Congratulations, double exclamation point, smiley face, parenthesis, hugs, parenthesis. I type the fraud through tears. Flooded with drops of not good enough, my eyes leak what the heart overflows. Her success feels like my failure, a cruel reminder of the position I’m not in, the place I’d like to be. I've been really tempted to quit lately, and this just serves to reinforce those feelings. I'm tired, no one cares anyway, it won't really matter, someone else can do it. I rehearse those lines almost daily.
Why does he always do that—turn someone else’s joy into a sorrow all my own, make me feel so tired I can't see the truth? I’m genuinely happy for her—she’s worked hard and is so talented—she deserves all this and much more. My work isn't the same as hers. It's for a different group, for a different purpose, but just as needed. But within the span of mere seconds he’s crept in, reverting me back to the fourth grader who sucked at long division, the seventh grader gangly and awkward, the high schooler ever-seeking, never-finding, the graduate student desperately trying to prove herself.
He wants to create competition from camaraderie, to make things that have nothing to do with me all about me by designing perceived divisions. He wants me to give up, to lose focus on the goal, to feel that what I do isn't important or needed. That’s what Satan does—he alters perception, warps reflection, amplifies inadequacy. He wants me to see my lack through her abundance, my can’t through her can, my exhaustion through her finish line. He tries to divert my attention by getting me to focus on my current location rather than my destination.
But now I understand. Satan may try to stop me temporarily, but only I can do it permanently.
I’m not where I’m going to be. It’s my time to be faithful in the little things, to trudge on when it goes without notice. God has a plan, but it won’t come to pass the way it’s supposed to without my cooperation.
Plans require work, partnership. They require trust and patience and courage. God cannot work His plan for you without your consent and participation. The plan’s success is dependent on you—He will never force anything on you—even victory.
What about you—will you believe the lie that because you’re not in the same place on the journey as someone else that you aren’t doing it right or that what you do isn't important? Don’t believe it. Be encouraged today. Satan wants you to stop. He wants you to think no one cares and that what you do doesn't matter. But remember, quitting is selfish. It limits your impact and potential. Others need you--your story, your words, your example. Your plan isn't just about you; it's also about everyone He's already prepared to see and hear you. If you quit now, how will they know? If you quit now, you could rob them of the only chance they may have to see Him.
It takes perseverance and determination, but in the end, your faithfulness will be rewarded. Don’t let Satan convince you to quit. Remember why you started in the first place. If you need a break, take it, but please, never, ever give up. Someone somewhere (someone you may never even know about, someone who may never have the courage to reach out and tell you, someone who is about to let go) needs what God has put in you.
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. – 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)