but I do.
In my mind, I value the times more highly where I have been the active participant. When I have been a teacher, a missionary, a leader of women…whatever. And I feel shame for the times I have just been a responder: a mother, a wife and friend. And I’m not saying that I have shame in being a mother, wife and friend, but I’m saying that the part of those roles where I am a responder has been tainted for me. I feel less than when I think of those things, like I’m not doing enough and not being enough.
|Sometimes truth gets swirled with lies.|
Somewhere in that place where truth gets swirled around with lies I embraced the notion that doing is better than being. I’ve seen the accomplishments of others and belittled my own existence. The restlessness produced by this false belief brings me to despair. I am not enough because I do not do enough is the mantra that plays in my soul. How bitter those words taste and how rough they are to swallow. But I eat them daily. I am an addict convinced that partaking enough of this ill medicine will somehow make me more than I am. How disappointing.
I know the truth. At least, that’s what I claim. And I understand (another claim) that taking hold of these maleficent thoughts and throwing them at the feet of my Savior is my duty and my privilege. This is an action, a thing I do that “fixes” me. I do not mean to belittle the power of Christ to defeat lies with truth, by no means and heaven forbid, but I know my tone is mocking. But it is me I mock, not the healing of my Jesus. It is that voice in me that still says, “you are not enough.”
So I stop. Refusing to do just because it is expected of me. I stop. I wait. I listen. That swirling wind blows truth and lies around me, in me, and through me. The force of their furied, frenzied pace unhinges the armor I encrust myself in. The armor built of self created, image promoting protection. The armor that binds me in and imprisons me in falsehoods. I pray. I ask my Father to separate from me all that is lie, half-truth and deceptive perspective of reality. I ask to see myself with His eyes.
|Calm invades when we remember who we are in Christ.|
The wind disperses and the calm invades. My heart remembers the embrace of His loving arms around my worthy soul. Worthy soul. That is the true description of me. Me. Just as a created one. Not because of what I have done do I claim that honor, but because of Him. It was His precious desire that I be made…so He made me. Oh, how lovely His eyes on me are. His gaze on me is full and pure and holy. His thoughts toward me are good. I am worthy because He has made me so. There is no alteration in His view of me. I am worthy.
And now there are things designed before my life began, things set before me to do, that are waiting for me. I walk forward toward those with the confidence that my value is not dependent on how well I perform those tasks. I will do my best to teach, to mother, to lead, to love and to respond all in the knowledge of the truth of who I am because of who made me. My steps will not be perfect, but that is not the proclamation and pronouncement of who I am.
I will likely return to the dark vision of myself, because I have done so before, but I am not hopeless. The time I spend in that darkness grows less each time. The lights return more quickly as my heart remembers the truth. But even if the blackness should enshroud me for a life time, I am still worthy. Unchanged by the forces of this world, I am His beloved child. Worthy. Always worthy.
It is the deception of a fallen reality that causes us to believe we are less than if we follow rather than lead. I think that’s why Jesus walked this earth washing the feet of others. He wanted to prove to us that it is not what we do that makes us who we are. The King is King no matter what task He performs. Nothing can affect who He is. And the same is true for us.
Sarah has worked in Christian publishing since 2005 as both and editor and an agent.
Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.