When Doubt Whispers “I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer”
I really like the opening quote to the chapter. If you don’t remember it here it is……
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-Harold Thurman Whitman
I think this quote is so important because God places in all of us a purpose, something that He created us specifically for. I know for myself, when I am serving in a capacity to help people with breastfeeding, a question about agriculture, or teaching my students how to use wood working tools, I really come alive and enjoy myself! These are the gifts that God has given me and so I use these gifts to further His kingdom in ways that aren’t always obvious to me. In high school I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. I even spent two years in college studying pre-veterinary medicine. However, when push came to shove, veterinary medicine wasn’t what brought me to life and wasn’t the calling that God was placing on my life.
I love how in this chapter Renee brings up comparison. Not only is comparison the thief of joy, but God tells us that it is foolish to compare ourselves to others…
“Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
And that we should be proud of ourselves…
“Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” Galatians 6:4-5
I know that I, myself, have a hard time with comparing myself to others. I think as women we often do so! We compare our writing styles, hairstyles, parenting styles, vehicles, jobs, and a myriad of other trivial and serious topics.
I am oh so guilty of doing this myself! Ladies, why on earth do we torture ourselves this way? Someone will always have what we deem as something better than we do; a better marriage, house, kids. But we also don’t see behind closed doors. I feel like it’s similar to what Renee’s friend, Genia said when she said that she compares her insides to peoples outsides. We see what we have inside and out, we know our own feelings, morals and convictions. All we see of others is their outside appearance and what they want us to see. It’s their Facebook life. They only allow you to see what they want you to see. You don’t see the mess of depression or a failing marriage. Things may look perfect on the outside but be a mess behind closed doors.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and see how we can bring out the greatness in others with the gifts that God has specifically given us!
I love how during Renee was encouraged to find the “real her”. Often times, as women, we feel like we lose our identities. We lose ourselves in serving our children and husbands, serving our bosses at our jobs, and our friends. All of these things are great, but we need to take time to ourselves, to journal, spend time with God and find His will for our lives and to just be.
With two kids 18 months apart, a job at a low socioeconomic school with students who sometimes have horrific home lives, and a husband with bipolar disorder, I found myself slipping away. I was doing so much and trying to be everything to everyone that I missed the symptoms of post partum depression that I was exhibiting. Thankfully it didn’t get worse, but it took someone noticing me coming in to work crying almost daily to bring me back into reality that I needed to make some “me time” and get to know myself in my new role as mom to two in addition to my roles as teacher and wife. I began making sure that I was eating correctly again whereas before it was nothing for me to skip meals frequently. I started waking up 15 min earlier, before the rush of morning routines, to spend time in God’s presence with a devotional focused on moms. And slowly God started to pull me out of the fog. It was as if He said, “Daughter, come back to me. You are special and I have everything you need to survive this season.”
So often we don’t “have time” to spend with ourselves. It is so imperative that we do! I encourage you to follow Renee’s lead and read books, talk to people, and spend time with God to help you remember just how special you are and use that time to get to know yourself.
I love this Dr. Seuss’ quote because it’s so true!
You are special and unique!
Did anyone else look at the personality types like I did and automatically say, “Nail on head.”
I recognized myself immediately as a phlegmatic person with some Sanguine mixed in! I want PEACE! And lots of it! For me, this is huge. I already know my weaknesses, or relational challenges rather, but I love how the summary pointed out my strengths! That made me feel so much better and not attacked when I read this portion. I also noted what I need to work on. I’m a huge procrastinator, which is terrible for a teacher! So I purchased a new planner and synced my calendar with my phone. This was something that was easy for me to do to hopefully encourage myself to be better. There are definitely more things I can work on!
Where did you find yourself in the personality summary? Take your strengths and build on them, and work on those challenges one at a time.
God has instilled gifts and talents in us that are to be used for a purpose. What are your dreams? I know I have dreams of inspiring today’s youth to achieve their goals, that when their time with me is over, they will be equipped enough to enter the work force or attend college and excel and be able to provide for themselves and their families. I didn’t always see this as my dream, but with help from God I began to see the different gifts that I was given that led me straight to where I need to be.
If think Renee does a wonderful job in this chapter helping us find ways to find our spiritual gifts and encouraging us to explore them and to find what makes us tick. You are the pilot in the vessel that God has given you to live in on this earth. He has equipped you with the best technology not even known to man! We should definitely find out all that we can about ourselves in order to navigate life in the way that He intended us to!
Remember sister, you have so much to offer thank to your life experiences, which Renee touches on, and your own uniqueness. Don’t ever let someone bring you down, call you worthless.
You are unique, you are worthy.
Christ died for you. Use your gifts and talents as an offering to Him. Use what He has given you to inspire others. Perhaps you’ve gone through a terrible divorce and are now watching a friend face the same challenges you have faced going through a similar situation. You can be the light to her, show her that God is with her in this moment and keep pointing her to Him.
Perhaps you are like me and had an eating disorder and have become an overcomer. Thanks to Jesus, you can help to be that encouragement for others to show that it can be beat and you can live a healthy life and love your body.
So ladies, what are some of your strengths? What can you bring to the table? If you’re unsure ask your husband or a friend and definitely God! You may be surprised at their answers!
Be blessed and be uniquely you!