Hello friends! It has been a long time.
Have you ever gone through a season where you feel like you’ve lost your voice? I’ve been in one of those seasons for sure. I went into hiding, hoping no one would notice. I was very wrong. You noticed and so many of you, with grace and kindness, have encouraged me to come back and jump into conversation with all of you. I love to talk and I have many, many, many words; why not use those words to build community with you. Here we are. Or I should say here I am. Trying to find my voice again. Hoping to find it in conversations with you, because you make me better.
My first post back in the blogging world is really for all of the phenomenal girls in my world. My hope is that as we sift through the words on this page we will find the freedom I know Jesus has for us today! And for any of you guys out there reading this post, I hope it gives you a little insight into the crazy self-induced pressure us girls live under so often. So you are welcome to speak against it or at least offer a little grace to us in the middle of a meltdown.
I want to start out by sharing a pretty famous quote with you. It’s a quote about Ginger Rogers who was a famous actress and dancer. She regularly performed alongside Fred Astaire but often reminded people she didn’t sign up to be Fred’s partner. She signed up to be a performer who was an individual. Many people looked at Fred and Ginger as a duo. People often speak of how amazing they were as a pair, or about how smooth Fred was as a performer (because let’s face it. Fred was smooth.). Then one day an anonymous person on a plane was talking to Linda Ellerbee about Fred and Ginger and had this to say…
(About Fred Astaire)Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, …backwards and in high heels.
I think people often overlooked this one fact about Ginger. Not only was she able to do all that Fred could do, but she could do it backward and in high heels. She was able to do what any man in her field could do, for as long as he could do it and in really beautiful, but uncomfortable attire.
You see ladies, this is the world we live in. It is a world full of expectations. Expectations to look flawless, but not to appear to be wearing too much make-up. Expectations to live healthy, be fit, to be well dressed, to keep a home, and to navigate a kitchen well. Then add in expectations to get married, to keep your husband happy, and then to have children and be a super mom. And let’s be honest. Everyone has a different opinion on what it looks like to be an awesome wife and a super mom. So no matter what you do you are never going to please everyone. Now add into that a career. A career where you are expected to do everything a man does “backwards and in high heels” while maintaining all the other parts of your world with excellence. And don’t forget about being a super-awesome-godly-proverbs-31-woman. You better get that one right for sure or the other women in your church are going to talk about how you don’t measure up in the form of prayer requests. In an attempt to not be the subject of the “prayer request” or to be the one offering up the gossip you try to live a perfect life as quietly as possible.
Somewhere along the way, we started believing that perfection will protect us, promote us, and propel us into our destiny. The reality is that striving for perfection has enslaved us and the only thing it has propelled us into is mediocrity. So what now? Who do we blame? How do we deal? I’m not sure so let’s keep chatting.
Some of these expectations are inflicted by men, some by other women, some by our enemy, some from ourselves. And some are good, healthy, expectations that we should pursue in our daily journeys to be more like Christ. One truth I’ve discovered in the middle of feeling the anxiety and pressure of all these expectations; I have self-imposed this pressure.
I know. I know. I’ve literally made a list of all the other places these unhealthy expectations can come from and now I’m saying it’s my entire fault. Let me explain. There are many voices speaking expectation to me, but no one else forces me to pick up and carry those expectations and in fact, Jesus has offered me the opposite of expectation. He has offered me grace, freedom, and promises that He will be enough.
There is a verse in the scriptures that I believe if we let it, it will bring us great freedom.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.
– Matthew 6:34-
I think we often view this passage through the eyes of expectation. We assume that when Jesus is speaking these words He is mad at us for worrying about tomorrow. We place an expectation on ourselves to not only get today right but tomorrow as well. But that is not what I hear Jesus saying at all. What I hear Him saying is…
“Baby girl. I have lived through all you have lived through. I have lived through the temptation, the hurt, the heartbreak, the disappointment, the need, the sleepless nights, the brokenness of the world, betrayal, and all the weight of the expectation. The one thing I can tell you sweet girl is that I know today is hard. I know tomorrow will also be hard. I also know that my grace will fill your weakness and that because tomorrow is hard I don’t want you to try to bear the burden of tomorrow in the middle of the weight of today. Walk in the weight of my burden because no one should live in the weight of the world and all the weight it will try to place on you in all the days to come. I love you too much to sit back and just let you be crushed by all the expectation of this world. Just don’t worry about tomorrow.”
Jesus never meant for us to live up to all the expectation on our own. He never meant for us to bear a burden that would steal our life. He died so we could be free from all that mess so that we could have a life overflowing with hope, joy, and freedom. Because the truth is: I can only get like three things on the expectation list right at a time. Jesus knows that. He knew that from the beginning of creation and that is why He always intended to be the answer to the weight of expectation.
So what do we do now? I’m not entirely sure. The simple answer is that we stop striving to fill expectation and start pursuing Jesus with everything we have. I acknowledge this is so much easier to say than it is done. There is no 12 step plan to letting go of the expectation. There is no easy path to following Jesus. So as much as I would like to wrap up this post and this path with a pretty pink bow and some glitter I can’t. I don’t have a practical and easy answer. So I’m just going to try to give everything I have to know Jesus more and I’m going to trust His grace to meet me in my weakness.
So dear sisters of mine. I’m asking you to join me on a journey. A journey to freedom. To a life full of hope, joy, and the reckless pursuit of Jesus.
So how about it? You with me?
In Reckless Pursuit,