Connect with us

Articles

Who You Are Meant to Be is Who You Already Are

Are you struggling with the question “Who am I meant to be?” If so, here are 3 things for you to consider.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

I always tell me husband he fell in love with me before I knew myself. Then I tell him he should be grateful I found myself.

Those years between the marrying and the finding? They got a little ugly.

I’m not saying my husband has never doubted himself, because he surely has. Neither am I saying he never doubted his work, because he sometimes did. But he never wavered in the confidence that he could make things happen. Instead he just charged ahead through insecurities and unknowns and pretended like he was made for it and that he knew what he was doing. And I’m telling you, it worked for him. Everything he touched was successful.

And I watched and wondered why I was paralyzed.

It wasn’t that I didn’t try new things — I did. I tried everything in fact. I majored in biology, and then nursing, and economics, and back to nursing, Spanish, business, and English before I finally just stopped. I felt like a girl in a dressing room with all the wrong size clothes. Nothing fit and the reflection in the mirror was a little too brightly lit. I didn’t love who I saw.

And so I call this stage of my life purposelessness. And let me tell you purposelessness is death while living. I also call it my 20’s. So there’s that right of passage stuff, too.

But what are your options if you find yourself hunkered down under the covers afraid to face another day because you have nothing to accomplish that feels like a life’s work?

You could just keep sleeping and document the years and decades as an individual scientific study aimed at answering the question: Does more time in bed slow the aging process? Or you can do the hard work of getting to know yourself.

I have met one-on-one with more women who, when asked the question, “What makes you come alive?” are silent. And I want to wrap them in a hug and whisper something in their ear, give them the answer, and help them cheat on the test, because I know that silence isn’t really silent at all. It’s the heart crying out, “Why am I here? Am I good at nothing? Will my life matter when it’s over?”

I know there are entire books on this topic, but I want to suggest some simple starting points; some “one-foot-in-front-of-the-other” ideas for those of us who are tired of standing in this same spot, looking at every single fork in the road and wondering, “Is this our path? Maybe I’m supposed to walk this one?” I wasted years taking paths that don’t belong to me. What I wish I would have done sooner is this:

1. Know Your Roots

I want my children to know their roots; where they come from. I want them to know the story of their dad and I and our love — the love that brought them into our family. I want them to know the ugly parts, too, so that they can see how far we’ve come as a family. I am convinced that these roots, this knowledge of their origin, will create a deep tap root so that they can grow strong and tall and confident. No storm can blow them over. This same biological idea applies to our spiritual rootedness, too.

The first step in finding purpose is to find your roots. Knowing God is knowing your life wasn’t random or meaningless, it’s knowing your Creator — your origin. So many of us have owned scriptures since childhood but aren’t sure how to read them to hear God speak. Yet this is the starting place. Intimacy with God. Knowledge of His anticipation for your life. Grab someone who can teach you to read and internalize what His Word says and soak it up. This is where we find meaning.

2. Make Peace with Your Story

My husband swears his story is boring, but I love it. It gives me hope for my kids. I swear my story is disgusting, yet I share it because it gives me hope I’m not alone.

Most of us have pain in our yesterdays. Relationships that are broken. Hurtful words that are stuck on repeat. Poor choices that left a layer of dirt on our souls.But these stories of ours are essential to our purpose. God’s kingdom was green before it was cool because nothing is wasted. Not one tear. Not one hurt. Not one abuse. Nothing is wasted.

So, while I know it’s terrifying, do the hard work of making peace with your story. And not just peace so that you can live with it, but such a high level of peace that you know it can be used in the lives of others and you dare to wrap that ugly story up with pretty paper and a bow knowing it will be gift for someone.

3. Cleanse Your To-Be List

How in the heck are you supposed to know what you’re most passionate about if you’re trying on more identities than than a teenager girl tries on dresses for prom? Just stop. Name the identities that are rock solid in your life:

  • Woman
  • Daughter
  • Friend
  • Child of God
  • Mom
  • Wife

Only name solid, unchangeable identities. And then list your favorite parts of these roles.

For example: I love meeting with people one-on-one. Coffee is an integral part of every relationship I have. (Okay, maybe coffee is an addiction, but I think it’s truly part of my purpose.) Teaching my kids creates clean space in my mind — even in the midst of chaos. Being a wife is more about partnering in God’s kingdom than it is about being happy. I feel most in love when we’ve watched God work together. I am not a giver in friendships, I am a listener. I feel like a good friend when I have listened and encouraged. I feel closest to God when I journal or write. I hear Him through His word. I stink at prayers unless they are in ink on a page. I delight in showing others the things He shows me in scripture.

And my list goes on …

This is the person I already am. And from this list comes the woman I’m called to be.

I am a writer and a teacher for others. I use my story in friendships and relationships because I want everyone to know they aren’t alone. I write because I believe company in life matters. I hope my words are the machete that clears the path. And all this is better done with coffee.

Spend time on what you love most about yourself in these relationships. Who did God create you to be? How can you worship Him with your time and resources? What temptations have you fallen into: Are you wasting time waiting, or are you numbing the ache for meaning in ways that leave you feeling empty?

For those of us who are parents: What does it look like to be a mom, but also a child of God? Many moms hide their purposelessness behind the busy demands of parenting. Because we don’t know what our gifts and passions are, we find our purpose in our kids — and while that’ s beautiful devotion, I think it’s rooted in fear — fear that this is the only thing we can do well. Even then we get online and see the bento-box lunch complete with ham roll ups that look like sushi that so-and-so packed for school today and we falter because we aren’t even sure we wrote a check for the hot lunch account and the stupid peanut butter is all gone from last night’s spoonful piled high with chocolate chips. And we are failing and will be failing for the next 18 years.

And what after those 18 years?

Our purpose cannot be our children and our children’s purpose should not be us. When I look at my kids, there is no doubt God has something special for them. So why, when I look in the mirror, would I doubt the same is true for me?

Try these things. Get to know God intimately. Find beauty in your story and offer it to others. We fear we are alone, but when we share our stories we prove that lie wrong. And cleanse your to-be list; reflect upon who you already are.

And stop hiding. The world needs you. Your communities need you. Your neighborhood needs you. Your apartment complex needs you. Your church needs you. Your family needs you. Your presence has unlimited worth. For whoever you are with is one more person who is no longer alone.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

Marian Green resides with her husband and four children. She is an adoptive mom, a pastor's wife, and (once again) a student. She is currently working on a non-fiction project for "bad girls" -- helping women who have lived lives of promiscuity to redefine marital intimacy. In between it all she takes a deep breath and realizes, none of this was what she had planned in life ... and she loves it. Marian blogs at Uprooted and Undone.

1 Comment
  • Hayley

    Just what I needed to read! Thankyou so much :)

Articles

When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Articles

Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Articles

He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Become An Insider!

Enter your email address below to stay in the loop on the latest from Ungrind.

Welcome to Ungrind!



Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

Latest Articles

What Women Are Saying

"The women who contribute to Ungrind are full of wisdom and heart. With stunning images, thoughtful writing, and a simple layout, this is a lovely place to visit and breathe deep."

-- Emily P. Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
COL_TeamUs_BannerAd

Five-Minute-Friday---4

familydevotional

Disclosure

We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.

Trending

Who You Are Meant to Be is Who You Already Are

by Marian Green time to read: 6 min
1