Friday, January 25, 2013

A small life?

Two years ago, around my thirtieth birthday, I remember standing in our church parking lot with my dear friend Tamara. I'd divulged to her before about somewhat of an identity crisis I'd been having. Most of my life, I'd wanted to make a significant impact for God--doing something radical, probably in some cross-cultural situation that really got my motor running. But there I was, almost thirty, and smack in the middle of suburbia with four little kids and their sippy cups, a dog, and even the picket fence...which seemed to be steadily closing in on a daily basis. What Tamara said that day caused a marked change in thinking. She asked me if what I saw as success--as a big life--was really what God considered success. Or was a "big life" actually loving deeply? Was my significance in my accomplishments for God...or in Christ's?

God had a lot to teach me, over a meandering path of years, about blooming where I was planted, so to speak--in whatever capacity my King asked of me. He had a lot of work to do in lifting my gaze to what real success, a real "good and faithful servant" looked like.

Maybe that's why late one spring night, after I'd finally found contentment in God's story for me, I about fell out of bed when my husband started talking about going overseas. By that point, God had demonstrated to me that becoming a missionary was a lateral move.

If you'd like more of the story, I wanted to let you in on a piece I wrote recently for I'm No Rock Star. I'm hoping it will encourage someone out there who identifies with a reality that feels smaller than their dreams--or, like my new reality, feels like what they're doing is painfully minute compared to the magnitude of problems they see.

Turns out it's not the size of my life that's big. It's the size of my God.


Amy L said...

I "see" your heart. It is tempting to buy the lie that our lives, deep in laundry and housework, are "little" but GOD would tell us otherwise.

John and Janel Breitenstein said...

Exactly, Amy. It's more of God's "upside-down kingdom"--that what seems small is so great in His eyes.

Ashley B said...

So spot on for me right now, Janel. Thanks for sharing this great reminder. :) - Ashley B.

John and Janel Breitenstein said...

So thankful--praying for you, Ashley!