At the end of every year I take the last two weeks and go through a process. I pull all of my journals off shelf and read through them all. Its a fun walk down memory lane, but it’s much more than that. It’s reminder after reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life. I am able to read through my prayers and see how God answered them. I am also able to see how I make such big deals out of things that in reality just aren’t. Im a big fan of journaling for this reason alone.
I also spend much time in prayer asking God for my ONE WORD for the upcoming year. I have found that if I try to focus on a long list of things to change, I typically fail. But if I can focus on just one word I can stay focused on the things that fit within that category.
This year my word is BECOMING!
I have spent my entire adult life serving people. Its my passion! Its what I was created to do. But in doing so, its really easy to lose yourself. You try your best to fit the expectations of people. And that expectation changes from person to person. By the end of the day you’ve had 17 cups of coffee with 17 different people who all need 17 different needs. And because I love them all so much… I try to give them all what they need. I go home wide awake from all the coffee. Can’t sleep because Im wired and stressing about how to meet everyones needs. And repeat the same process the next day.
I get months in to this and realize I have only been home to eat dinner with my girls once a week at best, haven’t had a date night in way to long, and completely stressed out of my mind. But I have convinced myself that it’s ok because Im doing it in the name of Christ. I love people. I want to serve them. So I try to be all they need me to be at the expense of myself.
Not because I don’t love people or want to meet their needs. Thats what drives me… It’s simply not sustainable. There is no way I can keep up that pace. If I try, it will come with a price. I simply can’t keep sacrificing my family or my health for the sake of meeting needs. Now that doesn’t mean that Im no longer going to try and care for people. I always will. It does mean that I’m going to begin to take care of myself and my family first. I will then care for others out of the overflow of that.
In all of the serving I have come to the realization that I have lost me! And thats not good.
So this year I am in pursuit of becoming me. Not just Pastor me. I’m going to take time to do things I enjoy. Im going be home more during the week than not. I’m going to tuck my girls in bed at night. I’m going to take on less meetings and spend more time in the gym.
And this will be a process for me. It will require discipline because my instinct is not to focus on me but everyone else. But I want to be able to serve people for a long time. So its time to live a life that I can sustain.
My name is Brandon… And I am becoming me!
What about you? What’s your word? What are you working on?