Do It All
When "can" becomes "must"
I saw a post online about how people with eds heard the phrase, "you can be anything you want" and interpreted it as, "you have to be everything". That's definitely true for me. Because of my personality, I feel a lot of pressure to "be everything" for people. Not only because of my genuine desire to help people but also due to my perfectionistic tendencies will I interpret "cans" to "musts". I'll give the example of what happened earlier this week.
I was talking to my mom on my way to work and I shared that I didn't know if I was making a difference in my kids' lives. I was upset because, well, if I wasn't making a difference, why was I there? My mom said something to me that blew my mind. She told me that I didn't have to (nor should I try to) make a difference in every child's life. What?! I don't have to try and impact every single child's life at my job? That moment of realization reminds me of when my former therapist informed me that I was allowed to be late that one day coming into her office. I couldn't believe what I had heard, neither that time or this one. My mom went on to explain that even some of the greats in the Bible had to delegate some things over to others. She mentioned how Moses had the help of Arron as it's recorded in Exodus. From her I gathered that I did not have the responsibility to impact every single last child and that God wasn't expecting me to. How exhausting would that be?
Sometimes we may feel the pressure to do something that we think is for God but we find ourselves getting overwhelmed and anxious about it. At these times, we should stop and reevaluate what it is we're doing and whether or not it really is from God. It's okay for us to do good for others but when we start to feel burn out, we have to question whether the good we are doing is God or whether we're taking on too much. The tasks the Lord gives us are not going to leave us feeling worse than when we started. What we do for Him should be beneficial for everyone involved, including ourselves. We shouldn't feel stressed over the impossible task of "doing everything" for everyone because that's not what God asks of us. Only Jesus can be all to everyone but it's easy to have our desires to do good eventually cause us to feel dissatisfied with our efforts.
The suggestion my mother gave was for me to pray and ask God who is the child He would have me to reach and impact. And just like that, the pressure for me to be everything to every child is gone. That doesn't mean I will stop loving and caring for every child as best I can but I no longer have to be on the suicide mission of making some type of profound and lasting impression on every last one of them. I can breath. I know that God will use me to make a difference and I don't have to stress about it. Whatever child needs to be shown the love of Jesus in a personal way, God will make known to me. Until then, I can relax and not feel burdened to do it all.
Happy 17 days until Christmas!!