I feel this tangible battle between my flesh, my insecurities, my brokenness and the fullness that the Lord has for me. I say, “God, take all my dreams and visions for my future and make them yours.” Apparently, God’s dreams and visions don’t always include the college degree, the nice salary, the cushy benefits. Apparently when you say, “God take it all, it’s yours,” He will. And just like that, I’m hit with the reality of what I actually think about God and what’s actually important to me. Fear creeps in. Scarcity settles in.
Would God actually go to the end of the earth for one person? Would He ask us to do the same? Would God put me on this earth for the salvation and sanctification of only one person? Would that be enough if that were what He had for me? What about one family or one unimpressive workplace? If He put me on this earth to pour it all out on one, would that be enough? And would anyone in my life see the value in it and support it?
I sense many people, even Christians fighting back on that. “That’s not the God I know! My God wouldn’t do that. I believe in a God of big dreams and big visions…” What in the Bible suggests that God wants to elevate all of His children to wild worldly success? What in the Bible suggests that God wouldn’t pour out radical pursuit for one person…and use you as the vessel? What in the Bible suggests that God isn’t hard after the one? God has huge dreams for His children, what if it just looks nothing like the world?
I think it’s easy to start dreaming big with God. It’s easy to get stadium-sized visions and say, “yes God, pick me, choose me.” That vision right there feeds so much of my flesh. Yeah, put me in front of thousands…not because I really want a stage, but because maybe I’d get some sense of validation that what I’m doing is cause for “success”. Those closest to me will see the value in what I’m doing. Then quitting my job to pursue missions will have been “worth it”. With that kind of dream, you imagine the day when all your foolishness to the world will just click. Those closest to you who doubted you, who told you what you were doing was dumb, who belittled your calling…they’ll get it, they’ll understand.
But, what if God put you on earth to faithfully serve one family…or one person…or one workplace? What if all along the way you’re giving up titles, promotions, salaries, raises, even your own family? What if there’s never a day when it all makes sense for the people surrounding you? Will that be enough? What if you never get another impressive resume line? Or a job even nonbelievers find worthy and exciting?
I think I went to YWAM believing I’d come back home to do really impressive nonprofit work with a fun Jesus flair. I am less certain of that than ever before.
It’s easy to hear the message of Brave Love – a movement dedicated to women empowering women. It’s easy to sit in the tent and be moved to tears by the sentiment that we actually NEED other women, we need the partnership and encouragement of other women. We need what they have, and they need what we have. Brave Love is a message that’s easy to swallow. It’s waging war on comparison and jealousy. It’s putting a stake in the ground that says women are FOR other women. Everyone who hears the message of Brave Love will agree with it, believers and nonbelievers alike.
But what about when Brave Love isn’t about being the speaker on a stage? What about when God tells you that Brave Love looks like sacrificially surrendering your dreams for the sake of another? What happens when God reminds you that love looks like going low. Love looks like sacrifice. Love looks like putting another person fully before yourself. What about when God tells you that that’s the bravest love of all? Brave Love becomes less easy to swallow. Brave Love becomes a lump in your throat and sleepless nights. Brave Love starts to look like absolute foolishness to the world.
How do you unlearn that this life isn’t about you? Like truly. Not just in theory, but in practice. How do you push past the decades of people telling you that you’re out here for you? How do you not think, “but what about me?” I’m sure someone more righteous than me has the answer, I’m positive of it. But for now, I worry that maybe I’ll never know success as the world defines it, maybe those who doubted me will forever doubt me. Maybe it’ll always feel hard. For now, I grieve the plans I made for the future.
But at the end of every day, without question, I can look at Jesus and confidently say, “yeah, this is enough.”