Since the end of January, my son has had a constant ear infection. We have tried all sorts of medicines and remedies, desperate to find him relief. On top of that, my son, my husband, and I have been passing back and forth a respiratory virus and a stomach bug. I’ve barely helped my husband with his work, or kept my house livable. I have missed more church than I have attended this year. My days, weeks, and months have blurred together. Sleep is a special occasion. I have had to cancel tons of plans and appointments. I feel like a frustrated failure. But what I am slowly learning is, it is okay.
It is so hard for me to accept the fact that I can’t do it all. I constantly worry that people are upset with me because I am not fulfilling whatever expectations they may have for me. And do you want to know the stupid part? I worry more about the people around me than the people close to me. I care more about Jane Doe from work or church and what she thinks about me, than I do what my family or close friends do. This has been something that I have struggled with all my life, but now it has to stop. Everyday I have to make the decision to not let the people around me define me.
Each time a situation arises I need to ask myself two questions: Am I doing my best to care for my family and myself? and Is God pleased with my behavior?
If the answer is no, then I need to pinpoint areas where I need to be better. And I am not talking about “I need to keep my house pristine.” I mean working on patience, kindness, encouragement, being helpful, forgiving, and so on.
If the answer is yes, then I need to be okay with who I am and the things that are happening in my life. I have to let the thoughts and opinions of others go. It is pride that keeps me in search of praise and approval from others. So for the health of my family and me – I have to learn to not care. Why let those who know so little about my daily life control my thoughts and emotions? And if the most productive day in a week consists of making a meal and showering and holding my whiny child, that is okay.
It all comes back to how you are defined. Will the words of others define you? Or will the words of God?
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God called me to the life and situations I am in, so if He is pleased with me, then what else matters?