I stand at my window with dread welling up in me. It’s a mild, sunny day, yet I can’t help but feel the weight of my opposition. I’ve heard it said that when you taste defeat, Almighty God weeps with you. I’ve heard it said that God restores the years that the locusts have eaten; He brings beauty out of ashes. I’ve heard it said that what the devil means for harm, God uses for good. I have heard it said that there are powerful lessons to be learned through pain, rejection, and hardship.
Maybe it’s all true.
But I have been through these things many times. I have tasted defeat. I have endured much pain. I have come through the desert and arrived at this place a different, new person; and who I am become and the things I have gracefully and humbly accomplished have been rejected and scorned time and again by people who have no idea what I’ve come through and have no respect for the passions of my pure heart.
And I’m not sure I want to go through this again.
I’ve seen a side of God that victoriously displays His glory and upends injustice, and I don’t know if I can bear His weeping. I’m not sure I can bear another defeat. So bitterness knocks at the door of my heart once more and I lock and deadbolt it. Nothing comes in, nothing goes out; and whether or not I let bitterness in, the stagnancy of me will, in time, become bitter and stale anyway. That’s not who I want to be.
I have to try again.
I have to offer the best of me and my passions to the judgment of others who may or may not deem me fit for their own vision and plans. I have to bare my heart to the possibility of desolation again. If I pass, I share in my Father’s joy. If I am rejected, I reflect my Father’s heart in forgiveness and sorrow and hope. Whatever happens, I stay living alive; and I refuse to scorn this gift of life that has been given to me by my Father. I am blessed to rejoice. I am blessed to hurt. I am blessed to love. I am blessed to forgive. I am blessed to feel—to live alive. I am blessed; therefore, I will open my heart to pursue passion and purpose. I will move forward. I will conquer defeat by standing up, looking it in the face, and telling it I’m not afraid of what it may do to me because it can only demonstrate that I’m alive.
I was feeling defeated today. What do I do when I feel defeated? I talk to Jesus. So, J and I were talking today and He showed me something that I hadn’t fully realized. I’ve been comparing myself with my brothers and sisters in Christ, trying to measure up to an imaginary standard of excellence that would not bring fulfillment.
I was questioning God. Why do there seem to be so many people much more talented than I? Why do I feel unneeded? Why do some people have their lives handed to them on a silver platter and I never find an open door of opportunity?
Each person has a unique path set before them, regardless of how similar some paths may or may not seem. The end results may be drastically different or the paths themselves may take different routes to reach the same destination. No one really knows what the future holds. The only thing that is fairly certain is that each person will experience life differently. When you compare your path with that of another person, you are trying to live into their identity instead of your own. Stop it. Discover your own identity and live into it.
Perhaps you don’t have a grasp on your identity. That’s okay. Put yourself out to experience life. Every time you find something that doesn’t work, assimilate that “not me” experience into your perspective on what to do next. For me, I’ve had my fair share of “that’s not me” experiences and sometimes it is disheartening because I feel I’m no closer to truly knowing what IS me. That’s when I cling to God’s Word.
According to the Scriptures, I am safe and secure in Christ (John 10:29). I am loved by God (John 3:16). I am royalty, a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). I am a friend of God (John 15:15). I have a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I stand in grace (Romans 5:2). I have access to the throne of grace in Heaven; I can boldly approach my Father (Hebrews 4:16). This is the perspective I want.