Wins & Worth

Wins & Worth

In the last few weeks I had to cancel two events, messed up a contract so that we lost money on an event, and had to restructure an event to cater to my feelings of complete overwhelmedness. I have had to tell women I deeply believe in “no” or “wait” or “we can only do this, not that”, and I hate every time I can’t give my full self and our full resources to a woman. I have sat in a bank lobby in sweats, looking more like a college student than an Executive Director, trying to change our name from Mended to Rise, only to find myself trying to not yell at perfect strangers while asking people I have never met before how to do my job.

And all of that makes it so difficult to see the many things I have done right in the last few months.

I don’t know what a millstone around my neck would feel like, but this fall there has been something heavy pulling me down. A weight of shame, failure and imposter syndrome that has me battling to live in and out of my true self rather than my ego. This heaviness has circled around my professional life in particular. The waves of shame and failure and self-doubt have been steady as I lead this community.

My love of perfection and success is no secret. I am ambitious and talented. I am good at many things, and I relish being good at those things. I am used to winning, not because I haven’t struggled, but because I spent most of my life defining myself by my wins and missing the eternal value of the losses.

For me personally, I would say the losses have outweighed the wins this fall at Rise, and my false self, my personality, my ego doesn’t know what to do with that besides blame, shame and doubt myself. The grace I so easily extend to others has gone missing when my own heart needs it most.

I feel like I lost myself a bit this fall. A little run over by others, a little scattered and disorganized myself. I lacked intentionality and vision as I came out of the summer, which made room for everything besides the the Spirit to direct my time, purpose, energy and plans.

In the same breath I feel like I have begun to find myself again in these last few months. God is doing a new thing in me. He is drawing me back to him, not in the old tired-out ways but in fresh, different, genuine ways that my heart has been desperately waiting for. My new apartment, neighborhood and church are breathing life into my tired bones and reminding me of the character of the God whom my heart loves more than anything else.

The juxtaposition of my professional losing and personal finding leaves me disoriented. While my true self is beginning to flourish, this season has seen my ego severely pruned, if not chopped down all together. This is, of course, what I want. I want to lean into who God made me to be. I want to mean it when I say that God, and not my work for God, defines me. But also I want to be liked and revered. I want people to be amazed at the work I do. I want to be a successful writer, speaker and non-profit director.

I want to win, and it is hard to disconnect both the wins and losses from my personhood, from my true self. But I am hoping that practice makes perfect, or at least very good. I am confident that each time I fail and refuse to let the loss define me I take back ground the enemy thought was his. On the flip side, I will keep celebrating the wins while simultaneously reminding myself that my worth is rooted in one thing: the surpassing worth of knowing and being known by Jesus.

Photo by Bronwyn on Unsplash

There is No Arrival

There is No Arrival