They demand so much but leave us conflicted. Most always, they are unhelpful and actually hurtful. And most always.. they leave us feeling empty.
The culture has set burdensome expectations on our shoulders, and we can find ourselves under that pressure. Several recent conversations have left me with this conclusion:
We place so much pressure on ourselves to know. We feel pressured to know who we are, to know exactly what we want, and to know what the rest of our lives will look like.
We do not have it all together. PERIOD. We see on Instagram all these cool pictures of cool people doing cool things, and we compare ourselves and question if we’re cool enough. ‘Could I adopt a hobby like that? Should I become more adventurous? How can I look like that? Do people think I’m boring?’ It goes on and on. It’s exhausting. We place our value on the invaluable. I really don’t add up, and neither does anyone else. I don’t have all the answers I want- like I don’t know what I wanna “be when I grow up” even now as a “grown up”. I don’t have my whole life planned out. I don’t really know “who I am”. I don’t even know if I have a true hobby..! I don’t meet that expectation.
In Christ, we are made F R E E . We are free of the chains and bounds of this earth.
By that I don’t mean we can do whatever the heck we want. Being free means not being weighed down by others’ opinions and the standard we’re trying to reach. I have been set free from enslavement to these things. We have a whole, new, and inherent identity that comes from Christ alone. And we get to thrive in it.
Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
God has given me a new life. He chose me to be His daughter and He adopted me- by nothing I did. Literally nothing: When I look through the lens of this world and my sin instead of through the lens of my new identity, I see dark insecurity and pride in my heart. But with Christ’s work in me, the Bible says that God selected me. “Who I am” is found in Him. It’s not about me being perfect. He loves me and calls me to focus on Him, and take my eyes off of myself. Focusing on Him brings deepest satisfaction and joy.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
My purpose on this earth is to proclaim God’s excellent character; His beauty and light that He is so gracious to share with us. I’m so thankful that He called me out of my darkness. He knocked and I chose to let Him in, by His power. And by His power, I gave up what I wanted for what He wants for me- Himself.
And let me tell you, God is the best gift there is. He has renewed me and promised that He isn’t leaving me. I want what He wants for my life now- whether it’s popularity or not- but not for my own glory. If he decides to make me rich and famous one day, it’s so I can proclaim His excellencies with my words, thoughts, and actions. If He decides to give me just enough to get by, it’s so I can proclaim His excellencies still!
So I’ve realized that it’s okay not to know “who I am” by the world’s standards. It’s okay that I don’t know what I want my job to be. It’s also okay not to meet an unnecessary expectation. Life isn’t even about that. That’s why God says to set my eyes on things above- AKA off of me and up to Him. I’m free to be who God designed for me to be, and I’m excited that He’s making me more and more like her as He grows me up.
I pray that you, reader, will take the step I did and admit that yeah, you don’t have it together either, and you mess up too. Ask Him to take control because you’re tired of trying to do everything perfectly and meet expectations. Believe in Christ and trust that His death on the cross is enough to cover your mistakes. (It is enough- the sinless son of God paid for YOU). Let Him in your life. Grow in faith, love, and understanding by reading His Word, the Bible, and by talking to Him about everything.
It’s about a relationship, not a to-do list. Tell others the decision you made and the freedom from expectations you can have. I pray that The Lord will call you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.
I pray that you, reader, can benefit in some way from hearing God’s truth; that you find freedom and joy. I hope that He revealed some things to you.
May grace and peace cover you while you walk as a new creation in Christ.