Do you believe what others write on your page? When you were little, did you believe when a classmate called you stupid, a teacher said you would never learn to read, a neighborhood child called you ugly, or a friend made fun of you for being too skinny, too fat, too tall, or too short? When you grew up, did you have bosses say you aren’t worth a raise, a partner say you’re nothing but an alcoholic, or your spouse call you a bum? If you were honest, have you lived your whole life believing in the writing on your page? Has it affected your relationships, your career, who you are, and your ability to smile?
If this is you – the good news is there is hope. Although, we’re human and it’s tough to not believe what others write on our page – there is hope. My hope is knowing these are just words on a page. Sometimes I wonder why do we care so much what others write instead of what is really true? If I wrote what everyone has said to me over my life time, I could be institutionalized, but the nice part is then I ask – God, how do you see me? I ask God what words would he write on my page? How do you think he responds?
At a young age, an aunt gave me a pin that said “God don’t make junk”. At the time it was just a cute, wooden pin, but now know there was truth behind the words. We can spend our lifetime thinking we’re junk; however, God will work a lifetime believing in our potential. Where we look in a mirror and don’t like our reflection – God sees beauty. Where we question ourselves, I believe there is a path and a story. Where we feel like a failure – God has a lesson for us to learn. Where we don’t see value – God sees our purpose. Where we become inpatient – God shows us how to exhale. When we become greedy – God shows us what is truly important. When we feel sorry for ourselves, God reminds us to appreciate what we have. When we’re tired and just want to give up – God gives us opportunity. When we become jealous, God shows us the light. Believe me, it would be naïve of me to say life is easy and God’s messages are always apparent. Yet I know when we stay in the truth – doors open, we are better equipped to fight life’s curve balls, and there is a sense of peace. Let’s put this into perspective. Think about a time in your life that was really crummy and how did it end up turning out? For me, I can still remember when I heard behind office walls the team was looking to let me go. At the time it felt really crushing, but with God’s help I kept my head high. Guess what happened? The sponsor of the project called me about six months later and told me he had made a mistake letting me go. Anyone with faith just like anyone who was alive on the day President Kennedy died, can tell you everything about when their faith came alive. Nothing had changed, but with Faith there was suddenly this ability to appreciate more, love more, and learn more. An ability to appreciate, love, and learn even through the grey, the rain, and the muck.
Like many of you who have your faith can witness, a faith journey is not always a pie in the sky journey. It is constantly writing things on your page, erasing things on your page, and starting your story over. With me personally – It is becoming a Mom and learning how to handle a child with ADHD and defiance, it’s having a career that doesn’t always feed my soul, it’s having a dream that is taking a long time to achieve, and it’s having a marriage that’s had it’s ups and downs. I could look at all of these scenarios and write on my page – failure, depression, status quo, unfair or I can pray and know what’s happening now is not forever. I can know what is happening now does not define my life. To be honest, this is really at the core of my Faith. Sometimes in life – it feels like all you have is your faith. When no one else seems to care, it helps to know I’m not alone. It helps to know instead of words such as failure, depression, status quo, and unfair there are words such as determination, purpose, grit,and courage. As many times in my life that have been earth shattering crazy, God has also given me times where I just knew. I knew in college when I was starting a collegiate dance team that it would happen. Later in life when I was trying to apply for Accenture and I called the office administrator, I knew at one point she would connect me with the right person and I would get the job. When we were in the adoption process, I didn’t know when we would be selected but knew it would happen. Right now I have this level of peace with the book series. I don’t know when others will know about the series, but I know it will happen. This level of peace is not always evident in my life, but it becomes real when I believe in something bigger than me. When I don’t just trust in myself to get out of bed everyday and when I forgive myself for my own words I write on my own page.
In reality, the image I like to conjure in my mind is not the soldier beaten in the movie “Glory”, but being the little girl in the movie Help when the maid repeats the following verses over and over again -you are wise, you are kind, you are important. Those are the words that deserve to be on my page. Those are the words I think God wants to write on all of our pages. Sure, others may say – you are frustrating, controlling, messy, or whatever words they want to place on my page. I am definitely not perfect, but I do get out of bed everyday with good intentions and faith to not give up, to move forward, and to hopefully live out my purpose. A boss once said to me – your value cannot lie in these walls. Even if you lose everything and end up living in a wooden hut – you have to know your value. She said – so what if people don’t want to follow you at the moment? Is this ok or is your value tied all around the act? Really good point. My life cannot be tied around an act or a malicious word. My life needs to be tied around truth and my belief is you will only find this level of truth through faith. None of us are strong enough alone to not believe what others and ourselves write on our own page. We are not strong enough to shut down the words in our head as we are trying to sleep or to not be anxious before the big presentation, but God is strong enough. If you don’t believe me, pray and ask God what is your value and what would he write on your page?