Thursday, June 5, 2014

lessons in grace: recognition.


I had a hard conversation with my fiancee yesterday.

We were talking about one of my "dream jobs" - working for Noonday Collection. I was talking to him about applying, but the timing just wouldn't be good with everything going on - moving back with my parents, wedding planning, married in October, then moving to FL. It sounded good, but it would just add more stress. 

We then started talking about why I wanted to apply and work for them. And that was when the tough parts of the conversation came out. I told him basically the reason I wanted to work for them was to get recognition. For my jewelry-making talent, for helping people in need. Aka I have pride issues.

And when I realized that...yikes. It was like God took a magnifying glass to my heart, and said "Hey, this isn't good. That is not the reason I gave you these skills."

Everyone wants to be recognized, to be acknowledged for the work they do. But when that becomes our motivation is when problems happen. I thought about the passage where the disciples are asking Jesus who will sit beside Him in heaven. Essentially they wanted recognition more than Jesus Himself. And I realized that's what I'm doing. I'm saying, "I want recognition for the talents You've given me, more than I want You." 

My life is not about being an artist. I have to realize that. My life is about following Jesus. He comes first.

CS Lewis

I feel like I'm in a rut with the jewelry-making, that it isn't purposeful. That I'm not making a difference with my talents like I want to. Of course I want recognition, but it's become an issue. It is not supposed to be my motivator or something I expect. And that can only happen with God's help of weeding that desire out of my heart. Because dangit, I want it bad. And isn't that how sins usually go?

Being the wise owl my fiancee is, he then started talking about being faithful in the little things. I cannot expect great, wonderful opportunities to come up if I am not faithful with the smallness of my business in the here and now. I have to stop overlooking my everyday interactions, the customers that trickle through, all while glancing ahead, trying to skip this tough, dry season to get to the good stuff. 

It doesn't happen overnight, and it was never meant to work that way. God oftentimes gives us the slow, small path to teach us things, to prepare us. 

Do I have any idea what He's preparing me for? I have no clue. But apparently I need to stick it out and be faithful with the small stuff. 

"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much."
{{Luke 16:10}}

And the underlying key to this? Humility

Humility in my everyday practices, interactions, humility in success, humility in the dry season. Humility always. 

And you know what? All of this examining of my heart on a regular ole' Wednesday night led me to realize this --- the more I find out about myself, my heart and my sins, the more I see how deficient I am. I need Jesus, plain and simple. No way I could do anything on my own. And you know what the funny thing is? 

That's how it's supposed to be. 

He reveals our sins and heart to us so that we see more clearly our need of Him. And we all need Him.

Am I telling y'all this because I want a pat on the back for being honest? Nope. I just want to have a more open heart, and be vulnerable to give other people the freedom and grace to do the same. I hope my words are an encouragement. :)

What are some life lessons you've been learning lately? Care to share about the tough ones? 

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