Often I have looked at other women and struggled. I find myself comparing what I have to show for my life to what they have to show for theirs. Struggling to celebrate the things I do because they seem so small and insignificant. Not really realizing it, but having a firm belief that being able to show for what I had done in a day, week or month was the most important thing. If I couldn’t show or post or share what I had done, then surely it wasn’t really worth anything, right?
Psalm 16:5 says:
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.“
My boundary lines have fallen just barely outside the walls of my home with the four other people living inside of it being my main mission field. Which I was convinced could not possibly be worth anything special. I graduated from college with a degree in Business Marketing with high energy, high capacity and the ability to handle high stress. So, why in the world would my boundary lines fall in a place like home when I didn’t know how to boil an egg, either shrunk or stained every load of laundry I did and cringed at the thought of sticky little fingers pulling on my legs? I was the worst candidate for domestic goddess and yet that is where the boundary lines had fallen for me. For years after I had my kids, I did a lot of volunteering and I would love to say I had a great heart to serve others, but most of the time I was doing it to be able to have something to show for my days. It gave me an excuse to put the needs of my husband, my children and my home in the background – because for me, those things were boring, unimpressive and honestly so very hard because I didn’t have clue what I was doing. I figured if I did not pay attention to those things and it all fell apart, that was better than putting my all into them and it all falling apart.
God in His goodness left me to dancing outside my boundary lines for awhile, but He would not let me stay there. He slowly drew me back in to the space He had created me to thrive. I just did not know it yet. But before the thriving, there was a feeling of the breath being drawn from my lungs as the opportunities to serve outside my home became few and far between. And when I choose not to surrender to the things He calls me to, there is a fight that cannot be won and breath gets hard to take in, my mind gets scattered and my heart feels weak.
As I began to slow, the lingering question of what set my heart on fire began to grow. If I slowed long enough, I could even sense a pull to things I had never considered. And I was scared.
What is it to surrender? What is it to trust the stir in your spirit when it does not match all the loud voices? How could I be valuable if nobody could see what I was doing?
My brave was gone. Feeling like a failure had stolen it and I had no idea how to get it back.
Then one day, I was doing yoga and after weeks of practice, I did a headstand. In a journal I wrote, “the moment I realize that my worth is not defined by my accomplishments. But how persevering and pushing through to achieve something creates a high, even if no one else knows about it. My headstand…I did it. I didn’t think I could, but I did. And for a brief moment, I didn’t feel like a failure.” It was not something I was going to post or probably share with anyone. I realized that I had believed the lies about my worth. I realized the truth that my brave did not have to come from an outside audience cheering me on and approving of me. My brave comes from a God that smiles at me on a yoga mat in my bedroom and says “I knew you could do it.”
I had defined my brave by whether or not I could boast to others about what I was doing. But brave is quite the opposite. Brave is really the thing you have the courage to do when no one is looking and no one will applaud. But you do it anyways.