Peace With Who I Am Not

When Lisa Murray asked me to be a part of her book launch team for Peace For a Lifetime, I didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t seem like fiction –but was it a textbook? A self-help guide? A lengthy theological statement?

Peace for a Lifetime is written by a counselor. A friend. A believer. A woman who knows what unpeace is like- and who is well-acquainted with the many dimensions of peace as God created it. This book is a gift that exhorts and encourages. It knows too much about me…and it set out to prove that today.

I’m working in autistic support as a compliment to my freelance writing. I love it! And I heard for the umpteenth times five time today that I ought to get certified as a Special Ed teacher. While the suggestion is truly encouraging to me, I also have a problem with it.

When I wrote papers for everyday college courses, I was told I ought to conduct research professionally and was invited on trips and into internships. When I excelled in biology in high school, I was told to become a doctor or at least a veterinarian. I’ve heard that if I tried, it wouldn’t take much for me to get certified in…this. And that. And the other thing.

The fact of the matter for not just me, but for all of us is that we’re capable of a lot. We are capable of more than we can actually do in one lifetime.  

We have one life to operate from: one budget, one pair of hands, one cycle of twenty four hours per day. We only get one set of however many years the Lord blesses us with.

These capabilities He gives each of us are gifts, not to be wasted. But they aren’t all to be invested in, honed in on, and exploited until there’s nothing left to do. That we’re capable of something doesn’t mean that we’re also called to it.

But isn’t it tempting? Isn’t it tempting to get prideful? Or overwhelmed? Or bitter about what we could be doing but aren’t?

It’s hard to hear that you could run something…while someone else does. While you know that if you obey the Lord, you won’t. Because He’s got you somewhere else and His plans aren’t the same as other people think they ought to be. And if we’re honest, His plans aren’t the same as we think they ought to be.

We find ourselves telling God how to use us best. Telling God who we are and what we’re good for. Defending our causes and running the “busy” mill to prove our worth…ironically, to the only one in whom we can actually find our worth.

I came home frustrated because of the compliments and the turmoil they stir up as I feel that maybe I am wasted or wasting, though I’m assured I’m exactly where He wants me. In the course of the evening, I picked up Peace for a Lifetime.

Guess which chapter lay before me? Fostering Authenticity. An entire chapter about our counterfeit selves, the lies that tell us we ought to be someone other than ourselves, and the truth:

Nothing fake will ever satisfy our souls like a true connection with a friend, a genuine encounter with God, or an authentic understanding of ourselves.

The whole book is worth a read, but this chapter met me today right where I was. Only the Lord can do that.

“Somehow, in our efforts to be what everyone else thought we should be, we miss out on discovering ourselves, whom God has created us to be.”

What words! Thanking the Lord today for this lesson and this book. Praising Him that just as I start to question who I am in the face of who others want me to be, He reminds me that He has created me. And you. Just as we are. For the good, good purposes He has called us into.

What peace we find when we accept the purposes He gives us as gratefully and humbly as we accept the capabilities He gives us to fulfill them.

This post is being shared on: #LifeGivingLinkup 
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7 thoughts on “Peace With Who I Am Not

  1. I so need to remember this. I want to do all the things. I love all the possibilities. But that road leads to both exhaustion and accomplishing nothing in the end. Thanks for the reminder that we have our one race to run.

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  2. dawnklinge

    Accepting the purpose God gives us and the capabilities he gives us to fulfill it. That is so wise. I think this book sounds like one I would love. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from #livefreeThursday

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  3. Pingback: Peace for a Lifetime Review-It’s Possible! – FIRSTandSECONDblog

  4. Bethany, a former mentor of mine used to talk about a message or lesson being a “right-now word from God.” This post is exactly that for me. When I first read this last week, I thought about writing a comment about how I can relate so well to what you said about being capable but not necessarily called to a certain position or assignment. I’ve often felt that way throughout my life, though not recently. I never got around to commenting last week, though. And then just yesterday, I was asked to consider a ministry position that could be a great fit, but I just don’t think it’s for me. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that your words were still on my mind … they have helped me think through this opportunity objectively and be more at peace with what my answer will be. I haven’t read “Peace for a Lifetime,” but I’m thankful for what the book has done in your mind and heart!

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    1. Lois, thank you so so much for stopping back over here to encourage me and share how the Lord has used something He’s been teaching me to teach you, too. “Right-now words” are precious -and it’s awesome that the Lord used them doubly here! So glad for a peaceful answer for you, too : ) Thank you again for affirming this!!

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