What to do when you feel small

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My family.

To say that today is a ‘small’ day would be an understatement. It hasn’t been a small day. It hasn’t been a small month even. It has been a small year.

2012…the year everything shrunk.

From the outside looking in, I’m sure it doesn’t appear this way. But in the inner cavities of my little heart the smallness crowds me.

This has been a year where things for those around me seem to have blown up. Their friendships, their finances, their careers, their families, their influence and skills… surged in 2012.

I’ve worked hard, prayed, and done my best. Being overlooked is painful, but I would have preferred it this year. Instead I was seen. Very seen. Weakness and awkward attempts were hidden from no one. I am blessed to be surrounded by support and encouragement, but I just didn’t have moves like Jagger in 2012.

So, reviewing my year I am struggling to get over my sense of smallness. It is a totally self-inflicted viewpoint, I know. I wish I could say that this past year I dealt with this emotion well.

Oh, to say that I prayed and fasted and memorized scripture and served my peers to help them succeed even more.

But I didn’t. Heck no, I didn’t. I pushed as hard as I could. I wrestled with envy and let it win most of the time. I minimized the fruit of people around me. I plotted how to gain more success. I smiled when I didn’t mean it. Maybe even to you.

Embarrassing, right? I know you did stupid things this year too, so I don’t feel totally exposed here.

It seems like most people I have talked to lately are struggling with the same thing. So, what should we do when we feel small?

  • Confess. No, you don’t have to post it on the internet like me. You should tell someone though. Amazing what bringing people in does.
  • Grow. This sounds like the obvious solution, no? Well, I am planning on growing this next year. Not trying to get bigger than my friends, just grow. I want to do a better job this year than last. Period. And the outcome of how large my growth is will be up to God. I’m at peace with that…I think.
  • Realize that bigger isn’t always better. Big towns are better than small towns. Big blogs are better than small blogs. Big churches are better than little churches…or so I tend to think. But, it’s just not true. Bigger isn’t better. There is a purpose in smallness and mid-size. We need to recognize that more.
  • Keep dreaming. What happened in our lives last year doesn’t have to dictate what will happen this year. God loves a good surprise. Plus, God doesn’t use cumulative GPAs to rank us. Each day is new.

So, that is my humiliating confession that I will most likely regret posting just a few hours from now. Hope it helps those of you who feel like 2012 shrunk you too.

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8 Comments

Filed under Faith, My Life Thus Far

8 responses to “What to do when you feel small

  1. dcflowers

    Liz, how I love and respect your honesty and vulnerability! It is a quality so needed in the body of Christ. We should know better than to believe and live as if our performance, visibility, and deeds make us “better” Christians or more loved by God, but at some level, I think most of us do. I know I struggle with it sometimes, especially during periods where I feel invisible or as if God isn’t “using” me. In reality, we all need these humility checkpoints and times of just simmering and waiting. Those times grow us and show us that all God really desires is our hearts. The fact that you can share these weaknesses on your blog tells me more about your maturity in Christ and your humility than any deeds you may have done, Bible studies you may have led, or prophetic words you may have given. Man looks at the outer person; God looks at our hearts. May you rest in the peace that you are exactly where you need to be, doing what God has called you to do. From a fellow traveler on the rocky road that is our sanctification.

  2. OK, are you sure you want to know? Assuming that’s a “yes”, then I’ll tell you. I focus on this truth. I AM WEAK, BUT HE IS STRONG. I’m not kidding. I may repent, cry, even laugh about my weakness, but I FOCUS on the “He is strong” part. In fact, Jesus gets more famous when we let Him occupy our territories of weakness.

    And then, I get real happy!!!

    I love you,
    Dad

  3. Wow, nailed it Liz! Love the practicals.

  4. Cristie

    Yep! Relating! Nothing has made me feel quite as small or weak as moving overseas. Even things that used to be strengths don’t feel very easy. But I’m trying to submit to the journey and let God reshape me. Today that process didn’t look so pretty! : )

  5. love your heart and your realness. totally can relate.

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