“It’s Not About You”
Updated: Jun 1
Sometimes life hurts.
We all have our share of disappointments.
We can feel wronged, betrayed, abandoned, alone, insignificant...
There's the loss and grief that feels as if it will never end.
We can begin to lose hope as our strength fades against the weight of the burdens we're trying to carry. Overwhelmed, we begin to wonder how we ended up here. It wasn't suppose to be like this. We realize we bought the lie that if we did things a certain way, we'd be fine. And now, here we are, tired and disillusioned with it all.
There was a year, an incredibly difficult year, that I felt as though my life had been flipped upside down, shaken, stirred and was being served with an extra helping of chaos. Our family seemed to roll from one crisis into another for 11 straight months. It was one of those seasons in life that drained every inch of my being. I hadn't fully understood the meaning of “waiting for the other shoe to drop" until that tumultuous year. And by the way, it's a horrible feeling. I could never figure out who was holding all the shoes and it felt more like they were being hurled at my head.
It all happened so fast. The rug had been yanked out from under me. That beautiful rug I had spent so many years weaving together that brought me comfort and a sense of purpose and stability. It all seemed to unravel in an instant as I was sent careening into the air. I felt like that cartoon character that gets sent flying and eventually lands in a heap on the ground, dazed and confused. The only difference is that in cartoons it doesn’t hurt - and this hurt. It hurt a lot.
I had no idea this was the beginning of months filled with heart ache, confusion, fear, betrayal, hurt, anger, incredible loss, grief, sleepless nights and nonstop days that left me mentally, emotionally and spiritually depleted. I stumbled from concern to confusion, limped through a valley of loss and grief, only to be buried in a landslide of exhaustion. By the end of the year, I was waving my white flag high. I was done.
At some point in the middle of it all, I remember being in my bedroom crying, asking God quite ardently, “Why?!” I had done everything I knew to do. I was living for HIM. I was serving HIM. Why was He allowing all of this to happen? It wasn't suppose to be this way. My life wasn't suppose to be the one falling apart like this.
I will never forget His response. It echoed through my mind in that not so still or small voice... “IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.”
Those words shot straight through the depths of my emotional storm like a lightening bolt and hit my heart with a force that resonated through my entire being. It changed my perspective in an instant. I remember responding out loud through my sobs, "You're right. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for making it about me. It’s about Jesus. It's all about Him."
This change in perspective calmed the storm that had been raging in my heart. It didn’t take away the ocean of uncertainty that had replaced that beautiful rug I had spent so many years weaving together, but it opened my eyes to the reality that my current circumstances did nothing to change the reason I'm here. My circumstances shouldn't even change the reason I wake up every morning. In fact, if I woke up for any other reason than living for Jesus, whatever I was waking up for had already been placed before Him. Boy did I have some idols to remove from my heart that day.
The things that were going on in my life, whether good, bad, ugly or downright devastating, didn't make any part of my day any less about Him. He was still on the throne and He still wanted to use me for His glory. And truth be told, even though it was by far the most trying year of my life to date, there were blessings woven through it all. There were days that I stood in awe of what God had done and was doing - in my life and the lives of others. He always knew right when I needed Him most and He would give me those glimpses of His glory and His grace. So much grace.
In our fallen state, it will always be our tendency to focus on ourself. When we find our attention shifting away from Jesus to the waves crashing around us, we must refocus our eyes on Him or we will begin to sink, just as Peter did. When that sad music at the beginning of our personal pity party begins to play, it's time to remind ourselves that it's not about us - this life we live is about Jesus. Yell it out loud if you need to! Let it resonate through your heart and mind.
"This is not about me! It's about Jesus!"
What you're going through may have your life flipped upside down, shaken and stirred, but I can assure you that His plan and purpose for you has not changed. You are still God's handiwork, His beautiful creation in Christ Jesus - placed where you are at this moment in time to accomplish the work He prepared for you before you took your first breath. He sees you. He knows right where you are.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (CSB)
What if all that you're going through has more to do with what He's doing in someone else's life than your own? He comforts us, so that we are able to comfort others. We are called to be His hands and feet to this lost and dying world around us - even in the midst of less than optimal circumstances. And that's usually when He does His best work!
Let's shift our focus to those around us.
Let's show this world who gives us strength to perservere.
Let's show this world who gives us hope to carry on.
Let's show this world peace that passes all understanding.
Even in the midst of the storms of this life, let's show the world who gives us His ability to rise above the crashing waves, unhindered.
Lord, thank you for your mercy and grace - for your perfect love that comforts me so that I am able to comfort others and be a testimony of your grace and mercy. I know that no matter what comes my way, you are able to provide all that I need to rise above the waves of my circumstances and be a testimony for You in the lives of those around me. Please forgive me for making it about me. This life I live is no longer mine, it belongs to you! In Jesus name, Amen.