It is funny, in a very unfunny way.
I have spent a lifetime trying to figure out how to be “something.”
In school, I can remember longing to be the gal that seemed to look amazing, do amazing talented things, and yet somehow, not care either way!
I cared deeply.
All the time.
And I never quite felt I had it together, never achieved “amazing.”
As the years moved on, the desire to be “something” deepened.
I know in theory, we are supposed to grow past that; to reach this elusive stage in life called “contentment.”
I see women like that on occasion, who just seem comfortable being themselves. Usually, they are beautiful and successful, though, so I am not sure they count.
Actually, I am not sure that I count.
I am not sure I ever have. Not in the way that I longed to.
I have spent a lifetime measuring myself and declaring myself lacking, not meeting the goal.
Its sad, I know.
And pathetic, I know that too.
But also, I wonder–can you relate?
Move even further ahead and even deeper into my years, and you will see a growing faith, a shift in churches and close connection with women within those circles. This should have, in theory, helped. This should have made it easier to know that I was worthy, just as I was. And it is true.
As far as it relates to how God sees me.
But I am not God, and so my longing to be something, to be something amazing – or even just worthy and purposeful – continued.
In the church world we tend to substitute all those other words, for new words like “calling” and “gifting” and suddenly, what was a longing to be worthy, successful and amazing, becomes a longing to be gifted at something, at my calling (if I could ever figure it out).
My working knowledge of church-speak means that I realize that the Godly thing to do here would be to tell you that I found fulfilment and purpose in being a wife.
Um, marriage is fine and all, but.. no.
Or that I realized I was called to be a mom. Wellll.. I love my kids more than my own life, I think they are, in fact, amazing and full of potential, but no – I don’t realize full contentment there either.
(Being a mom has been largely realizing that I was fairly good at doing laundry and could change a diaper on a toddler as they actively ran down a hallway to escape my ministrations.)
And I wish I could claim that one day God broke in and said “Skye, you are these 5 purpose laden things____ and your calling is _____ and you are totally gifted at it! Now go, be amazing!” and that I skipped off, amazingly. Didn’t happen.
I still long for it.
Most days I feel like I am a whole bunch of mediocre things, and nothing particularly wonderful. Ever have that going on?
Not really negative self-talk, just..eh.
-I am ok at work, mostly because I work hard, not because I am particularly good at anything.
-I am an ok wife, but I work a lot (see above) and could certainly be more present and cook dinner more often.
-I am not a terrible mom, I love them well, but I don’t always get super excited over school projects or band concerts.
-I can carry a tune, but suffer from debilitating stage fright.
-I can draw, but no one will be offering me an art scholarship anytime soon.
Things above the par?
-When I love people, I love with my whole heart.
-And I can write. That I can do. But even in this, I fail myself. I doubt. I erase more than I publish. I edit things in the name of “polishing” and leave out the authentic parts of my heart, but then what’s left isn’t always very good.
Recently, I seemed to have found a place where my writing could possibly have some use, a purpose. In January, we became a military family. I am now an Army Mom (Hooah!) and I began to channel my fear, worry, pride and love around that, into words. Words that touched the hearts of other military families across the country. Words that seemed to pour out of me, based on things I haven’t even experienced yet. Words that others tell me expressed feelings they hadn’t found a way to express before.
And do you know what I did?
I tried not to write as much. Or as often. About the military.
Why?? You ask.
I was fearful that people would judge me. That those who knew me would think “ok ‘Army Mom’ now you know all about that? Now you are going to write just about military stuff?”
A friend said to me “Are you insane?” (truthful friends are pretty awesome) “God is using you to speak to hearts. To put words to emotions and allow expression where there wasn’t a way!”
So – – is that purpose? Is that my something? A gifting?
I wish I could tell you that I am about to wrap this post up, all neat with a little bow, but I can’t.
Because I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a calling or a gift. I think its just words from my heart, which is always in a state of worry for my soldier. I think it’s “write-or-cry” survival. I think it’s prayers for others, as God reveals their hearts and pain to me. And me writing..and writing..and writing. I believe it could be that I was made to do that.
I believe I may be useful to speak to, for and with a community of military families.
I believe I may be speaking at a time when our nation feels like it is walking a ridgeline, one overlooking a valley of war.
Maybe it’s true.
What I know to be true is that a million government programs can never do for our military what a million praying Americans can.
And That maybe what I’ve looked for my whole life hasn’t been found because it doesn’t exist: a life’s calling and purpose.
Maybe what exists is potential, timing, and God. Maybe all we need to do is hand over our potential, in God’s timing and trust He will use us for amazing things.
Love to all,