Thursday, May 9, 2013

Before I'm 30

"What do you want to make sure you do before you turn 30?"

It was one of those annoying questions you get asked on your birthday... and it was one of those annoying questions that remind you that thirty is only a year away (what.the.heck...).

I mulled over my answer, though...not wanting to be too flippant or sarcastic or apathetic-sounding about the next year of my life.

What do I really want to accomplish?
It almost felt like New Year's Eve all over again... only different (probably because it was a question that only I was going to answer and I'm pretty narcissistic). My company allowed me to process verbally and as I mused through the different things that I thought might make the list, I was left with an obvious answer.

I want to do something that matters.
I want to know that my move up here was beneficial for someone other than me. I want to know that my move away from a ministry where I had the chance to impact thousands of lives every year was the right move. I realized that I want, no matter where I am, to impact other people's lives in good ways... ways where they feel blessed, encouraged, challenged, loved, and inspired.

It was ironic, because not less than twenty-four hours earlier I had been throwing my own birthday pity party, moaning and groaning about the lack of 'real' relationships in my life and how tragically alone I truly was. I'm not going to lie... turning 29 was a pathetic milestone and I'm not very proud of how it all went down. It was one of those times I allowed myself to believe every possible lie because feeling sorry for myself was more plausible than making an effort to ask people to hang out with me when I wasn't one hundred percent sure they would even want to. I didn't want to risk it on my birthday. It already felt like a delicate enough situation.

But, a day later, as I really thought about what matters?
It had nothing to do with me...and had everything to do with something better. Something that I don't even fully understand.

I've been really humbled lately.
Humbled by the Lord already revealing ways that He is using me up here. Humbled because I never feel worthy of the task, I never feel completely equipped.

But He provides.
And He uses even me.
Even me... a whiny, selfish, pity-party throwin' chump.
I can't get over it.
Because even on the days that I feel like the loneliest person I know (or the days where I feel like the 'biggest sinner' or the 'worst Christian' or the most bitter and cynical person on the planet...)... He's somehow still able to use me.

And it's humbling.
And it's powerful.
And it's not limited to just me.

I guess I just want you all to know that you never have to have it all together for the Lord to use you. You never have to have it all figured out. You get to be all messed up and selfish and the Lord's going to use you for some reason and you won't know why, but you'll be incredibly humbled in the process. You'll see the beauty in it because you'll know that it was nothing you did...but you'll have firsthand experienced the power of the Lord working in you and through you.

I'm not confident in a lot of things.... but I am confident of this.

Aspire to do things that matter, that have purpose, that have more to do with others than they do with you. As you seek out opportunities, I think you'll be surprised by the way the Lord uses you in those moments. I think you'll be surprised by the various gifts that you begin to realize you have as He draws on them in powerful, life-changing ways.

Maybe in the next year of our lives we'll be able to say that we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. A part of something that mattered eternally. A part of something declaring Jesus' saving grace and the power of His redemption in our lives.

And, I pray that as we seek things outside of ourselves, that we are simultaneously changed in the process. That maybe we start to look a little more like Him without being so consumed with the thousands of ways that we don't look like Him right now... because of our willingness to exist for more than ourselves.

So before I'm 30?
Before I'm 30, I want to do things that matter.
Truly matter...for all of eternity, for the glory of the Father.

Here I am, Lord... 

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