I could be totally off base on this but, I think if you asked almost anyone in my life to describe me you would likely hear them say things like “she’s helpful”, “she’s organized”, “she does what she says”, “she gets things done” and hopefully you would also hear “she’s kind” or “she’s patient” or better yet, “she’s loving”. I would graciously take ANY of those compliments. But what I know about ALL those descriptors is that ultimately I’m an over-achieving people-pleaser who is really good at following to-do lists + directions. Doesn’t sound so flattering from that side, does it? Trust me, I’m working on it!!
I’ve come to realize that I have spent most of my life doing those two things: wanting approval + acceptance from others + following the outline + rules of the world. I reasoned that this was a good path, I thought that I would eventually be satisfied if I just stayed the course. I thought to myself, “I’m a good + giving person, my heart + intentions are in the right place, I’m doing things right”.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:1
It wasn’t until I began revisiting my creativity that I started seeing the trouble with that train of thought. I was so focused on pouring my energy into the world that I had gotten lost from what my own heart was telling me. Because I placed all my hope + expectations in the wrong places, I often felt exhausted, disappointed, sometimes jilted + jaded. I had come to expect my satisfaction would arrive from all my efforts in following the ways of the world + constantly trying to help + please people. Listen, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with helping people or making them happy, I think it becomes wrong when you have expectations tied to it!
By creating + stepping away from my habits + patterns, I slowly opened up space for the Lord to speak, to reveal Himself to me + all I was missing! Little by little, He dripped sweet, lasting truths + satisfaction into my life; showing me where I had gone wrong + all I misunderstood. Now, make no mistake, HE orchestrated me returning to my creativity, I give Him all the glory but, that is a whole other story! He moved me from one place to another, from confusion to clarity, from striving to rest, from dissatisfaction to soul-filling contentment. He did all of that by placing my eyes + heart on Him. He freed me from my prison of pleasing + striving in the world to a warm, inviting haven of simply receiving His love + approval.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” – Colossians 3:23
Can you relate? Are you working + striving + competing for the right things? Are they satisfying you? Many of us spend our entire lives trying to “become”: become successful, become recognized, become needed, become loved, become more…but, the lucky ones, the ones who seek true enlightenment, find out there is so much more beyond “becoming”. They find out that Jesus is the only source of lasting contentment + satisfaction. He is the only one that deserves all our efforts to please. He is our model for “becoming”. He is more!