The Lord has been talking to me today about accepting who I am - who he has made me to be. He’s given me strengths and limitations. He’s blessed me with gifts that I don’t always live into. He has made me different than those to whom I might try to compare myself. I don’t need to do a deep dive into what all my gifts and strengths are (again). But focussing on them and accepting what I am not is where I struggle.
My body inhibits me. I have medical issues that limit how physically strong I am and therefore restricts what I can do in my garden and around my house and in my life in general without paying a physical price. I find this very frustrating and often feel that its unfair. Because I have visions for my home that I want to accomplish on my own. I hate relying on others to help me and I feel weak when I say I can’t help someone else.
I have also been raised with a very strong protestant work ethic. I tend to operate out of a belief that if we don’t spend 90% of our day physically doing things, we are wasting time. I’ve also been jealous of people whose life work is reading, thinking and talking – that sounds like a constant vacation. But they exist and its reasonable to think that the Lord has called them to the work that they do. And I’m pretty sure its not actually a constant vacation. 😊
But I’ve spent more time this year reading, thinking and praying then I ever have before. And its been good. But when I started to get busy with projects a few months in, I firmly believe the Lord caused me to trip and break my arm so I would stop and keep still and listen to Him. That was a painful lesson that I don’t want to repeat. But yet I still have so much I want to accomplish and I get frustrated that my body doesn’t cooperate.
Struggling to accept help (or ask for it) is a control issue and comes from a desire to present myself as strong enough. But working within my actual strengths and accepting the contributions of others is actually what God calls me to. Strength isn’t just a physical thing.
Race. Justice. Words that aren’t part of my daily world. I pray for justice regularly, but I don’t act in ways that seek justice. I don’t strive to learn what the deeper issues are. I don’t come alongside. I don’t learn about people I meet at their heart level.
Is this just a cry for anti-racism, justice and allyship? Or is it really a cry for deeper relationships, true love for one another? I don’t think we can accomplish a better world for everyone of all races and colours through posing our allyship and firing people who say the wrong things. Each of us need to commit to having better conversations, asking people how they are (and listening for real answers), stepping outside of ourselves and seeing the world from another point of view. This is not done by corporations or on social media (although following people who are sharing their stories is a start; I truly appreciate and have learned from those in the black community who have shared their hearts and their stories through media). And it certainly isn’t done by blanket claiming to love everyone. It is a daily commitment to everyone we meet and for whom we have responsibility. Everyone. If I want my MP to consider the heart and needs of the indigenous person suffering without clean water thousands of kilometres away from me, then I need to commit to regularly connecting with my MP (even through email, they are busy 😊), asking what they need from me to help them do their job better and what their prayer needs are.
We give a small amount of money to organizations working in justice issues. But I can’t remember the last time I emailed the front line workers and asked them how they are doing. Or told them they are in my prayers. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever actually prayed through the list of requests in their newsletter.
Prayer seems to be on my heart. It may feel like a remote thing to do and often feels like a cop out. “I’m praying for you” is easier to say than “how can I help you” or “tell me your story”. But if I truly were praying regularly for the people who suffer in situations outside of my small world, the Lord would be changing my heart and showing me better ways to show up for people and expand my reach.
Please bear in mind, this was not written to chastise anyone else. I really was working out what the Lord was teaching me while writing – and thought I’d share. If you appreciate it, drop a comment. Maybe more of my prayer musings will make it here. And if I haven’t heard your story and you would like to share, drop me a DM and we’ll connect. Love you all.