We are full blown into the summer heat wave, and, at a time when I’m usually cocooning wishing for fall, I’m bursting with excitement willing August to pick up it’s snail pace and get here.
It’s just around the corner. Can you feel my radiated excitement from where you’re sitting?
My excitement is due to the fact in two weeks my lease in NYC ends, and I get to close the chapter on an season that sucked most of the life out of me. From the people in my life I was unable to avoid to the demands of work and to the inability to get connected with any life giving communities, I have been consistently emotionally tired, drained, exhausted, and broken. Grumpy, snappy, and irritable are the nice ways to describe my mood the last few months.
Thankfully it’s all about to change as I break the millennial mold. Yes, I am a millennial, but trust me when I say I begrudgingly acknowledge I missed the cut off by a year or two. I am leaving the lights and excitement of The Big Apple behind for the cornfields of Indiana.
I’ve been told, “it won’t be so bad.”
As a so called millennial, I was just on the edge of the generation who grew up hearing, “be all you can be,” and “you can change the world,” but still old enough to also be taught, “if you need money, get a job and figure out your passion while you pay your bills.” The problem with the idea of “being all we can be” is we begin to believe we are no one unless we are “somebody” or “have changed the world.”
I haven’t done any of those.
A fellow college graduate once told me, “I thought you would be a big shot in the music industry by now.” That was a dig at my change in career choice from a fledgling publicist in the country music industry to a flight attendant serving cokes and cookies to passengers for less than minimum wage in my first year.
His statement hurt. It stung.
What is he doing now? Oh who knows, and I don’t particularly care. But that’s the lie we feed ourselves, isn’t it? We watch people going into ministry in far away places or we see people start travel blogs featuring destinations we never even knew existed, and we feel left out.
One gal I know even went as far as criticizing people for not quitting their jobs, picking up their life, and moving to Europe to couch surf for a few months like she will be doing next month. If we aren’t careful about “taking every thought captive,” we can easily begin the comparison of lifestyles and our human fickle feelings will inevitably take root. Husbands, kids, church. We question whether there should be more to life than a passion for family, for stability, and for our community being the ministry God has given us..
These are lies of the world, but many Christians feed into them. I’ve sensed much discontent among my friends lately, and I must say, I’ve felt the same way. Any peace offered by God has been replaced by feelings of needing to “be someone” whether on social media or among friends.
I travel all the time. I’ve experience many different cultures. I live (for two more weeks) in New York City. I’ve been to a few different countries this year, but despite all the “impressive” activities I’ve done, I struggled with feeling as if my life was meaningless without recognition from…whom exactly? The people we compare ourselves with? I can assure you, those very same people are comparing their lives to someone else and feeling as though they’re missing something.
Stop right now and show yourself grace for a moment. You are worth so much more than some silly recognition on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat (oh, who can keep up with the different social media outlets, just pick one).
I am a daughter of the King, who is not moved by the world. For my God is with me and goes before me. I do not fear because I am His.
This is the truth we should tell ourselves. We are sons and daughters of a great King who WILL be back to rule this world.
Once I sat back and reflected on these truths, I realized one very important thing. I want my life to be “boring.” I want to do life with someone and let my ministry be a small group on any given weeknight IF that is what God has called for my life. I desire a “boring” life so full of love from a family I do not need to go galavanting off to some map dot in a foreign country to find happiness.
And that is how I’m breaking the millennial mold. By deliberately living a contented lifestyle without comparison. Two articles have inspired me. If you have a few moments, I highly recommend checking them both out (Un-fancy, a minimalist fashion blog and this article in Relevant Magazine).
Seasons change, and we cannot stop them. I can assure you, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would ever live in Indiana. I believe I very pointedly stated to my family a few months ago, “I would never in a million years live in Indiana.” Circumstances of the moment have brought me here (God has a funny sense of humor, doesn’t he?), but I’m learning to lean into God and allow him to refine me.
I’m also learning to tune the world out when it tells me I’m not good enough until I have a recognition of sorts. To listen for His soft whisper reminding me:
“I’ve created you. I made you. I have a big plan for your life, and it is right here. Listening to me and following my will. Your works don’t go unnoticed. I see you, and I love you.”