I recognised recently this thing that I do that needs to stop.
It’s called self-deprecating and I didn’t really even know I’d been doing it.
See, I finished university last Thursday.
Like, completely and utterly finished the double degree I’ve been working at finishing circa 2013.
My friends and my husband and my kids have watched me dedicate myself to finishing, watched me complete my final two years full time, watched me juggle study with family, with ministry, with life.
And they’re proud. Because I am surrounded by friends who get proud when their friends achieve things. They’re so proud.
In all the congratulatory messages and love and gifts (seriously, gifts, I have amazing friends!), I’ve shown gratitude. And yes, there was part of me that was relieved and proud.
However the one stand-out thought that just kept rising above the others was, yeah but so what?
I don’t even have a job yet.
Hang on a second.
After few days it dawned on me.
I’d just achieved something.
Actually achieved something measurable, and tangible.
I finished a university degree, with a double major, full time, while raising children and being married and living life… yet all I could see was what’s missing, what’s lacking and what’s broken in my world.
There was something wrong with my perspective.
And upon reflecting these last few days I’ve realised that it’s this self-deprecating thing that I do, that I’ve always done, is because in my mind nothing ever measures up to the standard I have, or compares with what someone else is doing. Always the thought, yeah it’s okay, but have you seen what they’ve achieved?! Have you seen how amazing their life is?
So I decided to take a different look.
I looked at my life as if it was someone else’s for a moment, and I saw it so differently…
Wow. She just finished university, and she walked that journey with so much grace and courage and determination. She didn’t quit when it got hard, and she persevered and managed her time like a freakin’ boss!
Not only that, but you know, she’s been leading the women’s ministry at her church as a volunteer for four years. She hasn’t made excuses for her lack of qualification, or skills, she just let her passion to see women living their best life drive her to run events, and expand vision, and shared her heart for Jesus.
Did you know she even preached the Sunday sermon back to back at both morning services at church on Mother’s Day? What you might not know is that in between services she cried and didn’t want to get back up there again, in front of the entire congregation, but she pulled up her big girl undies and did it anyway!
Did you know that she’s been editing books for people on the side this year?
Not only that but she just last month was approached to edit an amazing book and is getting paid to do it?!
Not only that, but she’s grown so much in her photography that she’s shot FIVE weddings this year! As in, been asked to be the photographer. I’m not even kidding.
That girl, the one I’ve just written about.
She’s actually pretty incredible.
She’s freaking out about the next season, she’s wondering where God is in it all, she’s still hoping and waiting for the right job (but, when you see her, please tell her to calm her farm, she’s only been finished uni for 5 days).
But she needs to stop playing down her accomplishments and start owning all she is, and all she’s becoming.
I think we all do.
There will always be that which is missing, or lacking, or broken.
The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! *
We need to be standing on tiptoe – maybe that’s what it takes to be able to see the good, or the achievements amidst what is hard, or stretching. But do it, stand on tiptoe; to see your own growth, achievements, met-goals, and also to cheer on the people in your circle.
Watch them be unveiled, and celebrate their successes, even while you wait for your own.
* Romans 8:19