Complacent Confession

I have a confession. It’s something I’m not proud of. I haven’t failed to be critical of others, but I have come to the conclusion that I’m the one with the problem. I have all these frustrations with our culture. I want to change the world. But, I’m not willing to change myself. I am complacent.

Complacency is defined as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” I’ve found that I’ve settled into the cycle of complacency and it’s something that has snuck up on me. I didn’t realize it’s a problem in my own life until just recently, when I was willing to admit it to myself through self-reflection. It’s something I easily point out in others, but this time I’ve realized that the only direction my finger can point right now is in my direction. It starts with me. So often I think, “Man. I just want people to get this,” or, “Wow, wouldn’t our world be better if everyone did that?” I see all these things I want to change in this world, yet find that I’m unwilling to change myself.

I find that as I sit in church on Sunday mornings, listening to the sermons and thinking to myself, “Okay, this is the week that things will change.” Yet, another week goes by and by the time Sunday comes around again, I realize I didn’t make the changes I was hoping I would. I hadn’t spent more time in prayer, I didn’t read my bible more and I didn’t have many meaningful conversations. I haven’t been willing to put in the work.

So often, I allow excuses override my desire to commit.

I recently read a book by Eugene Cho called Overrated. The main question on the cover asks; Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? I had to sit with this question. It’s challenged me to stop and think about what I’m actually doing. Eugene points out that our generation, according to statistics, shows more desire to make a difference than any other generation. Are we going to be the generation to reach this potential? Or are we an overrated one that is all talk and little to no action?

Through social media and the ability to connect with hundreds and thousands of people, we often think that we are making a larger impact than we actually are. We may retweet an article about injustice or post a Facebook status about how we volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. We do these things thinking it will make a difference. We do these things and feel like we did something good for the world. But is it truly requiring much sacrifice from us? Is it enough to make a difference? Or should we be doing more?

Now, I’m not saying that posting articles about social issues or going out into the community and volunteering is bad. In fact, I encourage those things. However, I believe it’s dangerous to just stop there and accept that as your one and only contribution. When Jesus calls us to follow him, he’s not asking for just something, he’s asking for everything. I’m preaching to myself here too because I’m realizing that there are areas in my life where I need to be sacrificing more. I need to be willing to commit more to God; to purse the passions and gifts that he has given me. I keep claiming the things I need to be doing more of, but then fail to follow through with doing them.

So, here is my confession to settling into this complacent culture. Feel free to hold me accountable to never settling and to pray for me to be motivated to work towards my calling.

Last year, someone prophesied that I was called to be the change this culture needs. God is calling me to step up and that I have a voice. It’s a long story that I will tell another time, but notice the words carefully. I’m called to be the change. Not promote the change, not talk about or write about the change. I need to be the change. It starts with the willingness and commitment to changing myself. So here’s my confession to being complacent and a public commitment to begin changing that.

Unexpected Love

FullSizeRender-1

This past year I’ve been on the pursuit of love. Not a romantic one, but the world’s most intimate one: a love for the Lord.

I remember last year being so bitter towards love and the idea of it. Surrounded by a community that places such a high emphasis on dating and marriage, I felt insignificant and as though I couldn’t be single and happy. My bitterness played a role in my worship as well. I questioned whether or not I could even worship God truthfully because I questioned whether or not I truly loved him. The words I was singing felt like lies and I had to take a large step back from the community in order to find myself and work through my thoughts. I was incapable of loving God because of my struggle to love myself.

I was so broken. I was going through my quarter life crisis. I was 20 and questioning everything. Everything I valued felt like it was being taken away. I had no clear vision as to where I was going. More than willing to drop out of school, I felt a call to missions and felt like I wasn’t living my life to the fullest. I remember sitting with my roommate and ranting to her about how I knew I needed to be doing more with my life, but didn’t know what that was. I was believing lies about myself and she listened to all of it, bless her heart. She was there for me during one of my lowest points. I wanted to just move on but had no Idea how.

My self-worth was so low that I felt like my life was not worth living anymore. I remember telling my roommate I didn’t feel capable of being loved. The words she said to me that night, “Halle, that is a lie,” have stuck with me.

Those words, “That is a Lie” have done more for me than I can even begin to explain. I remember just looking at her and having this crazy moment and realizing how right she was. Yet, it was a lie I was believing. That short phrase was the beginning to my freedom. It didn’t happen over night, but that was one of the major turning points in my life. I started doing more self-reflection and going through and pointing out the lies I was believing, and I was believing a lot of them.

I had this journal from that semester filled with some harsh thoughts and lies. I remember looking back through it and pointing out the lies that I was buying into about myself. I decided it was time to stop ignoring these lies and stop letting them have power over me. It is crazy how God was working during that semester. God gave me time to do this necessary reflecting. I was diagnosed with mono and it gave me a lot of free time. That was how I started getting into writing and sharing what God has been teaching me through this blog.

I made the commitment to go a year without dating. I made the commitment to God to remain single until October 1st, 2014. It was time to rethink singleness. Over a year has passed now and, well, I’m still single. But there is a night and day difference between who I am and who I was last year.

I remember praying passionately for God to reveal to me His love. I knew it was there, I just didn’t know it personally. You know? I told God to help me to live my life to the fullest, willing to go wherever He’d send me. God revealed to me that my ministry was here this whole time.

This year He has called me to be a freshmen RA. There’s a lot more to the story, but basically God has been overwhelming me this year with love through these girls. For example, on my birthday my girls surprised me by filling my room with 72 balloons! Each of them had something thoughtful written on it and or hershey kisses inside. I have never felt so loved in my life. I am blessed beyond I deserve and I have had nights where I fall asleep with tears of joy because I just don’t know what I ever did to deserve any of it. God has not only blessed me with an awesome floor of girls, but also a great RA staff, teammates, professors and friends. He has revealed to me that there is value in every day and in these relationships. I am experiencing a freedom and joy in my life that I have never experienced before.

My bitterness toward love was a personal bitterness I held because I didn’t know how to love myself. I didn’t see any value in who I was and I felt like I was failing everyone, especially God. I felt like he was calling me to do big things, yet I felt like I wasn’t doing anything significant. That was a lie. I wasn’t failing anyone. It was a time in my life where God was calling me to be still.

I am still always processing this past year, but one thing that has been clear to me is that God is showing me love in unexpected ways. I’ve been having a hard time accepting all these blessings and affirmations because I am still trying to replace these lies I have about myself. It’s a process that takes time, but for the first time in my life I am learning that I am capable of being loved.