5 years ago I was a lost soul. I had no hope. I had no ambition. I was inward. I was severely depressed. I felt that I could never contribute to society because I was useless. I felt like I didn’t fit in, or even blend in. I stayed inside and kept my mouth shut. I was hurt and broken.
I remember praying to a God I didn’t believe in at the time and I cried out, “God if you really do exist, why did you create me? Why am I here? If you really do exist please save me” God was listening that day because a few months later, I found Jesus and a church home I wasn’t even looking for. God sent me on a whirlwind of a ride discovering who He was while I was discovering who I was throughout the first few months.
But after a little over a month, someone approached me and asked me to join a ministry team. They said and I quote, “We could use your smiling face on the VIP team” I replied, “Are you sure you want me to greet people? I’ve been told have a good smile, but…” they replied, “Yes of course we do!”.
I took that uncomfortable opportunity for me, of standing and talking to people and I signed up to be on the VIP team anyway. Regardless of how I felt, I knew this is what God wanted me to do. The first few months were rough.
I only showed up on a Sunday when it was my week to serve. But then it got worst and I stopped showing up when it was my weeks and I blamed on the fact, “I forgot my password” to the program we use so I didn’t know it was my week. Either way, I faced a battle of putting my wants, desires, and ways first before I even consulted or even considers Gods wants and desires.
One night I remember being in my room and just on my knees praying whole heartily because I felt lost again. I was crying, I was reading scripture, I was praying that same prayer but this time I knew God. This time I knew who I was praying to and through. I wouldn’t say it was overnight but God became my priority again shortly after. I started showing up the church every Sunday and not just for church, I showed up early to serve even when it wasn’t my week to serve. Serving became my passion.
However, passion withers if it’s not properly kept. It’s like a fire that slowly fades away. But do you know what reignite the fire? For me it’s not God’s word, it’s not doing a bible study, where they may help keep the fire going, what really reignites the fire is moving the embers around. Taking in my testimony and sharing it with others. It’s lifting my hand out to others and letting them know they are not alone. That God loves them and care for them. It’s walking beside teenagers and helping them grow and seeing excitement in their eyes when they start understanding and believing in the Word. It’s loving others the way God does.
But it can quickly die if I put myself first. If I put my wants and desires in front of Gods, even without realizing it I can suffocate the passion that burns inside of me that God placed in there.
I’m wrestling with decisions and battling on whether or not I’m letting my personality be the cause of it all. I avoid conflict.
I hide everytime there is conflict. I don’t want to face it, let’s be honest, it’s never plays out to the dramatic story line that over plays in my head, it’s normally, “What can I learn from this?”, or that’s my interpretation of it because I don’t like to stay stagnant, I like growth. Problem, with growth, you tend to have face conflict of some sort. Also the problem is when you don’t face conflict, you superimpose your own brokenness on them. Sometimes they aren’t mad, but you assume. Let’s be real, sometimes you don’t even cross their mind, seriously.
I have a problem with avoiding conflict, mostly because conflict in my house growing up was not subtle. It was loud. It was dramatic. It was unnecessary. But I still avoid it because I don’t like feeling that way certain people did in those moments. Civil conversations are hard for me if it’s over conflict.
I could sit here and nitpick my past saying where I learned these qualities and traits about myself. Here is the thing, I may have a certain personality “type” but I do have Jesus and my past is dead. I am made new in Jesus.
So should I avoid conflict? Absolutely not. Is it part of my personality? Yes. Does it define who I am? No. Just because a computer generated personality test stated who you are, you don’t have to let it define you. You now know your weaknesses, work on them, grow in them.
I am blessed to know what areas in my life right now that I struggle with. I can either grow and learn from it or I can just accept it and live with it. God doesn’t want me to accept it as my final answer , we are to be like Jesus. Jesus did not have weaknesses. He is perfect. If we accept it as who we are, are we not just simply stating that we refuse to be anything else, and refuse to be like Jesus?
Let’s be more like Jesus, striving to the idea that grace and mercy wins above all regardless negative thoughts , possible outcomes or conflict.
I’m opting to learn and grow. I’m opting to be more like Jesus.