Wednesday, June 4, 2014

{Limitless Life} From Mess To Masterpiece

photo credit

I never really thought of myself as a mess. I thought I had it all together. I think that is worse. When life is going okay - where nothing is really bad but nothing is really great either - is the worse place to be. It is where I have been all my life. I am ordinary. I am normal. I'm nothing special.

I haven't been abused or abandoned. I haven't been addicted to hard drugs or experienced clinical depression. I have family and friends who love me, beyond that not many even know my name. I am not too tall, nor too short. I am not too skinny, nor would I consider myself obese (unless you look at a BMI scale, and even then I'm on the border -- arg). I have done nothing that sets me apart; instead, I've spent my entire life trying to fit in. I've felt like this has been my story. I am simply average. I'm caught in the middle of a mess and a masterpiece. I'm not quite a mess, but I don't feel I am a masterpiece either.

photo credit

The above picture really caught my eye because of the awesome drawing of a person held behind the lines of a paper. Only later did the quote really sink in. It was a perfect find for what was going through my head about my life as a mess. As I said, I never really thought I had a mess, but part of that is because I never thought about it at all. I always considered myself free. That is until I realized how much I let what others think of me dictate who I am. Those faint little lines that society draws was enough to but me behind bars of bondage. This realization was very hard for me. It is a lesson I'm still learning.

This past winter I did the "Breaking Free" Bible study by Beth Moore with a small group of ladies from my church. It was a wonderful study, a little intense, but I am still growing from it even after several months. I would recommend it if you ever get the chance to study it. Anyway, the point is that going into that study, I didn't think I had anything to break free from. I thought I was there to support others who I knew had a rough childhood or other things going on in their lives. I never thought it would pierce my heart so deeply.

It was through this study that I learned what "people-pleasing" really meant and had the realization that I was one. I wish we could have a people-pleasers anonymous with steps and everything. I thought I was free, but I was being held bondage by my unwillingness to say no, my anxiety over conflict, my frustration at constantly holding my opinion for fear of judgement, and my irrational desire to make others see me for who I thought they wanted me to be. I never knew how limited and restrained I actually felt.

photo credit

I feel ordinary and unimportant, but God has a greater perspective. God created me to be His masterpiece. I don't have to stay in this bondage of people-pleasing, God did not create me to be trapped - He created me to be free! Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free!" (John 8:32). I know the truth is that God loves me enough to send His Son to die for my sins (John 3:16). I know that someone who created me to be a masterpiece and loves me that much isn't going to be happy about me settling for a mediocre life.

I have begun to step out of the fear that judgment of others has buried me under. I am still walking towards freedom. But God is beside me every step of the way. I will be strong and courageous because I know my God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9). I'm ready to stop believing I am resigned to be ordinary. I am ready to believe I'm God's masterpiece and do the good things He planned me for long ago.

 ***********************
This article is inspired by a Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries 
while reading Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray.

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

14 comments:

  1. oh great post -- I feel like I am ordinary at times. We seem to put ourselves below the level of feeling important. I love how God is using this study to pull back those layers. I didn't think I could related to this book. I felt normal. but boy, was I wrong.
    I will be following you blog also! Great Family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I agree. When I started this study I wasn't really sure what I was going to get our of it. However, God placed it in front of me at the perfect time! So much has come into perspective. I hope the same continues to happen for you. God bless!

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I can totally relate to you about just being average/normal. I was just thinking this morning, that I don't feel like I am a mess nor a masterpiece, but I do feel that God is making in me in to that masterpiece that fits so well in to this puzzle he has created:)

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And isn't it a beautiful puzzle that He has created !?! God has great plans for you! We are all the main character in our own story and God weaves them all together into a beautiful masterpiece. We are all His masterpieces that fit together into an incredible story -- God's story.

      Delete
  3. Amanda, thank you for sharing today. I understand completely. We're very similar. I agree that there are alot of us out there who really don't think our life is much of a mess but there is always someplace we need to pay attention to, we just may not have found it yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so very true. I am learning again and again that no matter how good I am, I can always be better. Thankfully the Lord is showing me more and more everyday. God bless you!

      Delete
  4. Amanda, I know that I was meant to read your blog today. I am sitting here truly speechless because I seriously could have written this entire blog myself...
    I can't tell you how many times I have thought that I am nothing special. Nothing drastic or dramatic has happened in my life and I've always felt that maybe I am just supposed to be here to help others who have had those hard times.
    I'm a people pleaser too, and it has limited me so much in my interactions, relationships, and who knows what else. I am in tears just seeing these words on the page because this is me and it means there is more. Even though you wrote all of this so eloquently with your words, this is what is in my heart (even though I'm not a writer and could never have said it like you). Thank you for posting this and for touching me today. I'm printing this and keeping it in my book - I have to believe to that God has a masterpiece in my future. I love the quote on the picture at the beginning - I highlighted that BIG in my book because it is so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful response! Writing is my way to make sense of the world, but what I truly love about blogging is finding others who are going through similar times. That connection, knowing that someone else really understands, makes it all just a little easier. I pray God's blessings upon you! And together we can say, "I am God's masterpiece!"

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Amanda :)

      Delete
  5. Amanda, may your readiness to do the good things He has planned be the starting point of you feeling your masterpiece being revealed. May God guide you to take the risk, to stand out, to break through the bondage of societies bars. You are HIS MASTERPIECE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I needed those words! I will repeat them over and over.

      Delete
  6. That was a great post, thanks for sharing, you just echoed my thoughts , I perfectly fit into whatever you have written about yourself. God has been revealing to me too, I am working on it, but still ways to go ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really enjoyed this post, and I'm glad you spoke to the situation many of us find ourselves in--nothing BIG has happened in our lives and we don't feel like we have a special testimony to share. But, nothing could be further from the truth! God finds each of us right where we are and takes our imperfect (even ordinary) selves and makes us BEAUTIFUL!! I loved this :)
    Sandi Brewer, Proverbs 31 OBS Ministry Team

    ReplyDelete
  8. All I can really think to say after this is "me too." :) Recovering people pleaser right there with you.

    ReplyDelete

Let's start a conversation! Like what you read? Let me know! I'd love to hear what inspires you...