God, Goals, Growing, and Glowing
Tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. -Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
These are the words GOD gently spoke to my heart. This year I had become so tired of chasing validation from others I broke down and asked God to take it all away. I was weighted down with what I thought my identity was, “everyone’s hero”. I have always been told I’m strong and people would come to me with their problems, so naturally I would take them on. But when it came to myself, I denied myself to heal and buried my pain so I could be there for others. Just like an Instagram feed, I only showed people the good highlights of my life, but on the inside was broken. I watched years of my life go by and I was living the same cycle in a different year. So I decided to try something different. My GOAL was for God to reveal who I was, not what the world created me to believe I was. And the healing began. I was on my way to Atlanta, GA for the Pinky Promise Conference, exhausted and broken. As I looked out at the clouds from the plane window I felt such peace. It felt like I was walking with God, and my problems were well beneath me. He began to speak to me and told me ATL was going to be my new home, my place of healing, the place where I would find myself. With tears streaming down my face all I could do was say ok.
A week later I got a job offer, and after a few months I found myself in Georgia. The interesting thing was during the weeks leading up to moving, God had started to heal me. I was seeking him and asking questions like why do I have self-esteem issues? My parents started opening up to me sharing some of their most vulnerable sides from their childhood, and it clicked. I had seen it was because I was raised by broken people myself. Not only did it allow me to see the dark places in my heart I didn’t realize I had, it taught me how to pray against generational curses, and love my parents differently, love them like Jesus. I was GROWING. The point is it takes work to clean up the junk that blocks our view from knowing who we are. Part of that is knowing where you come from. It isn’t always going to be easy, but it will be worth it. When we ask God to heal, restore, and reveal He is gentle enough to meet us where we are, but will push us to make us stronger. I’m still learning and seeking my true self, but this move has played a major role in it. At times it is tough to be alone out here and I miss my family a lot but I still have the same peace I had on that plane and am GLOWING. You may not have to move across the country to discover yourself, but God wants you to know you.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention to God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. -Romans 12:2 MSG
Written By: Vanessa Porras @thebackpackmessenger