I want to be spent.

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Ever since my identity crisis started, I’ve been trying to focus on the fact that God knows who I am, even if I don’t.  It’s a comforting thought.  It helps my heart rate slow enough to get me through any pending meltdowns.

But then I started having three-hour conversations with inspiring friends about the stuff I unpacked yesterday. I started dreaming about all that ministry for women* in America could be; I began to imagine what it would look like for me to be a part of that.

Things are happening, a movement is starting and the train is leaving the station, and it seems like if I can’t figure out who I am in the next ten minutes I’m going to miss out on all that God is going to do through our generation.Pinned Image

Life won’t stop for me to process all that’s happened in the last six months.  People are still waking up and wanting more out of life and souls are still hurting and nobody seems willing or able to hit the big cosmic pause button so that I can figure out who I am before we go any further.

I feel like Derek Zoolander, except instead of a puddle, I keep staring up at God asking the same question: ‘who am I’?

You know what the hardest part is?  It turns out I’m really bad at hearing from God.

I hear from God through His Word, but it’s sneaky because my Bible is missing some pages or something.  I can’t find the part where it talks about what personality type I really am.  I can’t seem to find any explanation of the specific good works that God has prepared for me.  Is my Bible missing an appendix?

I guess hearing from God generally involves a little more trust and a little less control than I might like.

Hearing from Him looks like letting my mind be renewed by His word so that I can identify the soft and sweet things bouncing around my head as lies.

Hearing from Him looks like praying and asking Him to write the words on the page for me when I don’t know what to type and begging Him to use something in this mess of a life of mine to encourage you today.

Hearing from Him looks like trusting that He’s doing that.  Hearing from Him looks like believing Him when He says that I can plan my way all day long but He’s the one directing my steps.

When I sat down almost two weeks ago now to write that vision thing I mentioned yesterday, I just tried to focus on the things that I am most sure of in my heart of hearts:

I don’t want to write a book and I don’t want to write a curriculum and I don’t want to be a part of conferences.

I mean, obviously I do.  I want to do all those things.  But it’s more than that.

I want to be spent.

I want every last drop of my life to be spent when I stand before God and I want to be a part of all that He has for me here. I want to be a part of a million different people’s stories.

I want to take hold of the gal in some church in some small town who is about to throw in the towel because none of this feels real, and I want to whisper true things to her.  And I want to call out to the woman who is about to walk away from all of God and His glory because some guy makes her feel more loved than the King and I want to look at these women and I want to say: I know.  I know how it feels.

My heart is filled with doubt and fear and unbelief but I have to bank on all that is true and real and it’s Him.   I’m all in.  I’m going to bank everything on the belief that God is really up there now and He really is all that He says He is and He really is not going to fail us or forsake us.

And I’m going to spend my life calling others to bank everything on that very same thing.

I feel like a wreck.  I feel like I can’t see up from down.  I feel weak and incompetent and like a failure.  But maybe all of that is just God’s gracious gift to me.  Maybe all of this is just His way of answering my prayer to be equipped for the good works I’m to walk in.  Maybe this identity crisis is His way of making me who I am.

Maybe God has reached down and touched my lips and taught me to stutter, so that when He speaks nobody gets glory but Him.

 

 

*[Side note: do you like how I say 'ministry for women' instead of 'women's ministry'?   I just can't bring myself to type the phrase women's ministry.  women's ministry.  women's ministry.  See, I'm working through my issues.]

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Comments

  1. “I feel like a wreck. I feel like I can’t see up from down. I feel weak and incompetent and like a failure”

    That’s how I feel right now. Like you, I’m going through a huge identity crisis. I just don’t know what to do some days…sometimes my mind wants to toy with the idea that “none of this is real”, but I can never go that far.

    So I’m at a crossroads. Do I keep going the route I’ve been going most of my life (placing my hope in my abilities, dreams, plans, and ambitions) and constantly ending up where I didn’t plan to go living a roller coaster ride of a life (and I like roller coasters, but this roller coaster isn’t cool) or do I “bank everything on the belief that God is really up there now and He really is all that He says He is and He really is not going to fail us or forsake us.”

    Sigh.

  2. So inspired by reading this…and your heart for women. Can’t wait to hear more.

  3. elizabeth says:

    You write, “I want to look at these women and I want to say: I know. I know how it feels.” You’re doing it already. You’ve done this for me so many times. You have ministered to me over and over again by putting my feelings into words, and then pointing me toward a Biblical context for understanding those feelings. Even when I’m not sure I agree with you, you minster to me.

  4. I used to be in “full-time ministry,” so to speak (because what I do now is not usually considered full-time ministry…). I miss it. I loved it. I was a lot like you, actually. Then I made a decision to get married and have a family and now I can’t seem to figure out how to be this new person and that old person together… Many times I asked God to let me be spent for His glory. I never expected that being spent would look like sleepless nights and 24/7 exhaustion and cooking and bottom-wiping and praying while I wash dishes because it’s the one time of day my mind can go elsewhere. I guess I thought it would look and feel more “glorious.” :) I don’t mean to complain at all – I love my family more than life. But how to mesh the life I have now with the life I longed for and sought after, back when I was full of fire and passion? Is it even possible? Perhaps it was all about me. And still is. Blerg.

    Just so you know – you ARE a part of amazing ministry to women in America. You ARE on the train – it’s left the station and you made it, you’re on. :) There’s no way you’re going to miss out on anything that God is doing in this generation because He’s already using you in huge ways. I’m thankful for you, Fabs. :)

  5. Katie is right, you’re on the train! God has spoken to me through some of your posts in really powerful ways–in ways that make me say, “Yes! Finally a message directed to women that gets me!” You are already affecting the lives of many women, identity crisis or not, and anything God takes you through will only make you more effective in the future.

  6. “I want to take hold of the gal in some church in some small town who is about to throw in the towel because none of this feels real…”

    That would be me. You’re spot here is so encouraging to me. Your “We’re Over It” blog yesterday – right on time. I’m not married. I don’t–can’t have children. I have to go to work from 8:30-5 every day to pay my own bills. I don’t mean that in a negative way, I just mean that my life can’t, probably won’t fit that lifestyle. And I’m okay with that usually. But it’s so hopeful to see material that isn’t labeled “wife” or “mother”. Because I’m neither. And I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t struggling with the fact that it is okay to not be those things.

    You have no idea how thankful I am for your being real. Even if real is uncomfortable.

  7. “I feel like a wreck. I feel like I can’t see up from down. I feel weak and incompetent and like a failure. But maybe all of that is just God’s gracious gift to me…” It is. Absolutely. It’s His gracious gift but not necessarily because of something great He has in store in the future. But because right here, right now, when we are weak and frail and uncomfortable and yet we choose to love Him and honor Him and believe He is who He says He is… that’s when He scores a tremendous victory. When we bank on Him in spite of our circumstances, we are putting another stake in the ground for the Creator. And He gets so much glory!

    Don’t know if you listen to Bebo Norman. You should check out his latest “Ocean”. Song #1 is “Everything I’d Hoped You’d Be”… it’s a musical version of your musings…

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