Over the weekend I came across a few blog posts written by people in different seasons than myself. One blogger was a “mommy blogger” and was encouraging moms. She shared about her grand dreams of doing something “big” for the kingdom and listed several single women in history who seemed to contribute greatly to the kingdom. They had helped women escape from the sex trade and gave their lives for people and impacted generations while she struggled with changing diapers and wiping snot and, well, being a mom. She encouraged moms that their jobs were just as important and I appreciated that about her. But I commented and shared that I too had these great dreams in my early stages of being a believer where I too would impact the kingdom in magnificent ways. I would travel internationally and spread the gospel. I would preach and teach and deliver people from bondage. Those were the ways I thought I could most effectively advance the kingdom and impact nations. But just like this mom, I was wrong. This little blog here is the most international experience I’ve had to date. Sitting in a cubical day in day out for 8 years is the best way I have impacted the kingdom.
I read another blog post where a woman shared about always thinking she would have a “normal” job, with “normal” working hours (9-5) and “normal” vacation time. But instead there was no stability in her career. There was nothing “normal” about it. I know this woman would look at my life from the outside in and say “I want what you have. What you have is normal.” What was so clear to me in reading about these other people’s journeys that are so different than mine is that the problem isn’t your circumstance. The real issue is that you need contentment on the inside of yourself to have peace with your circumstances. It also was apparent to me how the grass always looks greener on the other side. Maybe God intentionally gives you the opposite of what you thought you wanted just to cause you to rely on Him. And maybe sometimes He gives people what they want to show them that they still cannot be fulfilled by the things of this world.
One thing I’m noticing is that we tend to believe other people’s lives are more glamorous than they really are. My friend’s sister is a doctor. She has worked hard her whole life for her success. She makes good money, and saves lives daily. That sounds pretty glamorous to me. But my friend shared, “my sister’s life is anything but glamorous” and she went on to share about the foolishness her sister deals with on the daily from her patients.
One could look at my life and only see the highlights. They would say “Nicole, you are so blessed. You have had so many great experiences and opportunities. You have education and independence and health. You are in your prime and there is so much more ahead!” The mommy blogger would say, “Wow, you are single and you have more opportunities to advance the kingdom b/c of it!” The other woman would say “you have a “normal” job with “normal” vacation time and “normal” responsibilities. And I would say to these women, “You are right. But even in the cup you are given there will always be testing. There will always be stretching. And the only way to truly appreciate your portion, is to trust the One who gave it to you.” That trust does not come easy. That trust is built through years of tests and trials. It ebbs and flows through various seasons and really He will never give you what will be easy for you, if you are in fact His disciple.
I appreciate the opportunities I have to advance the kingdom, but much like the mommy blogger, I had to give up those grand notions of evangelism. I had to set them on a shelf for a future season of life, and realize, just as she is to raise up her children to be spiritual soldiers, I am to influence those around me from my cubical.
It is immature (and foolish) to covet another’s cup. To only look at the surface level and believe their lives only consist of what they allow social media to see. I’m grateful for the blessings of my life. but I cannot think of one (major) blessing that has not come from surrender and pain and faith.
To reap the harvest, you must first sow the seed.