Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Goal is Not to Be

Some time ago, I struggled through a difficult phase - specifically in regards to relationships - in which I was forced to come face-to-face with a hard, Henry-Higgins reality: the world didn't need me to spin. Pathetic and humiliating as it is to admit, this was a bitter pill for me to swallow. I wanted to be wanted. I craved appreciation. I desired to be needed and valued.

While there may be nothing wrong in these yearnings, seeking their fulfillment in people is not only a symptom of messed-up priorities, but a danger. What energies will be sacrificed in fulfilling tasks to be appreciated by ___? What must I do, or who must I become, to be wanted by ___? The valuing of these perceptions quickly and silently cold-shoulders the most precious thing we can seek - Christ's approval - and leaves us, the ones for whom Christ died, feeling worthless and rejected. I had reached that point.

And yet, even as I realized this, even as I bowed in tears one night, acknowledging my misplaced priorities, even as I promised to give them up, and begged for strength, even as I knew that this was not who I wished to be - it hurt. Hurt that I wasn't this list of things to the people I knew. Hurt that, beyond not being needed, life would continue just as cheerily without me. Hurt that, apart from God, I was worth less than dirt.

The truth cuts deeply at times.

But truth is also the no-fail "bustin' outta here" plan for spirits held captive in cramped cells of darkness, depression, and rejection.

So, to see the truth, I wrote. Carefully, painfully, I noted each and every "what-I-want-to-be" desire, and then went back over them, prayerfully considering what God's approach to each of these qualities would be. Some wishes were more frivolous than others, but the overwhelming lesson I learned from that evening was that each of my yearnings were simply cheap versions of the plans God has for my life. He had placed the desires there, I had simply warped them. He had given me goals, and I had misapplied them. He alone valued me, even though He alone saw how little I, on my own,  was worth.

This list is a reminder of that night-gone-by, but it is also an encouragement for all the times to come.

~ My goal is not to be loved, but to love selflessly and unconditionally.
~ My goal is not to be needed, but to notice and meet the needs of others.
~ My goal is not to be appreciated, but to encourage others by being appreciative of them.
~ My goal is not to be known, but to know God and His calling upon my life.
~ My goal is not to be successful, but to 'lead a quiet life...that {I} may walk properly..."
~ My goal is not to be wanted, but to have such a relationship with my Savior as to want nothing else.
~ My goal is not to be accomplished, but to die to self and experience the unsurpassable joy of seeing God accomplish much more through me.
~ My goal is not to be beautiful, but to daily seek and behold the beauty of the LORD.
~ My goal is not to be knowledgeable, but to listen quietly and learn from the knowledge of others.
~ My goal is not to be popular, but to stand alone: quietly, contentedly, and fearlessly.
~ My goal is not to be stylish, but to lead a lifestyle defined by a deep relationship with God.
~ My goal is not to be funny, but to laugh daily with the joy of the LORD.
~ My goal is not to be athletic, but to run the great race of my spirit, tirelessly.
~ My goal is not to be strong, but to glory in weaknesses.
~ My goal is not to be right, but to be confident in Jesus' righteousness.
~ My goal is not to be competent, but to have a confidence in my Leader.
~ My goal is not to be memorable, but to be one who remembers the forgotten.

My goal is not to be me, but Christ's servant. Only in loosing the desire to make our own names will we be able to find our real identities.

May our goal be Christ, today and always.



{Kaytra} said...

Oh Sarah, you have had such an impact on my life for good, i don't think you will ever know how much. That list is beautiful, and is something to hang on the most seen wall in the house. Thank you for wanting these things, and seeking them with all your heart. <3 Kaych

Lauren said...

This is exactly what I have been learning lately as well! Those nights of realization are so difficult, but I'm so glad our Father is faithful enough to show us those things. You encourage me every day in your fearless love for what is right!
Love, Lauren

Mikaela said...

What a profound list! I am going to have to seek out how I have substituted my cheap version of God's plan in my own life!

And, my dear, I must respectfully disagree with you here: "Hurt that, apart from God, I was worth less than dirt." For you are made in God's image, which gives you intrinsic, priceless worth--far away and above the worth of dirt. I'm so grateful to have you as my precious friend!