Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's Not About Me

It's not about me.

That's what has been popping into my head a lot lately when people ask me questions about how I deal with being sick, why I don't get more frustrated, why I don't complain more or why I'm not angry about my situation.

We all want life to be fair. We want goodness to prevail and hard work to mean that life will be easier and ... that green grass on the other side of the fence that belongs to the people who don't appreciate it? We'd like that to be transplanted into the lawn of the person who spends all day feeding and watering the sparse looking grass in hopes of a fruitful harvest.

But all of that is "me" thinking... and it's not about me.

The plain and simple truth, if we take big lessons in life and strip them down to the bare essentials, is that we are tiny blips on a very big screen. Only God has the capacity to see all of it. He saw all that came before us and sees all that will come after us, and only He can know the role that each of us can play that will best serve Him and each other.

So, my life isn't ideal by our standards. By my standards, it's getting less ideal by the year. That whole living in pain thing? I could do without it. The getting sick thing? Gets old really fast. The never leaving the house thing? I could think of some fun places to go. I miss fresh air. I miss singing at church. I miss dancing until I'm out of breath and riding in a boat so fast if you close your eyes you think you're flying.

But it's not about me. It's about what He can do with my life. I have learned a lot about myself, my faith, my perspective. But that doesn't mean I was given this illness to teach me something. For all I know, God saw this illness was going to be in my body and helped nurture me so that I could use it to affect someone else. And as much as I would like this disease to be gone when I wake up in the morning, if it serves a purpose for another person to see their life or relationship with God in a new light, then I wouldn't ask for it to be taken from me.

Because it's not about me. Nothing about my life is about me... it's about who He needs me to be.

And how can I complain about that?

Oh, complaining can come so easily for all of us... your small house, your flat tire, the promotion that should have been yours and the grass that grows so fast you don't have the time to mow it...

But what if the small house is so you are next to a neighbor who needs your help when her husband dies? Or your tire went flat when you were driving so it didn't happen when your teenage son was driving and he wouldn't have known what to do? Maybe the promotion would have been a dead end for you and next year a better opportunity will be waiting. And that lawn? Maybe it's the only exercise you do each week and is saving you from a heart attack.

The point is, you don't know. I don't know. But it's not about me. It's about how He can use my life... so as far as I'm concerned, even those things that make me want to pull my hair out and scream "Why me?!?" are blessings in disguise. Blessings for me, or for someone else, or for a reason I can't even imagine.

But it doesn't really matter. Because it's not about me.

25 comments:

  1. I'm going to make this my mantra...it's not about me.
    Thank you~smooches...

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  2. You are so right!!! When Abby's life was saved at birth by a wonderful Dr. I asked her how I could thank her. Her response was..."you can give Thanks and praise to God because I am only doing his Will...it's not about me it's about God." I give thanks and praise to God and I, too, remember that it's not about me!!!

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  3. Thanks Sara - another post for my fridge! Hugs to you and Riley.

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  4. I'm rendered speechless yet again. So deeply moved. Learning SO much. Purposeful. Powerful.

    I feel as though you could just put my name at the top and this could be a letter written to me. Each time I think I've got it... I find myself right back at the beginning with the next thing you deliver.

    I am grateful for whatever it is that moves you to share your heart in this way, every day!

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  5. Wow!! That post is absoultey amazing and so true for so many of us. You really got me thinking about how I treat and live each and every day!

    What a blessing you are to so many!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It means so much and brings such a big sense of reality back into my life.

    Love ya,
    Jess :)

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  6. I came across your blog through Bring on the Rain. I love how you write with such honesty. Thank you for being so willing to talk about how you really feel. It is evident God is working in you. By the way, I LOVE your canvases. The quotes are awesome- and true, and you are so creative. Next time you give them away, I hope I'm aware of it. Keep up the great work!!

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  7. Truer words are rarely ever spoken. You've hit the nail on the head...again!

    I think John Piper says (I think it's him), "We're not the point."

    Amen. It's about Him.

    Thanks, Gitz!

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  8. Sara, I'm taking a quote off of my Mary Engelbreit calendar from yesterday, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart.....

    "How kind you were to open the Gates of Heaven and give me that little glimpse of Paradise."

    !!!
    Laura

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  9. Thank you! I spent a majority of my time at mass on Sunday, praying for God to help me remember to be thankful for all things, and to keep me away from the temptation of feeling discontentment with my life. His answer was just delivered to me, via your post. You certainly are a messenger when I need it most. How else can I explain why I even found and started reading your blog? Okay, okay, it was because of your picture of Riley that comes up when you post comments on other people's sites ... maybe Riley is a prophet too : )

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  10. AMEN and yeah verily, verily. Well said! This is the bottom line truth. I say this all the time. It's not about me! It's all about Him! Although, that doesn't mean I always get it right :) That's part of the journey. There is no life without Him. ZoeGirl sings a song "About You" that says the same thing and John said it in John 3:30, "He MUST become greater; I MUST become less."

    Well said sweet friend!

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  11. I'm convinced I stumbled into a less than ideal career three years ago to meet Angela and become her friend. And now, looking back, I'm more thankful than ever to be in a place that I struggled against for so long.

    Such a true post.

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  12. Thank you....just...thank you. This has touched me more than you can ever know.
    And I received the canvas (that I won) here. I am finding my silver lining...every day!
    Hugs Beth

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  13. thanks, all of you peeps, for always being so kind in the comments; I appreciate the conversations.

    @brent: thanks for asking the questions that made me write it :)

    @leslie: what a cool doctor; Abby's such a doll and I'm glad she was in the right hands

    @denise: riley is the reason my friends' kids want to come visit too... I'm used to him being more popular :)

    @liz: great perspective; Angela was so blessed to have you too

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  14. Every day I am more amazed at God's power to speak through you. Thank you for blessing me with your words.

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  15. well said and so hard to remember. i think we all suffer from myopic vision and me-itis all the time. thanks for the reminder.

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  16. oh how timely this is...I received an email yesterday from a friend saying how she thought my life was perfect and how her mom was more proud of me than her. I echoed your post without even knowing it. I think God uses everything for His glory and if we don't know why things happen to us...then we should just accept that it's simply that, for His glory. He wants us to give him praise through every thing! Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Right on sista'. I appreciate you saying this, b/c it is never about us, no matter how many times we get pulled in that direction. We are just broken, mismatched, repaired vessels. I get it. I understand that your life isn't better or worse than anyone else's, it is just yours. God gives us all different things to deal with...my story is much like yours, in an eerie way. But, disease does not make nor define you. I, like you, choose joy. This does not always translate into happiness. However, there is a peace that comes with joy, and the gift that it isn't about me, I'm just part of the love story. It is SOOOOO much bigger, and that's where we should plant ourselves.

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  18. i dig your point about fairness. what is fairness? our lives are not about us. you've made some incredible points. Thanks for blogging your crazy adventure. God bless you for doing what ya do.

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  19. Thank you...you have such a blessed way with your words (God's words!) This one really spoke to me. God Bless you.

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  20. Wow! I am not sure how I found your site; however, it has spoken to my heart. In 2002, days after I was married, I was involved in a car wreck that changed my life. I spent years (plural) mad, angry, sad,in pain, and every emotion you can imagine. I finally gave up my anger and have experienced many levels of healing. I still have hard days and get frustrated so I will need to spend some time here on your blog.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Amanda

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