If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s the concept of faithfulness on the largest scale possible.
I feel like a broken record. It’s as though every time I think I’ve got a grip on faithfulness, God reminds me that there’s still more to learn.
At the beginning of 2015, I was about ready to punch anyone and everyone in the throat for telling me to stay faithful. It’s become such a cliche in church-life. It’s the go-to phrase for anyone feeling frustrated/tired/weary/blessed/happy/everything in between.
“I know you’re still waiting for God to open that door for you, but just stay faithful.”
“Don’t let that opportunity go to your head. Remember that it’s all about staying faithful with the small things.”
“Be careful not to compare your walk with hers. Just remain faithful with where God’s placed YOU.”
I GET IT.
That’s what I wanted to yell at everyone. Even myself. Sometimes I don’t want to stay faithful. Sometimes I feel like quitting. Sometimes I feel like throwing myself a pity party complete with confetti and balloons. Sometimes I wish I could experience what it’s like to be handed something without working for it. I was tired. I was confused. I was jealous. It was ugly.
One day a switch flipped in my funny little head and I realized I was doing it to myself. I was making everything a bigger deal in my head and I was wearing myself out. I think this lightbulb moment started when I looked up from my own pity and saw a friend of mine doing the same thing. When I saw this person working too hard and getting so frustrated it was like looking in a mirror. “Is that what I look like?” Dang. “And I’m doing it to myself? I have the power to control this myself and turn it around?” Dang again.
I had a much needed chat with God and got real honest real quick. I was trying to control everything because of this fear that God wasn’t really in control or didn’t really have my best interest in mind. As if I knew better. Really Kylie? Get over yourself.
He reminded me once again that it’s all about why I do what do – not what I’m doing. Huge perspective shift. Once my head was back in the right place, it was much easier to serve, and to enjoy myself while doing so.
There’s this sweet spot in serving. It’s my favorite place to be. That place of realizing that even if no one acknowledges you for your service or even knows about everything you do, you still love it just the same because of the people you get to make a way for. That’s the sweet spot. Where it’s no longer about you. The pressure melts away and you get to go on serving with joy and excitement because of the realization of who it’s for. (Side-note: This also goes to show how much power there is in the attitude you serve with. HELLO.)
One thing about faithfulness: Being faithful isn’t just about the length of time you’ve stuck with something. Just because you’ve been leading a team for 5 years does not mean you’ve been more faithful than someone who’s only been leading a team for 3 years.
Faithfulness is the attitude you serve with. (Yeah, tweet that.)
Just recently I was talking with someone who was in the same boat I was in earlier this year. This person was telling me how tired they were of being told to stay faithful because they’d been on “the team for years.” My response was something like, “But what has your attitude been like all these years on that team?” Faithfulness is not just checking a box for your lengthy time commitment.
Being faithful means remaining thorough in your performance; staying true to your word; keeping your promises; being steady, loyal, and constant, devoted, stable, dependable; reliable, trusted, believable; and lastly – FULL OF FAITH, believing.
These are the qualities that lead to a long-continued and steadfast time commitment. 5 years doesn’t mean anything if you’ve been flighty, jealous, negative, or careless the whole time.
The best part is that we have the most perfect example in Jesus.
He works everything out in His perfect timing for our good. It makes no sense. The things that used to trip me up have been worked out on their own. Of course, if it had been up to me it would have been worked out according to my plan and timing and things would look much different. Yet, here I am – still standing. And not just standing, but moving forward. It’s still a daily surrender to give Him control and trust His timing, but it’s getting a little easier.
2015, thank you for teaching me so much about myself. I found a confidence and a boldness that I had no clue were inside of me. I found my voice. I stayed flexible. I moved forward. I learned how to rest in His grace and in His peace. I fell even more in love with Jesus and with His plan for me (even the pieces I don’t know about yet).
Here’s to 2016.