Okay. Here I go. This is a lot for me to get out in the aftermath of a post about my sheer giddiness over the Aggies victory against Oklahoma.
The last few months have been filled with a few things that have made me feel left out. Nothing huge or earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination, but enough to make me feel a little bit like I’m in fourth grade again and the last one picked for the kickball team. Even though this is different because it has been YEARS since I’ve kicked a big, red rubber ball straight back to the pitcher making myself what is known as an easy out.
(Which only actually happened TWICE, by the way. But, gah, fourth graders are an unforgiving bunch where kickball is concerned.)
And, honestly, I’d like to pretend like I am way too secure and confident to ever feel left out. I’d like to say that I’m a bigger person than that. But apparently I’m not.
Gulley and I have this theory that sometimes the hardest thing about being the bigger person in a situation is that no one ever tells you you’re being the bigger person. Which is why we now always make a point to tell each other when we think the other one is being a bigger person. We’ve had several conversations that end with one of us saying, “WELL, let me assure you that YOU are the bigger person”.
Which really has nothing to do with any of this but should rather be viewed as just a side note providing full access into our brand of lunacy.
Anyway, the thing about feeling left out is it turns into some sort of quicksand of self-doubt. What’s wrong with me? Am I not a likable person? Is it because I’m socially awkward? Am I not good enough? Is it because I admit to watching every season of The Bachelor? Do people think I’m shallow?
Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and lose my train of thought because I notice a new gray hair which leads to a full evaluation regarding the state of my eyebrows until I realize it’s time for a new episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
No way anyone thinks I’m shallow.
So, basically, I’ve been struggling with all these feelings of being inadequate and questioning why things happen the way they do and wondering why I’m not good enough for this or that.
Friday night I got in bed and couldn’t sleep. Mainly because I forgot to take a Benadryl. I tossed and turned and eventually just decided to get still and hope that sleep would win out at some point. But my mind started racing with all these things that I’ve perceived as slights and I began to get all worked up. All my doubts and fears came flying to the surface until I felt like I wanted to cry.
And at that moment I felt God speak to my heart and say, “You need to quit asking ‘Why?’ and start asking me ‘Where?'”
I knew immediately it was God because I wouldn’t have come up with anything that profound. And I certainly wouldn’t have come up with something that succinct.
I’ve been in a cycle of asking “Why not me?” or “Why me?” or “Why is this so hard?” and it’s time for me to ask “Where would you have me go? Where would you have me serve? Where are you leading me?”
Don’t get me wrong. I think there is a time to ask why. I have friends that are facing hard circumstances that are the kinds of things that can only leave them to question why. And I think God understands that, even if we don’t always find out the answer.
But my “Why?” had become a question that had me spiraling down into a pit of self-pity. Which is hard to admit because I’d like to think I’m better than that.
See? I want to be the bigger person.
However, asking “Where?” changes things. It takes the focus off me and what I perceive to be my failures and shortcomings and puts the focus where it belongs. On God. The One who has plans and purposes for me in spite of all my failures and fears. He knows what they are because He made me this way. And when I look to see where He’s leading, I’m too busy to spend a lot of useless time asking why.
Because the why doesn’t really matter as much as the where.
The where is the question that asks, “What am I supposed to be doing?” instead of the why that seems to say, “What am I doing wrong?” I hope that makes sense because it made total sense to me around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. And it still made sense the next day. And it makes sense now even though I feel like I’m not conveying it very well.
I wish I could tie this all up and say I know exactly where I’m headed and what God has in store for me. I don’t. I don’t know any of that right now.
But I do know that I’m asking the right question for the first time in a long time. It’s not about me. It’s about Him.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Phillipians 3:12-13