It’s been a minute or two since I wrote a little something-something, and while I would like to fully blame the business of life, that is not 100% accurate.
Life really did get a little crazier. I was finishing up school and graduating (insert praise hand emoji here). During the craziness of that, I was struggling to figure out what to write about and was coming up short. I have a ridiculous amount of started posts on my google drive, but writing those usually ended with me wanting to throw my computer against a wall. So I decided to put off writing until the next week… next week… next week. And here I am weeks later with nothing.
The little bug of failure began its way into my heart a few months ago. Matt and I were on a ski trip with some friends, and while there, I decided to figure out what and how this whole hashtag thing worked. I posted a picture and added a bunch at the end of the caption. I got a lot of random strangers to interact on my posts through that. I then began to allow strangers from around the world that I have never met or even seen to answer the question in my soul of, “Am I good enough?” I would post a picture and wait and watch as various identities popped across my lock screen answering, “Yes…… yes…... yes.”
So I did it again.
And then again. And this one got more likes,
And this one got less.
So I started to look around.
How are other people doing this?
I stalked plenty of people, and while comparison motivates some, it crushes me. I become paralyzed that I am not yet what others are, and therefore I believe I have failed.
How are they successful?
Success, in those moments for me, was more based on likes and shares and endorsements and growing popularity.
And I found some answers about how to do it. There are tons of pages and posts and “how tos” about it. People said a lot of things about tags and endorsements and money and advertisements. I made a list of all the things the world said I needed to do to be successful.
But as I went further and dug deeper, I carved out the path for the bug of failure to set up camp in my soul.
And quickly the answer, “Yes” that made its way across my screen over and over became,
“Kind of…. Sort of…. No….. no…..no.”
So I believed the lie and quit to avoid more pain of failure.
But my heart doesn't feel good about that either.
Because I started writing for a reason, if only I could remember why.
And then I started to remember some of the people who have reached out to me over the past few months sharing their stories and thanking me for mine.
I wanted to write to be real. To laugh at myself and show that life is not all that the pictures make it out to be. But for a moment there I believed that it was.
Yesterday I was reading and two verses in I stopped.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll change from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings out the best in you.”
I am pretty sure that at the top of the page God wrote, “Dear Jess,”
The culture around me had become the loudest voice to me, and it did nothing but tear me down.
So now I’m trying to stand back up and remember reasons, dreams and goals that are way bigger than me.
There is a story I read the other day where Jesus had over 5,000 people sit together in a field for dinner. He looked out and it said, “They looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread on the green grass.”
I don’t know if you have ever seen a field of wildflowers (not so much in SW FLorida) but there are not many things more beautiful. Each flower is different and spectacular in its own right and standing. Some are little and some are big. There are pinks and blues and yellows and greens splashed out for miles.
We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. I’m trying to remember my individual gifts, dreams and abilities apart from what strangers around me say they should be.
I stopped the hashtags and turned off my social media notifications to quiet the voices that no longer have the right to tell me about my worth.
I am going to keep telling stories and attempting to be real in hopes that God continues to write notes to me to wake me out of the fog of failure.
I hope to be used and feel successful according to what God tells me success is. Bloom bright and tall and beautiful, but I do hope that when I look around, the wildflowers around me are tall and beautiful, unbelievable and uniquely different.