Thursday, August 28, 2014

Heart2Heart: It's time to be real...

I feel a sudden urge to be completely raw and upfront here on my blog… partly for myself to just let go, but also, hopefully, to possibly encourage someone out there.
I just came home from another missions trip… we went to Austria and Germany to do childcare for the conference for western European leaders/pastors/missionaries. I love the opportunities I have been able to have while working in the children's ministry at my church. I have been able to fly to different countries to love sweet little babies and kiddos, and it never feels like work.
While I love what I do in the children's ministry, and am incredibly blessed to have a full-time job… I still find myself feeling lost.
(I doubt I'm alone in this feeling…) 
With all the gorgeous, perfect Instagram photos and stunning foodie blogs I read, I find myself feeling really inadequate and basically like a failure - mostly as a certified pastry chef, but also partly as an adult. 
I find it frustrating sometimes, struggling with my own desires to just create gorgeous desserts for this blog… but always falling short in doing so.
I want to do amazing things, but find myself feeling like a constant failure.

Some discouraging thoughts that run through my mind almost on a daily basis:
- I don't have enough money to purchase a decent camera to take beautiful photos….no one is going to want to look at my lame smart phone photos on this blog.
- I rarely get home in time from work to whip up some fancy pastry before the sun sets - losing the natural light that makes photos more aesthetically pleasing… why would anyone want to look at my blog when there are other gorgeous, perfectly aesthetic blogs that make you want to quit your day job and just bake away.
- I'm still #foreveralone (depressing, I know…). I know that somewhere out there is Mister Perfect (for me, anyways), but I am 26 and still without even a hint of potential. I have been single for my whole life - I've never dated or been in relationship-like anything…which is hard, yet wonderful. My heart is wholly in tact, yet desires to be loved. Even in my complete contentment, I still look forward to the day when I meet the one my heart will love for forever.
- I work in an office, which is a constant struggle for my artistic, ever-changing soul… and sometimes, even though I truly love my job, I feel caged in to the mundane eight to five life.
- As an artist, I want to express myself… to explore and experiment. I want to create things that make a person light up. I want to live life creatively and without artistic boundaries. I want to be able to create for a living.
- As a young christian woman, I desire to somehow use my gifts and abilities for Jesus - to bless His heart with what He's blessed me with. Yet I feel like I am always coming up short, that I am not really of any actual use.
- I feel like a failure as a christian continuously…
- I wish I was able to just clearly know what I'm meant to do with my life…

Honestly, the amount of discouragement we can feel in a day (at least in my personal experience), can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting.
Add in the role of social media - which I am just as guilty of using as the next person - and how it can portray the perfection that does not really exist in our lives. Instagram displays the perfection we wish our lives truly were. It hits every perfect angle, smoothed over with the perfect filter, finished with the perfect I-just-thought-of-this-brilliantly-witty caption.
In reality, my life is nowhere near the depiction my photos display on Instagram and Facebook.
Despite knowing this tiny fact in my own life, I still see all the gorgeous posts of people I admire on social media and I find myself feeling like a failure… wondering why their life is perfectly in order - perfect job, a bajillion likes and supportive comments, perfect husband, perfect life - while mine still feels mundane and lacking.

Depressing thoughts, huh? 
Well… these thoughts and discouragement try to bring me down on a daily basis, and while I sometimes succumb to them, I find myself constantly clinging to the goodness of Jesus.
I may be a late-bloomer in figuring out my life, but I am serving the King of the universe right now. I am sporadic and filled with many different desires that constantly want to pull me in various directions, but the consistency I find in my Jesus calms my heart and anchors me to His will.
I may not be succeeding or winning according to the world's standards, but I am right where Jesus has called me to be for now, and that is enough - I am succeeding in His eyes.
I may feel desire-less from time to time, unloveable… but then I remember God desired me enough to send His Son to die for me. He loves me more than anyone in this world could even attempt to love me.
I feel like a wandering soul, unsure of my future… but Jesus reminds me that my life is in His hands, and He has the most beautiful, amazing life set for me… I just need to take it one day at a time.

So, if you're feeling lame or like a failure today - whether you believe in Him or not - Jesus finds you to be beautiful, amazing, and loves you more than you can imagine. You are something extraordinary. You are more than enough. You are amazing. You are fierce and lovely. If discouragement is trying to weigh you down today, just remind yourself that you are a beautiful masterpiece - someone created you with a purpose, and He sees you as stunningly beautiful.