I'm a recovering idealist.
I've grown too acquainted with the critical eye, always evaluating, analyzing--picking apart not only other systems and organizations and people, but maybe even more so my own life and work and character. I'm quick to find the ways I don't measure up to my own expectations. I have lofty dreams and long to live out all of them, RIGHT NOW.
Busy weeks come, and I question the purpose in each repetitive task I do, the tedious moving of margins and sorting through fonts and images, updating the website once again and sending the same emails. Slow weeks come, and I wallow in my seeming-empty life, wondering if there's any delight or value in what I do anymore.
It's a frustrating cycle. Am I leaving any room to just be happy?
Hopefully you can't relate and by now you're wanting to shake me and tell me all the things I need to hear. But maybe you do relate? Because at the root, it's just one form of identity crisis. I panic when work isn't what I dream of it being because my identity has become rooted in this freelance life, in the art that I use to express. And we all lodge our life in some title or work or service that we hope will one day validate. But instead I see it crushing people, suffocating souls.
So I'm putting the last hurried day of the work week on hold to tell you some good news that has breathed fresh life into who I am and what I do. Last night, sitting around with my life group--those people that help you weed out things that don't matter and remember what does--we read the good news in 1 John 3:1-2:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
This is a stronger truth than what I tear myself down with. No, I'm not like Jesus yet, but one day I will be. One day soon I will see Him! and then God's work in me will be complete and I will be like Him. I get restless longing to be there, longing for the process to be finished, but what's true is that even now my title is "child". Even now, God has defined who I am. I am a loved--a dearly loved, a perfectly loved--child of His own design and desire.
This is truth that reassures my heart this morning, as it should every morning. As John writes, down in verses 19-20:
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
It's not about how you feel today. You may feel a success. You may feel a failure. You may feel a hero or a hypocrite. But stop and see (and marvel!) that the Father has drawn you in and labeled you with love. You can stop proving yourself as entrepreneur, mother, creative, husband, athlete, friend. Rest in who God says you already are!