“What’s your plans for summer?”
As a teacher at this time of year, I probably hear this question approximately 20 times a week in May and June. It really is an innocent question. However, it’s one that I deeply struggle with.
You see, I have this issue where I constantly compare myself to others. I feel less than and inadequate when looking to see what others are doing. And with that- I too often believe that if my answer may not be as good as the next person’s then I am not enough. So a simple question like, “What are your plans this summer?” sends into a tailspin of shoulds, coulds, and if onlys. It makes me feel not as good… Not enough.
I compare my story to someone else’s story. I compare my plans to someone else’s plans. And it’s destroying me.
It goes deeper than just answering a question and feeling somehow inferior. It affects my view of God. I feel as though I’m not enough and because I’m not enough- God is withholding things from me. My paradigm becomes something that makes me believe that if only I was better than I am right now- then I’d somehow get my heart’s desires. If I get to the state of nirvana – where I have it all together and answer the questions “correctly”, then God will finally answer my prayers.
I somehow feel that my worth is tied to something other than Christ. I feel as though I need to do more, have great plans, change the world, make a difference, keep pushing, BE MORE. I keep going and doing and when I don’t measure up I beat myself up about it. I keep thinking that I should be farther- better- closer… I begin to doubt where I am and who I am.
This needs to change. I need to stop focusing on what I am not and start focusing on who God is.
How do we combat this? How do I not fall apart over a simple question of what I am doing this summer? How do I become confident in who I am and where I am in my life? How do I become confident in my story without comparing my story to others?
I think the main thing is that we need to look at the lies we believe about ourselves (Mind the Gap) and then look at who Christ is. As I looked at the lies that I believe about myself I then looked at who God is in that. As I focused on Him, I started to change my mindset. I want to speak these things over me as I go throughout life. I want to wear these truths in order that I can lived loved and accepted. I need to proclaim Christ’s Life in me in order that I can focus on who HE IS rather than who I am NOT.
Below you will find my Christ Life identity statement. I challenge each of you to do the same thing- it doesn’t have to be long or fancy. But find what you want to stand for- what you want to remember about God and who you are in Him. Speak these words over your life and pray them daily. With this I believe our paradigm will change to one that focuses on who God is rather than who we are not.
My Faithful Father, You, the Living God, creator of the universe, live in me. You love me intimately and passionately, and you have a perfect plan for me. Every situation I face has a complete solution in you. You passionately pursue me. Your focus is my focus – and we focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. You are trustworthy. In you I am complete.
You fill me and fulfill me. You fill me to overflowing, and we are a blessing to everyone we encounter. You have made me complete, and there is nothing more I need to do. You deeply love and pursue me. You love watching me grow and love being with me. You’ve always wanted me – you chose me, knowing everything about me! You are big enough to handle every aspect of who I am. You made me special and unique. I am just right. I fit perfectly with you, and I matter to you. I add things to the groups that I belong to, and you have specifically gifted me with things that add to people’s lives.
I am exactly where I need to be. You are my provider, protector, refuge, and fortress. You cover me with your wings and have every situation and relationship we face already provided for. I am safe and secure in you. Your plans are good for me. You love, accept, and approve of me at all times. Your love and approval of me is air-tight. Nothing I ever do or don’t do changes that. Your death on the cross proves your love for me. I matter to you.
Thank you for pursuing me with your lavish, relentless love. You take delight in me. Your love for me is rock solid, unchanging, passionate, and all encompassing. You have made me unique and special. My story is important because it’s your story. I am free to be me because you love me.
Crystal Bobier is a Christ follower and missional teacher of Communications and Leadership Development to three hundred boisterous six graders in Waukee. She and her husband, Ben, love living in a great little community of Adel, IA, outside of Des Moines. She loves cheering on the Cyclones, counting her many blessings, the Iowa State Fair, Minnie Mouse, traveling, farm life, her big family, and all things Disney.