By Julia Amting
For one thing, There are soo many Christian bloggers and writers out there. And sometimes it’s hard to find something original, or to feel like I have something worth saying. After all, someone’s already said it before me. The blogosphere is packed, and there are millions and millions of thoughts out there on the internet. and Because we all share this human experience, we all kind of feel the same things, and try to offer some solutions.
As a result, it’s really hard to not feel like an empty voice sometimes. It’s hard not to feel like I’m screaming into a void. I drop words into the internet and I have no idea what happens to them, who reads them. I don’t see the change that I’m trying to inspire. And I don’t need to. I know it’s in the Lord’s hands and that’s all that matters. I don’t need to see the results. It’s easy to feel under qualified.
But I’ve learned something this week.
It’s weird, but people don’t often need to hear something new. You don’t need to come up with profound things to change the world. People need to be reminded of truth, to be encouraged over and over again. And it is often something that they’ve heard before, but have forgotten.
We can only hold so much in our brains and hearts at once, and it is easy to get distracted from truth when we’re faced with problems at school or work, a complicated relationship, a discouraging situation. I’m noticing that when it comes to good things, good memories, good thoughts, they kind of go in one ear and out the other. It is so easy for us to forget truth about ourselves and the world, and the Enemy makes it his business to make us do so.
I’m learning that this whole business of changing things is reminding people of true things about themselves and the world. So, I have now made it my business to remind.
So here are a few reminders for your day. Here are things that we often forget. And some of you might roll your eyes at the cliche-ness of some of these. But think about it. cliches became cliches for a reason. Because they are things that people have said often. They have just lost meaning with frequency. So, I hope that these reminders stay in your brain for at least today, and hopefully longer.
1. YOU ARE SO LOVED
I think that if we remembered that we’re constantly being pursued by an amazing God who died for us, and lived like we don’t have to fight this battle for approval, we would be surprised. No really. You heard me. You are being pursued. Understand how much dignity and worth you have as a human being, created in the image and likeness of God to add something to the world that only you can add. That is such. a. big. deal.
Also, if that weren’t enough, there are plenty of people out there cheering for you.
2. You don’t need to worry about what people think.
You know, it’s weird, you never know what people actually think about you. You just kind of act in a certain way with the presumption that they’re thinking negatively or positively about you. Which makes worrying about it a waste of energy.
Sure, take advice from the people who love you and want what’s best for you. But live bravely, and believe that all will be well. It’s absolutely freeing.
3. You can do GREAT things.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that we believe our thoughts, feelings, and stories are illegitimate merely because they’re ours. I wonder what you could do if you stopped letting self doubt and fear stop you, or if you got out of your own way. Try it.
Of course, “great” doesn’t equate to famous, or grand, or big. It means using your gifts with love, it means letting the Holy Spirit work through you. Compassion is great. Kindness is great. Love is great. Greatness isn’t our own.
You have gifts. Figure out what they are, and figure out how you can love people with them.
4. Just Keep Swimming
Don’t be discouraged, roll up your sleeves, and just keep going. I’ve learned that effort is rarely wasted.
I took Calc I in one semester in my junior year of high school. I drove to a local college every day and sat in a classroom with a bunch of engineering majors that were way smarter than me. Long story short, that class was the hardest thing I’d ever done academically. Not to mention that it is a subject with zero practical application. No one ever uses limits or derivatives in real life. Just saying.
But what I did get out of that semester is a whole new idea of what I can do if I have to. That hard work does pay off. Whatever your Calculus is, just keep going. Don’t let it conquer you.
5. It’s not all as bad as it seems.
Problems will be solved. It’s gonna be okay, even if you had a different version of okay in your head. Take a few deep breaths. (I know, again with the clichés)