I feel pressure a lot from people and from life in general to change things in my life. I feel sometimes like I'm not doing a good enough job at things and that I need to change to be like someone else. People mention things that I "need" to be doing to be a better wife or a better teacher that they've read in a book or that they do in their own life.... they don't mean to be rude or bossy, but it's hard not to feel like I'm inadequate or that I'm not doing good enough.
The Lord has really been working on my heart lately through this. I've learned that who I am is enough and no matter what someone says I need to be doing... the Lord is who decides if I am doing a good job. He has been reminding me what makes me who I am and that it doesn't matter what a book, friend, or website says... if it isn't in His word, then it isn't necessary or required. When people overstep their boundaries and try to tell me what I need to do in certain areas of my life... I have to remind myself that they don't have control in that area of my life and I have to do what is best for me.
The things that Jesus have been reminding me of that make me who I am are...
1. I am His child. He convicts, challenges, and changes my heart, actions, and life.
2. I am Dan's wife. Marriage is a personal relationship between two people. What's right for one couple, may be completely wrong for another. I have to be the best wife that I can be to Dan. The Bible is very explicit about what is right inside of a marriage. Other things that I "need" to be doing are simply suggestions. Most of all, I have to do the things that are right for us.
3. I am a daughter, sister, and friend. The Lord has blessed me with experiences throughout my life. No, I haven't had a perfect life- far from perfect, really. If you know me, then you know some details of this. You may not see growing up with the way I did as a blessing, but I do. I have experiences that give me a very unique perspective in this world. I know what living in poverty feels like, I know what it feels like to have a drug addict for a father, and I know what it feels like to watch your parent's marriage completely fall apart. But, I also know what it feels like to completely rely on Jesus for provision, I know what it feels like to watch God completely transform someone's life who is SO far from the Lord, and I know what it feels like to watch God restore a destroyed marriage. All of these experiences, though not ideal, have made me a better daughter, a better sister, a better granddaughter, a better friend, and a better person. I can relate to, understand, and help people going through the same things better than most people. I thank God for letting me live through the things I've lived through.
4. I am a teacher. The Lord made me to be a teacher. No, I don't make a lot of money, but I make a difference in children's lives. This has become very evident to me this week.
5. I am a unique individual. I don't have to feel like I need to do everything like everyone else. I love to cook and bake, I love to go hiking, I love to exercise, I love to paint, I love my cat, I love to save money, and I love to sew. The Lord has given me these desires. I don't have to do other things or try to like other things just because other people want me to.
I have made a mistake by listening to other people instead of God. I've listened to other people's opinions and let that define who I am and if I'm successful at what I do. I was convicted this week about it. I can't let other people tell me what I need to do better... I need to let Jesus define who I am and let him change my heart and mind when I need to do something differently. Jesus defines me.