And the ego. Well the ego is a savage. A hungry carnivore leaving a trail of messy carnage, if left to its own devices.
I am going to speak to the female ego and self-esteem here, but fellas, you can probably relate too. Yet there is something special about how women feed their ego, and thus experience a positive self-esteem.
She got the job? Cloud 9.
She was asked to join the team? Boom!
She was nominated for a leadership role? Awe, suky!
He asked her to dinner? Leprechaun heal clicks!
It’s healthy and normal to get excited about being included, recognized and wanted. I remember the first time a pastor asked me to join the writing team. I felt amazing! And smart! And so useful.
But if I banked my self-esteem on this role, I would be destroyed right now, because eventually that role ended. But it didn’t end because I was suddenly mediocre, stupid or useless. It ended because it simply ran its course.
Yet I remember being sad, even feeling flat, and more than a little empty. Months passed by and sadness turned to anger, even bitterness. I received so much joy from writing that I felt a bit lost without it.
Then one day I looked at myself and said, “If you’re a writer, then write.” It seemed like a simple solution, but I had put all of my passion and thus too much of my self-esteem in one delicate basket and got mad when the basket broke.
And it was no one’s fault, except my own.
Since then I have spent endless hours searching for writing jobs and opportunities. And eureka! I have gotten several. But there are WAY more jobs that I didn’t get, and didn’t even get a courtesy email about to say, no thanks. I even had a few interviews for a full time writing job with the Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey’s company) and I didn’t get it.
But I kept writing.
Of the jobs I have gotten, some have simply run out. I did the work, my job was complete, and it was over. Some jobs just weren’t a good fit. I can write, and I know this, but there were times I just wasn’t the best person for the job. Whatever the reason, the gig ended.
But here’s the bottom line: I am still a writer. Hired, not hired, pursued or on the back burner. I am a writer. Why? Because I write.
I might not get paid, or published or liked, or followed, but write I will; not because people stand up and cheer when they read my blog, but because it stirs my soul, gives me purpose and even makes me feel closer to God.
Whoa. I pulled the God card. And I meant it.
I learned years ago that the only way that I truly enjoy writing all the way, is to write what I think HE (God) would want me to share. It wasn’t just a game changer; it’s a life changer for me. I will write for free, I will write for money, I will write for laughs, for sentiment and to help others, but no matter what, I am writing for Him.
And when you do it (whatever your “it” is) for Him, not only is it more fulfilling and more useful, but it means that no one can stop you from fulfilling your purpose. Even when their approval disappears.
Are you a speaker? Volunteer at the high school to talk about your career choice.
Led to preach? Share your testimony.
Singing brings you joy? Start a singing club for young women and lead it.
In love with fitness? Help someone change his or her life through movement.
Want to coach? Coach! Head coach a little league team or volunteer to help at a local college.
What God has tasked you to do, it is your responsibility to do it. And if someone tells you no, or your gig runs out, keep moving. No man can stop you from your purpose when you aim to honor God.
At some point, you might be tempted to put all of your ego eggs in one basket, don’t say I didn’t warn you when you feel empty and wounded when things don’t pan out for whatever reason. That is bound to happen when your identity is in the talent that God gave you or the opportunity to use it, rather than the God who blessed you with it.
Jobs, careers, gigs and even volunteer opportunities are for but a season. That season could be 2 weeks or 20 years. You just have 3 ways to honor this season:
- Do it with all your heart
- Be teachable & humble
- Do it all for the LORD.
And when it is done, you can know that you have been His faithful servant, you can tuck it in as a job well done, take a rest, and move forward to the next “purpose” God has lined up for you.
Man simply doesn’t have the power to take away who you are. Whether he rejects you, denies you, insults you, fires you, demotes you, chooses someone over you, or even walks out on you, you are still a child of God. And you still have your purpose.
Are you ready to get moving and honor that purpose? Whoever you think is in your way cannot hold you back. Only you can do that.
Life is short, and then there’s eternity. Are you ready for it?