Associate National Field Leader
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I was born into a football family. My dad was (and still is at 79) a football coach. I am the oldest of 5 kids. I grew up loving competition and I really loved to win! I believed the words of Vince Lombardi early on: “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
We moved every 2 years. It takes an incredible amount of work to survive in a new school every other year. I worked hard to figure out “the rules” in each new place. Performing well became my only hope of remaining secure.
It didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t perform perfectly or win at everything. So I began to work very hard at being competent at the things I chose to do. If I remained competent, then I was winning. To fail basically meant to lose. And why would I want to lose?
Throughout my early adult years I worked hard at life. I had loved the Lord since I was a young girl. I had a tender heart to others. I did not let people down by unfaithfulness or forgetfulness. I was excellent at executing details (and lots of them at one time). I was a committed mom – a good homemaker. I loved to care for my family and work alongside my husband in our ministry; I grew in my walk with God and my faith.
But every now and then I would hit a “season” (could be for hours, days, or weeks) where I was in a dilemma. I was becoming less sure of who the real me was and my strategy to perform well, not fail, and remain in control was increasingly difficult as life and family became more complex.
My crisis continued to grow. If anything went wrong or even poorly, I assumed it was my fault. Somewhere inside I believed if, and I mean IF, I did everything well, then life for me and those around me would go well (right, perfect). Now that is a very heavy weight to bear, and more control and responsibility than a human being can bear. It is also arrogance – to think that I would even have that much power and control such that life rose and fell with me.
In God’s great grace, through my exposure to TrueFaced/ Leadership Catalyst, I began to learn that humility is trusting God and others with me – the real me. Not the perfect me and not the me with a mask of “I am in control.”
I began to see the untruth in, “If you are weak, you are a failure.” I saw a third option where I had only had 2 before. (Buck up, fight, work hard or let go, fail, and lose.) This third option was to embrace weakness as the path to hope – as God’s invitation to more of Himself. God’s word is full of upside down realities. Could there be hope for my weary soul?
At this time I wrote in my journal, “The more I grow in Christ, the more needy I seem to become. This place of dependence is both remarkably peaceful and satisfying, and absolutely terrifying. You can be remarkably strong and experience a failure. Feeling weak does not mean I am a failure.”
As I chose repentance of my commitment to being strong, in control and performing to earn acceptance and security, I began to taste what my soul longed for – real security, rest, and freedom. I was understanding grace for the first time in my life. And as I did, I began to learn what it meant to extend grace to others.
Today I can still be tempted to earn my favor with God and people. But the truth continues to set me free. The real me is in Christ – accepted and complete in Him. Learning to trust God and others with me is a relief!
Wed, August 18, 2010
by David Pinkerton filed under