It’s a warm night in June as I write this. All the windows in my house are open. I’m watching an episode of Friends that I’ve seen at least 12 times. Friends episodes are like white noise to me. They signal rest.
This is the first week of summer for the boys and me. The past three months have been a whirlwind of work and projects and shuffling children to and from activities. Rest was pushed to the backburner and now, as two and a half months of no work or school commitments loom, I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. Or maybe it’s that I don’t know what to START doing…
Such is the quandary of the enneagram three, otherwise known as “The Acheiver.” Resting is difficult for us, because the question we’re always asking ourselves is “Who am I apart from the work I do?”
For over 30 years, I’ve told myself the lie that my worth depends on what and how much I accomplish. The more public those accomplishments, the better. The past 15 months have been a journey of uncovering and unraveling that lie and its stronghold on my life. This blog was the catalyst that helped me find the truth.
Curious? Let’s journey back…
In March 2018, I read Rachel Hollis’s book, Girl, Wash Your Face. In April 2018, I attended her RISE Conference in Los Angeles. People have strong opinions about Rachel these days. I have my opinions too, but for now I will simply say this: Rachel’s book and conference changed my life in ways that few things ever have. Not because her words were so eloquent or her conference so moving but because God used those things to reveal areas of my life and my identity that I needed to surrender to HIM.
In the nine months post RISE Conference, I dove headfirst into blogging and social media and all the things required to become a writer and “social influencer.” At the end of those nine months, I was exhausted, anxious and nowhere near reaching the goals I had set earlier that year. In other words, I was losing my enneagram three mind. I was doing the work, and from what I observed, I was doing it just as well, if not better, than many other people…and it was getting me nowhere.
And so, the prevailing question of my life popped back up: WHO AM I APART FROM THE WORK I DO? WHO AM I WHEN I DON’T ACCOMPLISH THE THING I SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH?
And now, we fast-forward…
After my nine months of hustling towards Internet fame, I took a break. I scaled back. I re-evaluated what was important to me and how I wanted to show up, both online and in life. I haven’t opened Girl, Wash Your Face since early 2018. Tonight, as I’m writing this post, with the windows open, the warm breeze blowing through my house and Friends playing in the background, I crack it open.
In the book, Rachel outlines 20 lies women tell themselves that keep them from pursuing their dreams. I flip to lie number 10: I should be further along by now.
A few pages in to the chapter, Rachel writes this:
“Every single moment is preparing you for the next. But whether or not you choose to see this time as something wonderful—the time when God is stretching you and growing you or maybe forging you in fires hotter than you think you can withstand—all of it is growing you for the person you’re becoming, for a future you can’t even imagine.”
Say what you want about Rachel Hollis, but those words are TRUTH.
This weekend, thousands of women will gather in Minneapolis for Rachel’s third-annual RISE conference. Many of my friends are there, and I am praying for the things they will learn and the ways their hearts and minds will change because of what they experience.
As I look back on my own journey since last year’s RISE conference, I clearly see how God grew me through the things I learned from reading Girl, Wash Your Face, attending RISE and launching this blog. I realize that despite my writing career not being as far along as I hoped it would be, every moment of the past 15 months has been worth it. Just as Rachel said, each thing I’ve done or chosen not to do, each time I felt scared and stretched out of my comfort zone, it was really just God beckoning me to trust Him and teaching me something about myself. In a way that only God can, He used Rachel’s lies to help me exorcize my own and grow me into the person I am today.
And just who is that person? WHO AM I APART FROM WHAT I DO? I am a wife. A mother. A friend. A teacher. A mentor. A DAUGHTER OF THE KING. The latter title makes me more worthy than anything I could achieve on my own, and I don’t have to DO anything to achieve it.
So, to everyone attending RISE Minneapolis this weekend, know this: No amount of washing your face or apologizing or hustling will make you any more valuable than you already are.
Take the things you hear at RISE—many of which will be GOOD THINGS—and evaluate them in light of what you know to be true, in light of Scripture and in light of WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST. And as you leave RISE, feeling motivated to conquer the world, go and try to do just that.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and working hard; but remember that many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21).
His purpose may look different for you than it does for the girl who sat next to you in Minneapolis; but that doesn’t make it—YOU--any less valuable.
God can use RISE to change your life, if you let Him. The things you do over the next few months or years post-RISE may alter the course of your future. Take Jesus along on the journey and I guarantee that wherever you end up, you’ll be exactly where you’re supposed to be.